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(Herald Tribune (SW Florida))   You might think that electrical outlet next to a picnic table in the park is there for public use. Think again. It's a trap   (heraldtribune.com) divider line 265
    More: Florida, picnic tables, Darren Kersey, Sarasota Police Department, National Coalition for the Homeless, pavilions, Anthony Frangioni  
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28725 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Nov 2012 at 10:55 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-12 11:50:34 PM

sethen320: Please tell me that's not an instagram pic. I really want to like it.


I dunno, it's got that "Polaroid sitting in your sock drawer since 1978" filter that all the Instagram photos seem to have.
 
2012-11-12 11:51:10 PM

EKU Colonel: I kind of skimmed through the comments, but did anyone ask why a homeless guy has a phone? How does he pay for it? Who is he expecting calls from? Is it an Obamaphone, because I'm pretty sure you still need a real address for those.

I'm hopefully that he got it because he's expecting a call back on some applications he's filled out, but the cynic in me doubts that


It was actually a calculator, but no one had the heart to tell him. He had it connected to the outlet with a broken suspender.
 
2012-11-12 11:52:01 PM
sparkeyjames: The thing that disturbs me most about this article is that there is a disabled homeless person
living in a public park. Does not Social Security disability cover a person who is disabled by a stroke?

Yeah, but it's just money. She's looking for an assisted-living place that will take her. Maybe they're full in Sarasota. Maybe she's a problem nobody wants.


More likely that she can't afford any of the spots in assisted living with openings in the area, they ain't cheap. In my mostly rural area they run $2k-$3k per month, in Sarasota they may be quite a bit more expensive and between medicare and SDI she may not have enough for them. Or she may have just barely enough leaving her with $2.19 in spending money for the month.
 
2012-11-12 11:52:30 PM

skullkrusher: poot_rootbeer: This About That: I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.

The first 11 times I get harassed by a dick with a badge when I'm doing nothing illegal, I will be all no sir, I'm sorry sir, thank you.

The twelfth time I might "mouth off".

unless you're guilty of being black, what the fark are you doing to get harassed by the cops 11 times?


You don't think that shiat happens? I get stopped and harassed at least every other month. I'm polite, employed, well-groomed, white bread as it gets. And in Canada no less. I had 6 guns drawn on me when I was 14. Had a cop try to intimidate me into confessing to a crime I didn't commit. Despite having a 100% clean record and having assisted the police on several occasions.


Cops are generally, though not always, looking to start trouble. In my experience.
 
2012-11-12 11:52:36 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: EKU Colonel: I kind of skimmed through the comments, but did anyone ask why a homeless guy has a phone? How does he pay for it? Who is he expecting calls from? Is it an Obamaphone, because I'm pretty sure you still need a real address for those.

I'm hopefully that he got it because he's expecting a call back on some applications he's filled out, but the cynic in me doubts that

It was actually a calculator, but no one had the heart to tell him. He had it connected to the outlet with a broken suspender.


What, did he keep typing in 80085 hoping that he's going to get a sex line?
 
2012-11-12 11:52:50 PM

smitty04: Hollywood discovered that if you are helpful towards the homeless, they start congregating in your parks. Word travels fast.


Hobo shiat makes good, free fertilizer for the park's flowers.
 
2012-11-12 11:54:18 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: It was actually a calculator, but no one had the heart to tell him. He had it connected to the outlet with a broken suspender.


Sure it wasn't a tin can with the string pushed into the ground on the plug?

I can talk to anyone on Earth....
 
2012-11-12 11:54:28 PM
He shoulda charged his bootstraps. Then the whole mess could have been avoided.
 
2012-11-12 11:55:10 PM

This About That: OK, let's suppose this cop was an asshole


Oh come on, give us a challenge!
 
2012-11-12 11:56:38 PM

This About That: I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.


Try a few more interactions.

Don't try anymore I don't want to feel guilty.
 
2012-11-12 11:57:38 PM

I_Can't_Believe_it's_not_Boutros: They should charge him with battery.


Why? There was no resistance.
 
2012-11-12 11:58:13 PM
Gotta say, if you're going to live on the streets, Sarasota wouldn't be the worst place to be. Nice weather and beautiful public parks. Sure as hell beats here in Chicago...
 
