The San Antonio Police Department — known for its strict measures against homeless people — announced that it had fired a five-year veteran police officer after he attempted to feed a homeless man a “fecal sandwich” in May.
According to the department’s statement, police officer Matthew Luckhurst bragged to a fellow officer about trying to feed the man human feces before his unnamed colleague reported the incident to the internal affairs in July.
“This was a vile and disgusting act that violates our guiding principles of ‘treating all with integrity, compassion, fairness and respect,’” Chief William McManus said in a statement Friday. “The fact that his fellow officers were so disgusted with his actions that they reported him to Internal Affairs demonstrates that this type of behavior will never be tolerated.”
In 2014, however, McManus wanted to make giving money to homeless people a crime but the idea was shelved after public outcry.
The decision to fire Luckhurst was based on recommendations by two separate review boards which were upheld by McManus. The Associated Press reported that at least two officers reported the incidents to internal affairs.
However, Luckhurst’s lawyer told the San Antonio Express-News, which first reported the story, that his client would appeal the decision and denied that the incident had taken place ever and his comments were a “joke.”
According to the local San Antonio Current, the police issued more than 12,000 citations in 22 months between 2013 and 2014 related to “violations of city laws aimed at discouraging the homeless and poor from hanging out downtown or asking for donations.”
The newspaper said homeless people were charged with aggressive solicitation — seeking donations in an intimidating manner — solicitation within forbidden zones, camping in a public place, littering, spitting, urinating or defecating in public, disorderly conduct and sitting or lying in manners obstructing the public’s right of way.
According to Haven For Hope, there are almost 3,000 homeless people in the city, of whom 42 percent have no shelter and sleep in the streets.
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