Norma Thornton Wiki, Bio, Age, Family, Career, Charged, Arrested

Norma Thornton Wiki – Norma Thornton Bio

Norma Thornton was arrested on March 8 after giving homemade food to homeless people in a public park in violation of a city ordinance.

A retired restaurant owner is suing an Arizona city after she was arrested for giving meals to homeless people at a local park without a permit, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Norma Thornton, a Bullhead City resident in the northwestern region of the state, was arrested on March 8 after she fed homeless people homemade food in a public park in violation of an ordinance the city passed. last year. According to the Associated Press, the arrest made Thornton the first person arrested under the law, making it a crime to share prepared food in a public park “for charitable purposes” without a permit. However, residents can provide food on private property or at social events.


Norma Thornton is 78 years old.

Charged & Arrested

“I had just finished serving about 26 or 27 people, and the last person that came by, he was scraping the bottom of my pans, I finished the food, I gave him, and as he was walking away, these two police officers came,” Thornton said. to the Institute for Justice, whose attorneys represent Thornton. The Institute of Justice has also released a video showing an officer arresting Thornton after apparently consulting with a superior over the phone. The video shows the officer telling his superior, “I think this is a public relations nightmare, but it’s okay.”

The video then shows the officer telling Thornton that he has to arrest her but that he will not handcuff her. “Here’s the bad news… you’re under arrest for violating a city ordinance,” the officer tells him in the video. “Technically, I’m supposed to handcuff you and all that too, but I’m not going to do that because I think you’re a hardened criminal.” The officer also promised her that he would bring her back to the park after completing some minor paperwork and taking her fingerprints. But the officer issued Thornton a summons to appear in court, where she was told she could face up to four months in prison and $750 in fines. However, the city attorney soon dropped the case, noting that Thornton was simply unfamiliar with the new law.

Upset with the arrest, Thornton earlier this week filed a lawsuit against Bullhead City, claiming her constitutional right to perform charitable acts was violated and asked the court to strike down the city’s new ordinance. The suit noted that Thornton, who spent more than a decade as a restaurant owner and operator in Alaska, moved to the state in search of warm weather and decided to distribute home-cooked food after noticing a large number of homeless people in the city. . The suit further adds that Thornton knows the pain of sleeping on an empty stomach while she and her five children lived for six months in an old school bus while she looked for work after the death of her first husband.

“The idea of ​​people being hungry, I mean I’m not having a huge impact,” she said through tears in an Institute of Justice video, “but at least some people have enough food to survive.” Citing data from the US Census Bureau that reveals that 17 percent of Bullhead City’s more than 40,000 residents live below the poverty line, the lawsuit notes that there are only three pantries in the city, and They also have limited hours and food options for people.

The lawsuit alleges that “the conditions of the permit are so restrictive that, in practice, it is not a requirement of the permit but a categorical prohibition on giving prepared food to the needy in public parks.”
Since her arrest, Thornton has begun serving her home-cooked meals in a private alley owned by a local business, according to the complaint. “It’s not ideal: no tables, no grass,” Thornton says of the location in the video. “They get their food and just sit against a fence.”

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However, in response to the lawsuit, city officials said the video is misleading. Officials said the city decided to pass the Food Sharing Ordinance after years of receiving complaints from families who wanted to use city parks. “The ordinance does not prevent individuals or groups from distributing food or drink to a homeless person or any other person in a city park if the food or drink is ‘sealed prepackaged food’ readily available at points of sale.” sale and intended for direct consumption of the package,” they said in a statement.

“People are free to serve food to any homeless person at their place of residence, church, or private property,” added Mayor Tom Brady. “Our ordinance applies only to public parks.

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