2012-11-12 11:58:58 PM
My idea for Jacksonville since our homeless problem is out of control is build a recycling center (since we don't have one) with on site living quarters. Build it far enough into the county where it's a pain in the ass to walk back downtown. If you're arrested for Pan handling then you're taken there to do labor. Nothing too hard, mostly sorting and such. They'll give you food, shelter, and a stippened as long as you work. If you don't want to, fine; you're released and it's a good 20 miles back to your bench downtown.

It solves the homeless problem, jail problem (because now they lock them up for 24 hours, feed them, and release them back downtown), it puts people to work and may help some get back on their feet, and it helps the environment. Right now the only solution our council created is say pan handling is a crime and you get 3 hots and a cot for getting hauled in.
 
2012-11-12 11:59:15 PM

sparkeyjames: The thing that disturbs me most about this article is that there is a disabled homeless person
living in a public park. Does not Social Security disability cover a person who is disabled by a stroke?


Likely it does but there's no way to force somebody to take SSDI and where would they get the check sent?

We are in trouble. Any aid program will be opposed by the FYGM crowd, despite the fact that it is actually cheaper in the long run to just straight up give them housing (living outside is hell on your health and that results in a ton of ER visits). So we end up with the current situation where local government and police try to make life for the homeless as unpleasant as possible in the hope that they go away. The ideal situation would be to offer all the help possible, including a place to live where one can drink their liver into swiss cheese if someone so chooses, and then force anyone who refuses to take it into the treatment system it on the grounds to a mentally competent person wouldn't voluntarily live under a bridge. But because there has been so much bad faith attempts to "fix" the homeless problem under that guise the ability of cities to force people into treatment or housing is severely limited due to successful lawsuits from the ACLU and other groups. Also you'd end up with a massive free rider problem as every single city in the US would pay for one-way bus fare to any city that implements such a program to make the homeless not their problem anymore. The complete systemic solution is blocked, but more safety nets would certainly help and are badly needed. In the mean time people need to stop giving handouts to panhandlers and direct it to local charities instead.

It really sucks because those that are chronically homeless quite frankly give homelessness a bad image, if that makes sense. The guy you see every day on the corner isn't the true face of the majority of homeless: it is the woman and kids living out of a car in the walmart parking lot because her abusive partner finally snapped, or the teenager couch surfing because his parents found out he's gay.
 
2012-11-12 11:59:27 PM
Frangioni, a 14-year veteran of the Sarasota Police Department, did not return calls or emails seeking comment for this story. Neither did City Manager Thomas Barwin.

They obviously didn't want to waste city utilities.
 
2012-11-13 12:00:20 AM

Wulfman: C_Canuk: Cop wants to fark your wife, well you just better hold her legs amIright? He's gonna do it anyway, so you might as well not give him reason to shoot you too. Infact offer up your daughter for dessert. You may not have any dignity but at least you'll be free to live exactly how the police tell you to.


Yeah, fight that fight. But so long as the officer is not held personally accountable in situations like this, people will do the cost/benefit and realize it's usually better to stfu and do whatever they're told. So in all seriousness, how does that get changed?


With a critical mass of people not STFU and doing what they're told. The police budget gets spent, requiring additional tax dollars having to be spent, the majority of people get furious that the pig's power trips are causing higher taxes and they punish the politicians that don't curb it at the polls, or the guillotine. I'm fine with either.

If enough people go out and say "NO! You Move" eventually things will change. Letting the cops step on your neck emboldens them and erodes your rights and security.

Seriously it's so bad in the US they shoot your pets with impunity, shoot people and don't even apologize when they get the address wrong.

You might want to start making a fuss about it before it gets worse.

Cops should be afraid of the voting power of the law abiding majority not the other way around.
 
2012-11-13 12:00:22 AM

fnordfocus: Philbb: He had at least one night sleeping under a roof and most likely had at least two meals. We're not talking about prison here. We're talking about a local jail which could very well be nicer than any other place he'd spent the night in some time. All for the cost of having a misdemeanor on his record.

Having a misdemeanor on your record, or even an arrest nowadays, pretty much guarantees he will never be able to leave a life of homelessness.

It will disqualify him from shelters, public assistance, and nearly all jobs.


imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-11-13 12:00:48 AM

skullkrusher: poot_rootbeer: This About That: I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.

The first 11 times I get harassed by a dick with a badge when I'm doing nothing illegal, I will be all no sir, I'm sorry sir, thank you.

