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More Homeless Feeding Arrests Made By Police

November 8, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
More Homeless Feeding Arrests Made By Police Arnold Abbott - Image courtesy of mic.com

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Police issued another round of citations and arrests in Fort Lauderdale, in an effort to break up the homeless feeding at Stranahan Park.

Among the arrests were a 17-year-old, 25-year old Nikki Rye and a third person, all three members of “Food Not Bombs” who found themselves in trouble with authorities.

“I was laughing. I thought you know this is a sick joke,” said the 17-year-old minor who was cuffed and taken away. “They can’t stop us from feeding people.”

Rye was released from jail with a desk appearance ticket. She said the corrections and police officers inside were unhappy about her arrest and sent her off with the notice.

City Officials said the group violated Fort Lauderdale’s new city ordinance that places strict restrictions on where and how groups can feed the homeless.

National headlines were first made when 90-year-old humanitarian, Arnold Abbott was cited twice for feeding.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler defended the ordinance, saying it does not stop the feedings altogether, just makes them cleaner and safer for everyone.

The city released a written explanation which reads in-part:

Innovative Leadership Key to Addressing Homelessness

Let’s set the record straight.

Contrary to reports, the city of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless. We have established an outdoor food distribution ordinance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community. The ordinance does not prohibit feeding the homeless; it regulates the activity in order to ensure it is carried out in an appropriate, organized, clean and healthy manner.

While the ordinance regulates outdoor food distribution, it permits indoor food distribution to take place at houses of worship throughout the city. By allowing houses of worship to conduct this activity, the city is actually increasing the number of locations where the homeless can properly receive this service.

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