Should the Homeless be Arrested?

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Should the Homeless be Arrested?

Katrina Armosolo

Katrina Armosolo

Katrina Armosolo

Ariel Torres, Opinion Editor

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Many Americans go through the suffering of not having a home to go to. During their lifetime; conditions for homeless people are hard enough, and the law doesn’t make it any easier. In an article by LaWeekly, they say, “The minor offenses from which homeless people are often arrested and ticketed include sleeping on the sidewalk, living in a car and low-level drug possession. But of course, those fines might not be easily payable by those living on the street.” The government makes it even more difficult for them by kicking them off certain streets. In LA, there are city officials who declare and move the homeless people to certain areas. If they do not move, they risk arrest. Homeless people should not be arrested for sleeping in the only place they could find.
Homeless people are a target for many things, especially the police. Many of these people have done nothing to cause the police to bother them time and time again, just for needing somewhere to stay. In an article by The Appeal, a woman in San Diego is facing re-arrest because she, “…walks down the wrong streets”. She is not an offender, she was a nursing student that just got evicted. She has a baby and a shelter to stay at for now, but since the shelter is in a place the city declared for her as a, “stay away zone” she must find somewhere else or risk being arrested once more.
Police seem to arrest the homeless when they are only trying to maintain a living. In an article by The Appeal, they also state, “Every day, law enforcement officers across the country issue tickets to those experiencing homelessness as they engage in basic, life-sustaining behaviors, like sleeping on the streets or cooking a meal in public on a griddle. Prosecutors then frequently charge those individuals with crimes.” The city is persecuting these humans who are only trying to survive.
The criminalization of homelessness is growing, and it is showing no sign of stopping. In many cities across America, city officials are issuing citations to the homeless. In Dallas, police distributed more than 11,000 citations for “sleeping in public”. Clearly, the law makes homlessess people trying to survive a crime. From sleeping, lying down in public, and walking on sidewalks, they are charged and ticketed for it. How does the city expect them to pay it back? What do they get from doing this?
I believe homeless people should not be arrested because they are not doing anything wrong. They are only trying to survive in this world, but the government makes it way harder for them.