The twelfth time I might "mouth off".

unless you're guilty of being black, what the fark are you doing to get harassed by the cops 11 times?


He's homeless and sleeping in a park, in a city that's famous for being "mean" to homeless people. Why would he need to do anything else?
 
2012-11-13 12:01:08 AM

LovingTeacher: sparkeyjames: The thing that disturbs me most about this article is that there is a disabled homeless person
living in a public park. Does not Social Security disability cover a person who is disabled by a stroke?

Yeah, but it's just money. She's looking for an assisted-living place that will take her. Maybe they're full in Sarasota. Maybe she's a problem nobody wants.

More likely that she can't afford any of the spots in assisted living with openings in the area, they ain't cheap. In my mostly rural area they run $2k-$3k per month, in Sarasota they may be quite a bit more expensive and between medicare and SDI she may not have enough for them. Or she may have just barely enough leaving her with $2.19 in spending money for the month.


Medicare doesn't pay for assisted living. Medicaid will pay for a limited amount of time, subject to many restrictions and gotchas. Link
 
2012-11-13 12:03:31 AM

ShobuZukuri: [emveeart77.files.wordpress.com image 600x374]

Because jackass just doesn't cover it.


WE love PONCE!
 
2012-11-13 12:04:39 AM

LavenderWolf: I had 6 guns drawn on me when I was 14


That sounds like a scene from a Tarantino film.
 
2012-11-13 12:04:43 AM

EKU Colonel: I kind of skimmed through the comments, but did anyone ask why a homeless guy has a phone? How does he pay for it? Who is he expecting calls from? Is it an Obamaphone, because I'm pretty sure you still need a real address for those.

I'm hopefully that he got it because he's expecting a call back on some applications he's filled out, but the cynic in me doubts that


Ok, let's play along and do the math. Let's say it's a Verizon phone, which can get pretty pricey. It costs him what, $100/month? Now let's say that he chooses not to get a phone and instead rent an apartment so that he's not one of those icky homeless people. All he has to do is find an apartment which is $100/month! Voila!

Of course that doesn't include food, utilities, transportation (to get to a job so he doesn't have to be homeless), and a small amount for entertainment (human beings can not be expected to sit and stare at the walls constantly when they aren't working). So, given this scenario, can you locate an apartment which costs $100/month to rent?

Ok, let's get more realistic and assume it's a prepaid device which can be had for maybe $20/month. Yes, I agree that most of the time a phone is a luxury, but in this case the guy is homeless with nothing. He doesn't have jack-shiat. If he can scrape up 20 bucks a month then thats enough to have a phone and nowhere near enough to have a place to crash. Do you expect him to "save up" and pay rent every 8 months (assuming $400/month)? I don't know how lucrative begging is, so I may be wrong on this assumption.

I don't know his particular situation, he may be lazy, he may be stubborn, or he may have mental issues which happens to be VERY common among homeless people. If he's living in a park and still has a cell phone I doubt laziness applies here.

"Obamaphone"...I am not a fan of the president but whenever I see anyone attach the word "Obama" to the front of anything they don't like I automatically snicker because it's so damn cute to watch you partisan guys bicker back and forth. And by partisan I mean the elephants and the donkeys.

In the end though, I find it absolutely awesome that a cop made the conscious decision to arrest someone for using an outlet sitting in plain view to consume probably less than a penny, and all you wanna know is why the guy had the audacity to have a phone.
 
2012-11-13 12:05:19 AM

Gyrfalcon: OnlyM3: This About That

I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.
You explain white knighting these law breaking bullies and I'll explain the mouthing off.

We pay police to enforce laws that we vote on, or empower our elected officials to enact, because we feel that these laws are necessary to the functioning of our society. And we empower the police to enforce these laws because we as society don't want a bunch of bums, thugs and teenagers hanging around the park all day long, endlessly recharging their phones, iPods and computers on electricity that we the taxpayers ultimately pay for. Now, usually, people told "Don't plug in your phone at that outlet, it's not for public use," will say "Sorry, officer, I didn't realize it," or at worst, mutter, "Screw you, pig" under their breath, while they unplug their device, and move on.

SOME people seem to think that they have to do more than that. These are the ones the cops wind up arresting, beating, and often doing worse than that to. I have to admit, I don't get it either. Nobody likes being told what to do; but then nobody likes going to jail either. Is it really so hard to just say "Sorry, I didn't realize it," and move on? Is it really so hard to be polite for two minutes and NOT ARGUE as opposed to screaming at a guy who, whatever philosophical differences you've got with the police, has no power to change the law he is paid to enforce? If your options are a) be polite and don't go to jail or b) piss off the cop and go to jail, why pick b)?

