It sounds like a twisted satire piece, but once again we are seeing the ludicrous crackdown by police and other government officials on community leaders that try to offer free food to the homeless who are desperately in need of sustenance.
A topic that really has hit me on a personal level, and one that prompted me to publicly donate $2,000 to the head of the homeless aid organization that Washington police have continually tried to shutdown for handing out meals on a weekly basis, we have seen numerous people now threatened with arrest and expensive citations for daring to offer help to those in need.
And let’s be clear: these priests, pastors, mothers, fathers, and everyday citizens are not going around giving out cash or enabling beggars on the side of the highway. They are going around giving ready-to-eat food to genuinely starving families that line up for what sometimes amounts to hours in the cold to receive a home cooked meal.
In the latest incident, Florida police out of Fort Lauderdale detained and threatened the arrest of a 90-year-old man along with all of his volunteers for violating a new law that makes ‘sharing food a criminal offense’.
That’s right, ‘sharing food’ is now a criminal offense in Fort Lauderdale.
For this terrible crime, officers detained 90-year-old Arnold Abbott, head of the Love Thy Neighbor organization. In the video you can see below, officers begin screaming at Abbot to drop his food before detaining him in what has now led to a future court date for the offense:
Believe it or not, Abbott and his supporters are facing up to 60 days in jail for the ‘sharing of food’ within Fort Lauderdale – a crime that officers apparently take quite seriously following the new city ordinance.
Officers required four police cars and a total of 6 uniformed troopers in order to put an end to Abbott delivering plates of food to the homeless – something that he has done for a solid 23 years.
Abbott’s response? He and his fellow volunteer Rev. Dwayne Black are speaking out:
“I don’t think the city has a right to tell us we can’t feed the homeless,” the Reverend said in an interview. “This is breaking my Christian vows.”
Abott, a World War 2 veteran, went further:
“I went through World War 2. I fought in the Civil Rights movement. This won’t stop us. All this did was move us to court earlier than we had planned.”
It is essential to offer your help independently to those who are truly in need, specifically with ready-to-eat food items in areas where you will not be thrown in jail for doing so. I am a supporter of real organizations like Crazy Faith based in Washington, and am now a fan of Mr. Abott and his Love Thy Neighbor outreach.