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Girl arrested for feeding homeless sues metropolis — RT World Information

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In Bullhead Metropolis, Arizona, feeding these residing on the streets with out a allow is punishable by a jail time period

An Arizona lady sued her metropolis on Tuesday over a legislation that punishes feeding the homeless in public parks with a four-month jail sentence. The 78-year-old was arrested below the legislation for distributing meals from a van.

Norma Thornton was delivered to courtroom in April, a month after she was ticketed for feeding homeless folks in Bullhead Group Park with out a allow. She was the primary particular person punished below an ordinance handed by town’s council a yr earlier with the objective of deterring the homeless from congregating in parks.

Whereas expenses towards Thornton have been dropped, she filed a lawsuit on Tuesday and is looking for an injunction to cease town imposing the ordinance.

“Bullhead Metropolis has criminalized kindness,” Thornton’s legal professional informed Phoenix TV station KPHO. “The Metropolis Council handed an ordinance that makes it against the law punishable by 4 months imprisonment to share meals in public parks for charitable functions.”

Nevertheless, metropolis officers identified that the ordinance solely applies to public parks. Church buildings, golf equipment, and personal properties could proceed to serve meals to these residing on the streets with out permits.

Furthermore, town insisted that the legislation was essential after park customers complained for years about being solicited for meals and cash by the homeless. Metropolis staff had been “repeatedly referred to as to handle public nuisance and different unlawful conduct, clear up human waste, litter, trash and different particles left over from the meals sharing occasions,” town wrote within the ordinance.

There have been greater than 580,000 homeless folks on US streets in 2020, based on the newest figures from the Nationwide Alliance to Finish Homelessness. Whereas this quantity is decrease than the height of 647,000 recorded in 2007, the variety of these missing any form of shelter has elevated yearly since 2015, and now stands at 226,000.

In line with a 2019 report by the Nationwide Homelessness Regulation Heart, 16 out of 187 cities surveyed have legal guidelines like Bullhead Metropolis’s proscribing meals sharing. Proponents of those legal guidelines argue that homeless folks congregating totally free meals unfold illness and enhance crime charges.

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