I await your answer with interest.


Answer

/no, I'm not calling you an asshole, it's the name of the article.
 
2012-11-13 12:05:28 AM

Derigiberble: sparkeyjames: The thing that disturbs me most about this article is that there is a disabled homeless person
living in a public park. Does not Social Security disability cover a person who is disabled by a stroke?

Likely it does but there's no way to force somebody to take SSDI and where would they get the check sent?

We are in trouble. Any aid program will be opposed by the FYGM crowd, despite the fact that it is actually cheaper in the long run to just straight up give them housing (living outside is hell on your health and that results in a ton of ER visits). So we end up with the current situation where local government and police try to make life for the homeless as unpleasant as possible in the hope that they go away. The ideal situation would be to offer all the help possible, including a place to live where one can drink their liver into swiss cheese if someone so chooses, and then force anyone who refuses to take it into the treatment system it on the grounds to a mentally competent person wouldn't voluntarily live under a bridge. But because there has been so much bad faith attempts to "fix" the homeless problem under that guise the ability of cities to force people into treatment or housing is severely limited due to successful lawsuits from the ACLU and other groups. Also you'd end up with a massive free rider problem as every single city in the US would pay for one-way bus fare to any city that implements such a program to make the homeless not their problem anymore. The complete systemic solution is blocked, but more safety nets would certainly help and are badly needed. In the mean time people need to stop giving handouts to panhandlers and direct it to local charities instead.

It really sucks because those that are chronically homeless quite frankly give homelessness a bad image, if that makes sense. The guy you see every day on the corner isn't the true face of the majority of homeless: it is the woman and kids living out of a car in th ...


Many "homeless" don't want housing. They've got a different day-to-day psychology of living on the street and where-you-find-it. They won't be able to maintain a home even if you give them one.

There's a lot of good reasons homeless avoid the homeless shelters, even. No dogs, no secure storage for the shopping cart and no way to "watch it", you'll get your iPhone stolen. Made the case that camping under a bridge with some other guys you "know" is far safer than dealing with the drunks and thieves around the shelters you'd be forced to sleep next to.
 
2012-11-13 12:05:47 AM

StoPPeRmobile: Try a few more interactions.


Well, I'll grant you there is one Hell of a difference between when you have money and when you don't. I attribute that mostly to the entity that employs the cop. If you are homeless, get yourself to Goodwill or equivalent and buy a decent-looking shirt or two for a buck. You will be amazed how much better your life will be compared to going around in your wife beater. Also, a shaver is more important to your well being than a cell phone.
 
2012-11-13 12:05:59 AM
I thought Obama was going to save up we al get a free electric car and a unicorn and legal weed.
 
2012-11-13 12:06:08 AM
Most cell phones cost less then 40cents per year to charge, some beefier ones like the new Galaxy or the iPhone5 cost around 50cents per year.

How much did the arrest cost the tax payers of Sarasota? If you go by the bail of $500 which it supposed to compensate the taxpayers then it cost residence +1000% more to arrest this guy then it would have cost them to let him to charge his phone...for a year.
 
2012-11-13 12:06:26 AM

Gyrfalcon: OnlyM3: This About That

I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.
You explain white knighting these law breaking bullies and I'll explain the mouthing off.

We pay police to enforce laws that we vote on, or empower our elected officials to enact, because we feel that these laws are necessary to the functioning of our society. And we empower the police to enforce these laws because we as society don't want a bunch of bums, thugs and teenagers hanging around the park all day long, endlessly recharging their phones, iPods and computers on electricity that we the taxpayers ultimately pay for. Now, usually, people told "Don't plug in your phone at that outlet, it's not for public use," will say "Sorry, officer, I didn't realize it," or at worst, mutter, "Screw you, pig" under their breath, while they unplug their device, and move on.

SOME people seem to think that they have to do more than that. These are the ones the cops wind up arresting, beating, and often doing worse than that to. I have to admit, I don't get it either. Nobody likes being told what to do; but then nobody likes going to jail either. Is it really so hard to just say "Sorry, I didn't realize it," and move on? Is it really so hard to be polite for two minutes and NOT ARGUE as opposed to screaming at a guy who, whatever philosophical differences you've got with the police, has no power to change the law he is paid to enforce? If your options are a) be polite and don't go to jail or b) piss off the cop and go to jail, why pick b)?

