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More arrested for feeding the homeless

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police broke up a group feeding the homeless and made several arrests.

25-year-old Nikkie Rye was arrested but walked out of jail with a notice to appear from police and corrections officers inside the jail who, she said, seemed just as upset about her arrest.

The group, “Food Not Bombs,” is in trouble for violating Fort Lauderdale’s new city ordinance restricting where people can feed the homeless. The mayor has stood by the ordinance as a way to keep feedings safe and clean.

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The ordinance has garnered national attention since 90-year-old Arnold Abbott was citing twice for feeding and famous comedian Stephen Colbert mocked the situation.

A written statement by the city reads in part:

Let’s set the record straight.

Contrary to reports, the city of Fort Lauderdale is not banning groups from feeding the homeless. We have established an outdoor food distribution ordinance to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our community. The ordinance does not prohibit feeding the homeless; it regulates the activity in order to ensure it is carried out in an appropriate, organized, clean and healthy manner.

While the ordinance regulates outdoor food distribution, it permits indoor food distribution to take place at houses of worship throughout the city. By allowing houses of worship to conduct this activity, the city is actually increasing the number of locations where the homeless can properly receive this service.

Volunteers and protestors say they will continue to feed.

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