Until recently, cops in Denver were confiscating life-saving equipment like sleeping bags and tents from area homeless people.
On Saturday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock promised to let the homeless keep their tents and blankets during cold weather months. An upcoming “polar vortex” is expected to usher in dangerously cold, below-zero temperatures in Denver.
“As a city, we have a responsibility and moral obligation to protect the lives of our residents,” Hancock said in a statement quoted by the Denver Post.
This freshly minted “moral obligation” to not kill homeless people in the winter came only after a local outcry and widespread condemnation of the policy on social media. A Nov. 29 Facebook live video by Denver activist Kayvan Soorena Tyler Khalatbari-Limaki showing police confiscating winter gear has been viewed more than 500,000 times. Coverage of the confiscations by independent media collective Unicorn Riot was also widely shared.