I await your answer with interest.


And more than a few Farkers would have us believe that they would stand up to the cop, put him in his place by pointing out that they were his boss, and then laugh as the cop left with his proverbial tail tucked between his legs.
 
2012-11-13 12:06:41 AM

whatshisname: Gyrfalcon: If your options are a) be polite and don't go to jail or b) piss off the cop and go to jail, why pick b)?

Because sometimes the cop is just throwing his weight around and being a power-tripping dick? I'm not homeless and about as straight as they come, but I've experienced it a few times. Respect earns respect and some officials have no idea how to treat people with respect.


That's true. But that's my point. The cop may be an asshole. He probably is being an asshole. But if you can be polite and not go to jail WHY are you choosing the alternative? What are you going to get out of the encounter, except an arrest record? You are going to get zero life points for treating the cop like an asshole back while you're getting cuffed and thrown into the back of his cruiser, and even if the arrest is bogus (like this one was) and you are not charged, guess what? You still have an arrest record and that will never go away.

Which is fine if you plan never to have a job that requires you to disclose if you have ever been arrested (as opposed to convicted); or if you never need a new apartment that runs a background check, or have a credit check run, or get a traffic ticket again. Trust me, I got arrested in 1986, long before records were computerized, and I was never charged (and hence never convicted) and that thing still causes me issues. And I'm a white middle-aged female with no other negative cop interactions. I'd hate to be a young black male nowadays with a couple of minor arrests--so tell me again why mouthing off to a dick cop and turning a minor harassment into a misdemeanor arrest is so much more important than shutting up for a minute or two, letting the cop win the cock-sparring contest, and walking away free?
 
2012-11-13 12:07:44 AM

sparkeyjames: The thing that disturbs me most about this article is that there is a disabled homeless person
living in a public park. Does not Social Security disability cover a person who is disabled by a stroke?


Here's my CSB.

My wife had a stroke in 2004. It turns out that she sustained a pretty severe TBI from it. It's a long story, but she's never going to work again.

After filing for disability, Social Security denied it instantly. Then they denied the appeal- without actually having looked at it. The response letter they sent had zero facts other than my address and the date correct, but there was no recourse other than to lawyer up.

So we did.

And now we wait 18 months and hope we don't get the administrative law judge that only grants 5% of cases. And that's assuming that nothing else happens along the way. When we get denied at the next stage, we appeal and go further, and eventually we have to fight it out in Federal court.

The funny thing is- my wife's last job was at Social Security.

The system is royally and totally farked.
 
2012-11-13 12:07:56 AM
You do need an address to get the "Obamaphone" but there are several places that provide addresses for the homeless to get mail!

When one gets an EBT card you have to sign a form that says you CANNOT use any of the benefits for alcohol, or tobacco and if you get caught doing so you could lose all benefits! Therefore you must go to an ATM and get cash for that stuff!
 
2012-11-13 12:08:02 AM

Gyrfalcon: I got arrested in 1986


go on...
 
2012-11-13 12:08:37 AM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: skullkrusher: poot_rootbeer: This About That: I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.

The first 11 times I get harassed by a dick with a badge when I'm doing nothing illegal, I will be all no sir, I'm sorry sir, thank you.

The twelfth time I might "mouth off".

unless you're guilty of being black, what the fark are you doing to get harassed by the cops 11 times?

He's homeless and sleeping in a park, in a city that's famous for being "mean" to homeless people. Why would he need to do anything else?


poot_rootbeer?
 
2012-11-13 12:10:29 AM

LavenderWolf: skullkrusher: poot_rootbeer: This About That: I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.

The first 11 times I get harassed by a dick with a badge when I'm doing nothing illegal, I will be all no sir, I'm sorry sir, thank you.

The twelfth time I might "mouth off".

unless you're guilty of being black, what the fark are you doing to get harassed by the cops 11 times?

You don't think that shiat happens? I get stopped and harassed at least every other month. I'm polite, employed, well-groomed, white bread as it gets. And in Canada no less. I had 6 guns drawn on me when I was 14. Had a cop try to intimidate me into confessing to a crime I didn't commit. Despite having a 100% clean record and having assisted the police on several occasions.


