Police in a small Louisiana city said they’re trying to curb homelessness and begging, but they’re doing it in an unapologetic way.
According to a report from ABC, they arrested 59-year-old Franklin Jones, who begs near an intersection. They can’t arrest him for begging, but took him in for public intoxication and stealing a shopping cart.
However, when they searched his pockets, they found $800 in cash–meaning, he’s probably making a decent living via begging.
“Transients, also known as beggars or homeless, are often a hot topic of debate for Slidell residents. There are people who feel these individuals all need to be arrested. Some feel they should offer help,” a Facebook post from the Sidell Police Department reads. “Literally, every day, someone either calls Slidell Police or sends us a message on Facebook asking us to do something about this problem.”
Some people, who have offered help, spoke up.
We continue to offer help, but when you can make $800 in less than a week by “begging”, some people say, “Why get a real job?” We’ve found jobs for people. We’ve offered assistance by bringing some of these individuals to rehab facilities. Bottom line is, it’s up to the individual person if they want help or not. All we can do is guide them in the right direction. We can’t force people to do things…
Slidell Police does their best to address these issues by following the letter of the law and ensuring that no one’s rights are violated. There is no easy solution to this problem, and quite frankly, it is a much bigger and deeper issue than strictly a police matter. We hope this sheds some light for our Slidell residents and hopefully answered any questions or concerns about this issue.
However, as a result of the department posting up photos of Jones on Facebook, people said it amounted to social media “shaming.” Later, the department took the posts down.