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Now It's a Crime to Feed the Homeless? Fort Lauderdale Police Make Arrests for Public Food Sharing

By Cindy Davis | Z--Retired | November 5, 2014 |

By Cindy Davis | Z--Retired | November 5, 2014 |


This is already a day, so we may as well shut it down as bummed out as we opened it. Did you know in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it is now a crime to feed the homeless? (It’s Florida; we should have known.) And not only is this horrible crime punishable by jail time and a fine; the police are going after kindly volunteers like gangbusters. That’s right, in the state where it’s legal to shoot pretty much anyone you like as long as you say you were defending yourself, you can be sent to jail for sharing a goddamned plate of food.

A 90-year-old man and two pastors — STOP AND READ THAT AGAIN — a 90-year-old man and two pastors were arrested by Fort Lauderdale police for violating a new city ordinance that restricts homeless feeding program locations and basically prohibits sharing food outdoors.

Of his arrest, Arnold Abbott (the 90-year-old, who runs Love Thy Neighbor, Inc.) recounted: “One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon…It’s man’s inhumanity to man is all it is.”

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The incident isn’t stopping Abbott, who says he’ll still carry on with plans for a Sunday beach feeding, and will sue the city a second time (Abbott sued and won against Ft. Lauderdale in 1999, after the city tried to stop him from feeding people at a public beach). “These are the poorest of the poor, they have nothing, they don’t have a roof over their heads. How do you turn them away?” Want to help? Abbott requests you email Fort Lauderdale mayor, Jack Seiler.


I can’t take anymore…off to sob in my evening snack. Maybe another bowl of cereal?


Cindy Davis, (Twitter)


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