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El Cajon Dropping Charges Against A Dozen People Arrested For Feeding Homeless

Demonstrators protest El Cajon's city ordinance banning people from feeding t...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Demonstrators protest El Cajon's city ordinance banning people from feeding the homeless in public spaces, Nov. 24, 2017.

The city of El Cajon said they will not be perusing any charges against a dozen people arrested at Wells Park on Jan. 14 for feeding people who were homeless.

In a statement to KPBS, a city spokesman said, "in light of the lifting of the declaration of the public health emergency by the County of San Diego which occurred shortly after the citations were issued, the City Attorney’s Office has determined that dismissing the charges is appropriate since there is no longer any need to obtain compliance with the City’s Urgency Ordinance."

RELATED: Homeless Rights Advocacy Group To Speak Out After Members Arrested For Feeding Homeless

Those arrested were part of a homeless advocacy group called Break the Ban. After the incident, they promised legal action against El Cajon. But a city spokesman said they are not currently involved in any pending lawsuits. Break the Ban organizer Mark Lane was one of those arrested and he said he was afraid El Cajon could set a precedent.

“If you let one city do that with no push back, other cities are watching and other cities are paying attention," Lane said.

The ordinance was enacted last October in the middle of a countywide hepatitis A health emergency. After that emergency was lifted, so was the food-sharing ban.

The city of El Cajon said they will not be perusing any charges against a dozen people arrested at Wells Park on Jan. 14 for feeding people who were homeless.

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Photo of Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman
Health Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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