The war homeless has gained some unwanted national attention for the City of Sarasota, and now the Police Chief has expressed misgivings about the homeless man arrested for using a public outlet to charge his cell phone. According to the update in the Herald-Tribune, Chief Mikel Hollaway is quoted as saying, “I don’t want a physical arrest for something like this,” indicating that he would prefer a summons to be issued. There are two problems with that statement.
- There were 10 – 15 other homeless people arrested the same day for myriad offenses, some as minor as smoking in the same park. The outward policy of the department does not appear to take a
handscuffs-off approach to enforcement among the homeless.
- The more serious concern is the Chief doesn’t address the more serious problem that his sergeant arrested someone without probable cause. The judge found no probable cause at court the next morning, because it was a public outlet! The Chief should be most concerned with his officers arresting people illegally.
Darren Kersey, the phone charger, is also quoted in the article, and he thinks the arrest was retaliatory for him taking a picture of officer’s car when the officer was arresting another homeless person in the same park.
Keep in mind, it costs taxpayers for every arrest law enforcement makes. Jails are for more expensive than homeless shelters. And since Mr. Kersey couldn’t afford to bond out, he missed going to his job the next day, and lost that job. He has a small daughter who is undoubtedly getting government assistance, too. Sarasota is feeding the cycle of the downtrodden. Meanwhile, the City of Sarasota is also intent on giving away free electricity, setting up free charging stations for electric cars. These charging stations were literally just installed a month ago. #badcops