Joliet City Council members unanimously voted Tuesday night to buy a house, with plans demolish it and turn the land into a park — a tactic they hope will legally allow them to force out convicted sex offenders who are living in an apartment building nearby.

The move has drawn the ire of the company that houses the sex offenders and some legal experts who argue that the city’s actions are inhumane and actually make the public less safe by making it difficult for people who have completed their sentences to find stable housing.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with community safety and everything to do with lawmakers manipulating the law to rid the community of a population they don’t like,” said Adele Nicholas, a civil rights attorney who is an expert in this area. “It’s an outrageous waste of taxpayer money.”

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