Police Arrest 90-Year-Old and Two Pastors for Feeding Homeless People

Originally published on November 9, 2014, at NationofChange.org

In an act of compassion and civil disobedience, a 90-year-old man and two pastors in Fort Lauderdale openly defied a new city ordinance barring anyone from feeding homeless people in public. After police intervened and charged them with a crime, 90-year-old Arnold Abbott and Pastor Dwayne Black returned several days later to break the draconian law again. Although Abbott received another citation, police decided not to place him in custody.

Last Sunday, Arnold Abbott, Pastor Dwayne Black of The Sanctuary Church in Fort Lauderdale, and Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church in Coral Springs fed homeless people in a public park in South Florida two days after the city passed a new ordinance outlawing the provision of food to vagrants in public. After getting arrested, the two pastors and elderly homeless advocate each face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

“One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon,” recalled Abbott. “It’s man’s inhumanity to man is all it is.”

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Investigation Launched Into Cop Tasing 61-Year-Old Woman in the Back

Originally published on October 3, 2014, at NationofChange.org

Florida police officials have launched an internal investigation into an incident involving an officer firing his taser into the back of a 61-year-old woman.

According to the police report, Officer Terry Mahan of the Tallahassee Police Department attempted to arrest the elderly woman for simply asking a question. When she turned to walk away from the aggressive officer, Mahan shot her in the back with his taser to subdue her.

On the afternoon of September 30, Officer C. Woods was on a routine patrol when he noticed five people including a child walking in the street. According to the police report, Quontarrious Jones, Quaneshia Rivers, Laguna Young, and two others stepped aside to let Officer Woods pass them. While the patrol car continued down the road, Woods noticed them stepping back into the street and immediately turned his car around to confront them.

According to witness statements, Woods had pulled up alongside the small group and ordered them out of the street. They replied that there was no other place to walk since no sidewalks existed along the street. Woods exited his vehicle and arrested Jones for talking back to him.

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Repair Failing Water Infrastructure

Originally published on August 2, 2014, at ForceChange.com

Target: United States Senate

Goal: Repair the U.S. water infrastructure before the rapidly deteriorating pipes cause a catastrophe

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 240,000 water main breaks occur each year across the United States. With our pipes growing too old and not being replaced, broken water mains have been responsible for numerous mudslides, floods, and droughts. Engineers believe the number of broken water mains will only increase with each year until we improve our rapidly deteriorating system.

With most of California’s reservoirs less than half full, the state cannot afford to lose any more water. The increasing risk of broken water mains places states like California on the precarious edge of a drought. Failing pipes have caused mudslides in California, sinkholes in Florida, and multiple floods across the U.S.

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