November 4, 2014 11:30 am -

At least four police cruisers in Fort Lauderdale and a half dozen uniformed cops were ready and waiting for Love Thy Neighbor — totally nothing like the Crips and the Bloods — a group who showed up on Sunday, just like  it does every week, armed with trays of hot food for the needy.

[su_center_ad]Evil, right? We can’t have hungry people just given plates of hot food, now can we.

As a result, four local stalwarts of helping those in need were issued summonses by Fort Lauderdale Police for violating a newly enacted ordinance restricting public food sharing throughout the city, the New Times reports. 

 Abbott receiving a summons

Abbott receiving a summons


The founder of the group, 90-year-old Arnold Abbot, previously had announced that the new ordinance would not deter him from sharing food, which is something he has done for the past 23 years.

New Times reports:

“Drop that plate right now,” was the Fort Lauderdale Police officer’s directive to Abbott, as he was doling out food to the fourth person in a line of well over 100 homeless and hungry people queuing on the sidewalk on a cool, sunlit day. Abbott later half-joked that from the way the officer barked his order, he seemed to have mistaken the plate in his hand for a gun.

Abbott had been insistent that none of his crew of about ten helpers put themselves in harm’s way and risk arrest as he was doing and called for calm among the visibly angry crowd as he was led from behind a table of food to the side of an FLPD cruiser to receive his summons. While the crowd stayed calm, it was too late to prevent others who already had assisted with the sharing from also being issued citations.

The Rev. Canon Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs, the Rev. Dwayne Black of the Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale, and Irene Smith, one of Love Thy Neighbor’s helpers, were each issued a summons. Their court dates will be set in the coming weeks. Violations of the ordinance carry penalties of up to a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail.

(My bold because WTF)

A ‘town hall’ meeting was announced in January in order to introduce ordinances restricting camping, panhandling, food sharing, and other activities that are considered “life sustaining” due to the condition of homeless people, who have to conduct their lives mostly outdoors, because in case you missed it — they are homeless.

The food sharing restrictions was set to begin on Halloween, a holiday famous for sharing candy.

In September, six homeless people’s possessions were confiscated by authorities.

In response to today’s events, the Rev. Mark Sims said, “It’s sad that we criminalize sharing food with people who are hungry, not necessarily even homeless.”

“I don’t think the city has a right to tell us we can’t feed the homeless,” the Rev. Dwayne Black said. “This is breaking my Christian vows.”

When asked what’s next, the reverend stated, “Continuing to feed them.”

Amen to that, Reverend.[su_csky_ad]

Images: New Times

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

24 responses to Watch: 90-Year-Old and Two Florida Clergymen Cited, Face Possible Jail Time For Feeding the Homeless

  1. R.J. Carter November 4th, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Continue feeding them — and just see how many people come out to help you next time! This ought to wake up a lot of people.

    • Carla Akins November 4th, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      There are a lot of cities that do this. Cosmic has mentioned they are just brutal about this in Denver.

    • Cosmic_Surfer November 4th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

      We are and then there are the weekly sit-ins and protests in front of the business coalition members who have been in support of the ban. We have turned The Palm (the leading restaurant catering to the “rich and wealthy” classless mass) and have turned a half dozen other members against the ban by (“buy”) educating them to their classlessness.
      Then there are those 2 for 1 specials I buy up and transport downtown and into the parks (we have a lot of standing and walking while homeless since it is against the law to eat and sit while homeless)

      • tracey marie November 4th, 2014 at 2:40 pm

        That I did not know, the standing while eating.

        • Cosmic_Surfer November 5th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

          Have to keep moving – it is considered “urban camping” to sit and eat in a downtown park

          • tracey marie November 5th, 2014 at 3:53 pm

            Does this apply to everyone, even the non homeless?

