Saturday, April 7, 2007

Florida Police Arrest Man for Feeding the Homeless

MIAMI (Reuters) - Police in Florida have arrested an activist for feeding the homeless in downtown Orlando.

Eric Montanez, 21, of the charity group Food Not Bombs, was charged with violating a controversial law against feeding large groups of destitute people in the city center, police said on Thursday.

Montanez was filmed by undercover officers on Wednesday as he served "30 unidentified persons food from a large pot utilizing a ladle," according to an arrest affidavit. The Orlando area is home to Disney World and Universal Studios Florida.

The Orlando law, which is supported by local business owners who say the homeless drive away customers but has been challenged in court by civil rights groups, allows charities to feed more than 25 people at a time within two miles of Orlando city hall only if they have a special permit. They can get two permits a year.

Police collected a vial of the stew Montanez was serving as evidence.

Police spokeswoman Barbara Jones said in an e-mail it was the first time anyone had been arrested under the feeding ban.

Montanez was charged with a misdemeanor.


SOURCE

2 comments:

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