California rabbi thinks authorities targeted him for helping the homeless

Rabbi Shlomo Cunin thinks Santa Monica went after him for "coming to feed God’s children."
By Evan Bleier  |  March 26, 2014 at 11:45 AM
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A California rabbi thinks the authorities in Santa Monica are after him because he is helping, not hurting, the homeless.

Rabbi Shlomo Cunin told CBS Los Angeles that he was handing out food when an officer gave him a ticket for having a handicap sign hanging in the rear-view mirror of his car. According to Cunin’s ticket, it was an obstruction of vision.

A second officer gave Cunin another ticket for parking in a bus zone. The “note” section of the ticket contained an annotation reading, “To feed homeless.”

“I said, ‘Well, we were pulled over by the other officer, that’s why I’m here.’ And he said, ‘No, no, no, no, no… you were parked here,’” Cunin said. “They don’t want Rabbi Cunin with his beard and black coat coming to feed God’s children.”

The Santa Monica Police Department has denied there was any hidden motive.

“We, at the Santa Monica Police Department, are actually homeless advocates ourselves. We work a lot with the homeless,” said Sgt. Jay Moroso. “One had seen one violation…that being the placard violation. And at pretty much the same time, the park ranger had seen the parking violation, so they both went to take enforcement action at the same time.”

Cunin is considering taking the matter to court.

[CBS Los Angeles]

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