GRANDMOTHER SUES AFTER GETTING ARRESTED FOR FEEDING THE HOMELESS IN LOCAL PARK
Things are getting tough and mean out there! We all feel it in our wallets. And we all feel it in our bones. Stress. With inflation (ahem, price gouging) being so bad that America’s middle class may soon be but a memory, the world is getting even harder for the homeless. And what are we doing about it? Not enough, certainly. But for the homeless, getting a few square meals from anywhere is a huge improvement. And the Good Samaritans that provide those meals are heroes. But in Arizona, those Good Samaritans are subject to arrest? For feeding the homeless? Well, yes. And one grandmother is now suing for just that. Arizona arrested her for feeding the homeless!
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CITY HAS ORDINANCE AGAINST FEEDING FOR HOMELESS AS CHARITY, BUT NOT FOR SOCIAL EVENTS
Her name is Norma Thornton. She’s 78 years old and the city of Bullhead arrested her this past March for feeding homeless people in the local Community Park. Seriously! Bullhead has an ordinance against feeding the homeless. Specifically, the new ordinance makes it a criminal misdemeanor to give prepared food in a public park for “charitable purposes” without a permit. But get this! You can still give people prepared food for a social event without a permit! I’ve seen signs saying “Do Not Feed Pigeons.” I get that. But I’ve never seen a sign saying “Don’t Feed the Homeless.” And no, there wasn’t actually a sign.
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COP WHO ARRESTED GRANDMOTHER FOR FEEDING THE HOMELESS KNEW THIS WAS A PR NIGHTMARE
Norma Thornton had just finished feeding as many as 27 people when police rolled up and arrested her. The arresting officer at least knew how much worse it would be if he handcuffed her. His bodycam footage clearly shows him saying this was a “PR nightmare” when his superior officer told him to arrest her. A PR nightmare, indeed. Norma Thornton, the grandmother and Good Samaritan, is suing the Godless City of Bullhead. As she should! She’s facing a $1,400 fine and up to 4 months in jail! And besides the horrible PR, her case has merit. She’s suing because this ordnance violates her constitutional right to commit charitable acts.
We’ll have to see where her lawsuit goes. I think Arizona is one of those states that already strongly defends gun enthusiasts’ rights to be charitable with bullets. But food for the homeless? Not so much.