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N.J. City Is Sued for Using Patriot Act Against Homeless
NEWARK -- The Justice Department criticized a New Jersey city for invoking the USA Patriot Act to justify kicking homeless people out of its train station.
In an answer to a lawsuit brought by a homeless man ejected from the train station in Summit, N.J., the city cited a section of the Patriot Act regarding "attacks and other violence against mass transportation systems."
But Kevin Madden, a Justice Department spokesman, said Summit has no business invoking the law in that way.
"The Patriot Act is a law enforcement tool to identify and track terrorists and stop them from further attacks on America," he said Wednesday. "To apply it to this case is, shall we say, an overreaching application of the law."
The city is among several defendants being sued in federal court by Richard Kreimer, 55. He is seeking at least $5 million in damages.