Note that the police chief admits that the new ordinance is intended to harass people who have no home to go to. This is a good example of government kicking people who are already down. It’s also a good example of the selective enforcement of the law. We see selective enforcement all the time, usually when a government official or corporate officer is slapped on the wrist for committing an offense most of us would go to jail for. Outlawing sleeping in public is the same principle, played out at the bottom of the social ladder.
It’s also interesting that the two citizens quoted in this story speak perfect sense, while the government representative admits to flagrant injustice in the way in which the ordinance is to be enforced.
ROSELLE PARK, N.J. (1010 WINS) — Getting some shuteye in one New Jersey town could land you in hot water, depending on where you lay your head, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports.
In Roselle Park, it is against the law and you could be fined or arrested for sleeping in public.
One resident couldn’t help but laugh when she heard the news.
“Isn’t that a little crazy? I mean, if you fall asleep, like if I were to sit down on this bench and wait for a bus and I fell asleep, that’s against the law?” she said. “Don’t you think that’s a little crazy?”
Even though that’s the letter of the law, Police Chief Paul Morrison said drowsy drivers and napping babies need not worry.
“This ordinance was amended to help assist the police in addressing the increasing problem of homeless people sleeping on benches,” Morrison said.
Business owners said they’re a nuisance and eyesore, but one resident disagreed with the adopted solution.
“It would be easier if they would help them out,” he said.
From CBS New York.