Man Gets Arrested For Trying To Feed Homeless While In The Park

Man Gets Arrested For Trying To Feed Homeless While In The Park
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Updated 5 months ago

For many, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend was a chance to reflect on privilege, and to give back to our communities and those less fortunate. But one man's attempt at performing a kind act ended in an arrest. Matthew Schneck, a high school government teacher, was part of a group of people who were arrested Sunday evening for feeding the local homeless population at a park in El Cajon, California, a suburb of San Diego.

While the arrests may sound shocking, they weren't unexpected. The city had recently enacted a new ordinance that bans citizens from feeding homeless people in public, and what Schneck and the others did was an act of civil disobedience in the name of Martin Luther King Jr. 

Despite the arrests, the group calling themselves Break the Ban plans on doing it again in two weeks.

Schneck shared his notice to appear citation, charging him and the 11 others with two misdemeanors, one for food sharing in a public place, and another for failing to comply with a city ordinance. "Today I got arrested for feeding the homeless in Wells Park in El Cajon," he said in the tweet. "The City of El Cajon has made it illegal to share food with homeless people."

He then shared a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., which states: "...One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

According to the city, the ban was put in place in October to curtail the spread of Hepatitis A. But attorney Scott Dreher says that's not the whole truth.

Dreher told NBC San Diego:

It was really a disguise. People were complaining homeless people will come to the park if you give them free stuff."

Those just finding out about the ban and the subsequent arrests were up in arms:

Some people felt the ban was justified, but they were quickly shut down:

A few people had a pretty ingenious idea to get around the ordinance:

But Schneck reminded everyone that they aren't looking for a loophole. They want the ordinance to be repealed:

But he appreciated the support just the same:

And Twitter appreciated him and his efforts right back:

Only one thing left to do: