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Officers raid area homeless camps

In what was described as an effort to help them, authorities in the area raided several local areas in which homeless people had set up camp.

Police said that they detained 53 people in the course of their operation. Of those arrested, one was a parolee who was wanted on a violation of parole. A handful of others, 11, were detained on warrants related to drug charges, but most of them were arrested for trespassing. Police said that they also afforded material assistance to 26 of those who were arrested.

While police hailed the action as a successful operation to ensure public safety and protect the integrity of private land, some civil libertarians claimed that the entire sweep was constitutionally questionable.

Hopefully, most of those in Riverside who are facing criminal charges also do not have to deal with homelessness as well. However, police can and often do use lots of reasons, even the pretext of trying to be nice or help people out, in order to gather evidence against a person or to make an arrest. In some cases, this is appropriate, but in other cases it is not.

It is also important to remember that in California, trespassing is a criminal charge which even otherwise law-abiding citizens, perhaps including young people, can find themselves on the receiving end of. In some cases, a trespassing charge can even lead to a person's having to spend some time in jail.

A Californian can be charged for trespassing under a range of circumstances, but, generally speaking, it will either involve being somewhere where the person pretty clearly has no legal right to be or a person's not be willing to leave an area after being told to do so.

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