Grandma Arrested For Feeding Homeless
A 78-year-old woman is suing Bullhead City, Arizona, after being detained earlier this year while providing food to the area’s homeless population in a park. The Institute for Justice wants a federal court to effectively overturn the city ordinance that prevents Norma Thornton from feeding the hungry in a public park. According to Thornton’s legal representatives, the ordinance infringes on a number of the woman’s 14th amendment-guaranteed civil rights.
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Police Arresting The Grandma
Thornton has been going to Bullhead City Community Park for more than four years to provide hot, home-cooked meals to the area’s unhoused population congregated there. Thornton has faced homelessness and food poverty throughout her life. When police stopped Thornton in March, he was taken into custody and accused of breaking a local law that forbade sharing prepared meals in a public park “for charity reasons” without a licence. The body camera video of the woman’s arrest was made public by the Institute for Justice. In the video, a police officer is heard voice-to-voice opposing the idea of detaining the Arizona grandma.
The Grandma Sues For The Arrest
According to CB.ca, she was placed in the back of the police car and driven to the police station by the officer, who Thornton described as extremely courteous. She was taken back to her car at the park after being fingerprinted, charged with a misdemeanour, and given a court date to appear. You might say that was catastrophic, remarked Thornton. “To be accused of a crime… It still makes me uncomfortable when I think about it.”Thornton entered a not-guilty plea. According to the lawsuit, the city ultimately withdrew the accusations, which could have resulted in a maximum fine of $750 US and four months in jail. With the assistance of a non-profit law company called the Institute for Justice, she intends to file a lawsuit against Bullhead City and claims that they have violated her human rights. She demands that the law be ruled unlawful.
New Ways To Help the Helpless
Thornton continues to find solutions for feeding people. She has been serving meals in a private alley, but she claims those who come for food must sit in the dim, uncomfortable lane instead of the park. People are still lined up despite it. Even if it’s just a little while, seeing someone happy makes my heart glad, she remarked. Thornton purchases a portion of the ingredients herself, with the remainder coming from friends, neighbours, and the food bank. The previous day, she recounted, a visitor who had come by for supper had even given $5 to help with the ingredients for the next day. Thornton aspires to inspire more individuals to lend a hand to those in need in their neighbourhood by sharing her experience. One more person may step forward and provide a helping hand to someone to improve someone else’s life for a brief period, she said.
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