St. Louis (KSDK) - Reverend Larry Rice says an ongoing lawsuit against the City of St. Louis for misconduct following the shutdown of Integrity Village is the way back in.
Rice wants to get the land back after he said the city "turned it into a dump." After the two acres that were leased to the New Life Evangelistic Center were condemned, Rice says leftovers from a Missouri Department of Transportation project were being stored on the grounds.
Rice went to the city and the crews have since removed the rock and gravel.
In May, Rice attempted to establish the grounds as a tent city near Vandeventer and McRee, just north of Interstate 44. The camp was shut down hours after it opened.
He says the lawsuit was filed because the city mishandled the condemnation of the grounds and improperly used police to shut down the village.
"We have a lawsuit outside the City of St. Louis because they acted outside the ramifications of the law," Rice said. "They commended this ground for public safety purposes when there was no public safety purposes when there was no public safety involved in this at all.
On Tuesday, Rev. Rice and other church volunteers distributed leaflets to nearby neighbors in an attempt to inform them on the church's stance.
"It's a misuse of police power," he said. "We've seen that over and over, that's why we have the lawsuit."