Florida City Has to Stop Arresting 90-Year-Old for Feeding the Homeless

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Homeless advocate Arnold Abbott, 90, of the nonprofit group Love Thy Neighbor Inc., center, gets his drivers license to hand to a  Fort Lauderdale police officer, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Abbott and a group of volunteers were feeding the homeless in a public parking lot next to the beach when he was issued a summons to appear in court for violating an ordinance that limits where charitable groups can feed the homeless on public property.  Abbott w also recently arrested along with two pastors for feeding the homeless in a Fort Lauderdale park. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Homeless advocate Arnold Abbott, 90, of the nonprofit group Love Thy Neighbor Inc., center, gets his drivers license to hand to a Fort Lauderdale police officer, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Abbott and a group of volunteers were feeding the homeless in a public parking lot next to the beach when he was issued a summons to appear in court for violating an ordinance that limits where charitable groups can feed the homeless on public property. Abbott w also recently arrested along with two pastors for feeding the homeless in a Fort Lauderdale park. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP/Corbis

A judge issued a 30-day stay of Fort Lauderdale’s new law prohibiting feeding the homeless in public this week and required city officials to attend mediated talks with the law’s opponents. Mayor Jack Seiler called the move a “good idea,” while adding that the city would prefer to enforce its laws. The controversial measure was enacted in October, and in one of the most noted enforcements of the law, 90-year-old WWII vet Arnold Abbott was cited several times and faced a $500 fine and 60 days in prison.