Cops are generally, though not always, looking to start trouble. In my experience.


happened to me once. Open container, got locked up for the night for it. Absolute concerted effort on the part of the Worcester PD to crack down on college kids except I was 23 at the time and back visiting. I can see it happening as a one off sort of thing but if you're constantly getting harassed by the cops and you're a regular joe white guy, you're probably doing it wrong
 
2012-11-13 12:11:00 AM

whatshisname: sethen320: Please tell me that's not an instagram pic. I really want to like it.

I dunno, it's got that "Polaroid sitting in your sock drawer since 1978" filter that all the Instagram photos seem to have.


Dammit, and it's such a cool photo.
 
2012-11-13 12:11:04 AM

Smingleigh: If we let a homeless person charge his or her phone with public electricity, what next? Can they moor their yachts on public piers? Should they land their planes on public airfields? It's a slippery slope, and there isn't an easy answer to the problem.


Hear hear and by jorry by jingo!
 
2012-11-13 12:13:46 AM
Homeless people have iPhones nowadays? fark, I can't even afford an iPhone.

/poor college student.
 
2012-11-13 12:14:49 AM
Sounds like they are going to be rid of their homeless problem by eventually giving them all a reason to sue the city and win a big settlement...brilliant solution!
 
2012-11-13 12:15:19 AM

dopekitty74: I lived on the streets in Edmonton for a couple of weeks in 2008 and charged my phone at public outlets all over the downtown area. I never once was harassed by a cop, though I did see a few around.


They were probably all too amazed that you stayed in Edmonton instead of catching the first bus south or west like everyone else.
 
2012-11-13 12:15:28 AM
We can either export the homeless to have them studied and their nutrients extracted, or else we can issue them shovels so that they may dig their way down and stay with the Mole People. But I certainly don't believe that they should be allowed to bathe in the public drinking supply.
 
2012-11-13 12:15:55 AM

sethen320: EKU Colonel: I kind of skimmed through the comments, but did anyone ask why a homeless guy has a phone? How does he pay for it? Who is he expecting calls from? Is it an Obamaphone, because I'm pretty sure you still need a real address for those.

I'm hopefully that he got it because he's expecting a call back on some applications he's filled out, but the cynic in me doubts that

Ok, let's play along and do the math. Let's say it's a Verizon phone, which can get pretty pricey. It costs him what, $100/month? Now let's say that he chooses not to get a phone and instead rent an apartment so that he's not one of those icky homeless people. All he has to do is find an apartment which is $100/month! Voila!

Of course that doesn't include food, utilities, transportation (to get to a job so he doesn't have to be homeless), and a small amount for entertainment (human beings can not be expected to sit and stare at the walls constantly when they aren't working). So, given this scenario, can you locate an apartment which costs $100/month to rent?

Ok, let's get more realistic and assume it's a prepaid device which can be had for maybe $20/month. Yes, I agree that most of the time a phone is a luxury, but in this case the guy is homeless with nothing. He doesn't have jack-shiat. If he can scrape up 20 bucks a month then thats enough to have a phone and nowhere near enough to have a place to crash. Do you expect him to "save up" and pay rent every 8 months (assuming $400/month)? I don't know how lucrative begging is, so I may be wrong on this assumption.

I don't know his particular situation, he may be lazy, he may be stubborn, or he may have mental issues which happens to be VERY common among homeless people. If he's living in a park and still has a cell phone I doubt laziness applies here.

"Obamaphone"...I am not a fan of the president but whenever I see anyone attach the word "Obama" to the front of anything they don't like I automatically snicker because it's so damn cute to watch you partisan guys bicker back and forth. And by partisan I mean the elephants and the donkeys.

In the end though, I find it absolutely awesome that a cop made the conscious decision to arrest someone for using an outlet sitting in plain view to consume probably less than a penny, and all you wanna know is why the guy had the audacity to have a phone.


I'm not saying he had the audacity to have a phone. And I don't know what to call the phone other than an "Obamaphone" (and I voted for the guy).

I just find it odd that he was charging a cell phone because it is not something one would expect a homeless person to prioritize. Like I said, I'm hoping he is using it because he isn't lazy and is putting in applications to not be homeless anymore.
 
2012-11-13 12:17:16 AM

antiFodder: fnordfocus: Philbb: He had at least one night sleeping under a roof and most likely had at least two meals. We're not talking about prison here. We're talking about a local jail which could very well be nicer than any other place he'd spent the night in some time. All for the cost of having a misdemeanor on his record.

