NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City has reached a settlement with three homeless men who say a group of NYPD officers callously trashed their belongings.

Early one fall morning in 2015, the men were shaken awake by police in East Harlem and told to move. As they began to gather their belongings, surveillance video shows sanitation workers in white full-body suits scooping them up and dragging them into a garbage truck.

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“Which included their birth certificates and social security cards, important medications, a lot of clothing,” according to attorney Jordan Wells.

Wells works with the New York Civil Liberties Union and helped the trio sue the city.

“It breaks your heart every time because of course this is not the way you treat another human being,” he said.

A City Hall spokesman says the administration respects the rights of homeless New Yorkers and it’s pleased with the settlements which gives the three men cash.

The Civil Liberties Union says it doesn’t solve the bigger problem of police treating homeless people with discourtesy. For that, they have a complaint before the human rights commission to try and change police policy.

© 2017 CBS Local Digital Media

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