          • Cosmic_Surfer November 7th, 2014 at 7:38 am

            It was made universal in order to quash Occupy – the biggest open, hardcore activist defender of the homeless in Denver for Occupy Denver became strongly tied with the homeless in Denver (and now those threatened with the loss of their homes by bank fraud) and later for anyone who wanted to organize in the parks to confront the paradigm. This was not solely an act against the homeless. It is an act of aggression against the movement to confront those in power. It is an act against the people’s voice.
            And it gives continued license to the Pigs (those on the PD that are more bully than anything else) who will beat down anyone for sport – I’ve seen it, I have watched a 60++ yr old grandmother get smashed in the head and told if she showed up in Denver again there was a bullet with her name on it; or the 18 yr old mild mannered schizophrenic elfen beauty – she was pushed into the snow and stomped for trying to hand a riot cop a bible; or the Hispanic guy who lost his home when he lost his job, beaten to a bloody pulp by two cops with clubs…for sitting on a bench at night…I can keep going here

  2. tracey marie November 4th, 2014 at 11:44 am

    a republican dream world, the poor and hungry die

    • Pistol-Packing AKA "Susie" November 4th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      HAHAHAHAHA, SO fast to be a bigot, that you failed to realize that Ft. Lauderdale is controlled by a 5 member commission of which only “1” is a republican. the other 4 and the city manager are all democrats.

      • m2old4bs November 4th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

        Couldn’t care less. It is truly evil to deny people to help other people in need. You think it is funny, shame on you.

        • Pistol-Packing AKA "Susie" November 4th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

          No, I think it is absolutely horrible….

          For the record, I donate a tremendous amount to my local shelters and try to donate time when I can. My point to her was. she immediately wants to say “Republican”, and in this case, it is not.

          • tracey marie November 4th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

            ROTFLMAO, you lie

          • Pistol-Packing AKA "Susie" November 4th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

            So sad that you are so completely clueless….

          • tracey marie November 4th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

            non partisan, no primary races you dolt. 3 of the people are repubs who changed to dem to win….research and truth, what teabaggers lack

        • tracey marie November 4th, 2014 at 12:44 pm

          as a floridian I am appalled at the lack of compassion from the right and the state in general. Scott is the biggest problem. gun nuts with agendas really do lie and exagerate because they have nothing else

  3. mea_mark November 4th, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    When it is illegal to be good, evil is winning.

  4. Abby Normal November 4th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Good for Fort Lauderdale. If you let one 90 year-old feed the homeless, then hundreds or thousands of 90 year-olds will show up and start feeding the hungry. We have to draw the line somewhere.

  5. tiredoftea November 4th, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    “And, in other local news, no shots were fired when an angry mob of people were dispersed by police. The officers on scene said that they were too weak from hunger to put up much of a fight.”

  6. crc3 November 4th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Yet another reason to hate FL and (I live in Ft Lauderdale). Going to be a very depressing day if Rick Scott wins and the Dems lose the Senate…..

  7. Khary A November 4th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Once again Florida, the suppurating @$$hole of America.

  8. Bunya November 4th, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Oh great! Now if the hungry want food, they’ll have to get it on the down low, sharing the alley ways with drug dealers/purchasers.

  9. Cosmic_Surfer November 4th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    It isn’t just Florida – states cross the nation are imposing “Urban Camping Bans” and bans against Homeless people in urban and suburban areas. They are enacting “no feeding” laws and prosecuting those who give food or water to homeless people…

    A society that chooses to ignore their responsibility and punish those who take responsibility for the least among us is a society that has truly lost all moral compass

    • tracey marie November 4th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      actually they are recently changed to Dems. Even though the races are non partisan they changed their voting status to win because their district(s) are majority Dem.

      • Cosmic_Surfer November 5th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

        “they”? Hancock and Hickenlooper have always been Democrats,. The City Council has always been majority Dems while still holding a few Republicans like Jeanne Faatz, currently the only Republican on the council.
        Albus Brooks has always been a Dem and worked for Hickenlooper. He is the guy that proposed and manipulated to get passed (going through the wrong committee knowing full well it would have been quashed by the correct committee) the Urban Camping Ban. To this day, I laugh at his histrionics at the City Council meeting when we confronted the ban. Screeching at Occupy and the Homeless organizations, Brooks yells, “I am a community organizer! I am a community organizer!” as if that actually means anything. It was the ONLY response he had other than the possible promise by “corporate leaders” to donate funds to create 200 beds sometime “in the future” for a population exceeding 5800 homeless if the City enacted the ban.