Having a misdemeanor on your record, or even an arrest nowadays, pretty much guarantees he will never be able to leave a life of homelessness.

It will disqualify him from shelters, public assistance, and nearly all jobs.

imgs.xkcd.com


Seconded. I've only ever been asked about felonies.
 
2012-11-13 12:17:24 AM

antiFodder: It will disqualify him from shelters, public assistance, and nearly all jobs.


Have you ever filled out a job application? They all ask for your criminal record, and most ask if you have ever been arrested. With double-digit unemployment, can you possibly imaging that they wouldn't just shred it if you check "yes?"

Here is a sample homeless shelter policy. You need to pass a criminal records check, which will show any arrests or convictions.

As far as benefits, the last few decades "tough on crime" means you lose most benefits. For example, if you've been in jail for 30 days, you lose Social Security and have to petition for a chance to get it back on the rolls, but I suspect nobody ever gets approved.
 
2012-11-13 12:17:46 AM

HotWingAgenda: LavenderWolf: I had 6 guns drawn on me when I was 14

That sounds like a scene from a Tarantino film.


It felt so surreal. Friend and I waiting for a third friend, around the corner from my decidedly suburban home. Cop car skids to a sideways stop just feet away, followed by two more to box us in from other directions. Two cops in each car pop out, pistols aimed at us. We had done NOTHING.
 
2012-11-13 12:18:38 AM

LavenderWolf: HotWingAgenda: LavenderWolf: I had 6 guns drawn on me when I was 14

That sounds like a scene from a Tarantino film.

It felt so surreal. Friend and I waiting for a third friend, around the corner from my decidedly suburban home. Cop car skids to a sideways stop just feet away, followed by two more to box us in from other directions. Two cops in each car pop out, pistols aimed at us. We had done NOTHING.


what did they think you'd done?
 
2012-11-13 12:18:52 AM

Lehk: Philbb: He had at least one night sleeping under a roof and most likely had at least two meals. We're not talking about prison here. We're talking about a local jail which could very well be nicer than any other place he'd spent the night in some time. All for the cost of having a misdemeanor on his record.

he doesn't have anything on his record, the judge threw it out


Aye, that was the result. But, he didn't know that would happen when he was dealing with the cop.
 
2012-11-13 12:19:15 AM

EKU Colonel: I just find it odd that he was charging a cell phone because it is not something one would expect a homeless person to prioritize


Communication is the first thing you should prioritize if you're homeless. If you're homeless, a phone is your most valuable tool for NOT being homeless. No phone number, no email... no way you're getting off the street.
 
2012-11-13 12:19:43 AM

I_Can't_Believe_it's_not_Boutros: They should charge him with battery.


Finally!!!!!

Most Farkworthy comment here!
 
2012-11-13 12:19:45 AM

EKU Colonel: Like I said, I'm hoping he is using it because he isn't lazy and is putting in applications to not be homeless anymore.


Homeless people do have lives apart from sleeping it off on park benches. I guess $10-20 a month to keep in touch with friends and family is worth it. Cell phones are probably a great convenience for them. No address needed like with a land line.
 
2012-11-13 12:20:56 AM

skullkrusher: LavenderWolf: skullkrusher: poot_rootbeer: This About That: I do not understand this seemingly irresistible urge to mouth off to a cop.

The first 11 times I get harassed by a dick with a badge when I'm doing nothing illegal, I will be all no sir, I'm sorry sir, thank you.

The twelfth time I might "mouth off".

unless you're guilty of being black, what the fark are you doing to get harassed by the cops 11 times?

You don't think that shiat happens? I get stopped and harassed at least every other month. I'm polite, employed, well-groomed, white bread as it gets. And in Canada no less. I had 6 guns drawn on me when I was 14. Had a cop try to intimidate me into confessing to a crime I didn't commit. Despite having a 100% clean record and having assisted the police on several occasions.


Cops are generally, though not always, looking to start trouble. In my experience.

happened to me once. Open container, got locked up for the night for it. Absolute concerted effort on the part of the Worcester PD to crack down on college kids except I was 23 at the time and back visiting. I can see it happening as a one off sort of thing but if you're constantly getting harassed by the cops and you're a regular joe white guy, you're probably doing it wrong


Doing what wrong? Walking to work?
 
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