MAPLEWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) – Saying it hurts domestic violence victims and minorities, Maplewood’s nuisance ordinance is the target of a new federal lawsuit filed by the local Equal Housing and Opportunity Council.

Many communities have similar ordinances, but the EHOC’s Staff Attorney Kalila Jackson says Maplewood’s is the most onerous.

“The city of Maplewood is the only one that requires that people that have been deemed a nuisance actually leave the city, and they will not be issued an occupancy permit,” she says.

Jackson says Maplewood disproportionately targets African-American residents for enforcement.

“Fifty-five percent of the enforcement actions were against African-Americans,” she says, adding that to put that figure in perspective, the African-American population in Maplewood is about 17 percent.

By allowing only two calls to police every six months, Jackson says it puts victims – especially of domestic violence – at risk.

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