St. Louis Will No Longer Pursue Charges Against Minister Who Fed Homeless

He allegedly violated a law against giving homeless unsafe food

Kevin Killeen
December 04, 2018 - 9:08 am
Old homeless man sleeping on bench

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — There'll be no fine or jail time for the local minister ticketed for handing out bologna sandwiches to the poor, but his case could soon serve as the impetus for a challenge in federal court.​

Ray Redlich's attorney says the city declined to pursue the case and the prosecutor told him he wasn't even sure what ordinance Redlich allegedly violated.

Freedom Center of Missouri attorney Dave Roland tells KMOX similar cases have been occurring in St. Louis and other major cities, so his group is planning to file a federal suit to challenge what he says is the harassment of people trying to help the poor.

Roland says that challenge could come within a few weeks.

Our earlier story...

He's accused of committing a crime with the homeless. This morning, a St. Louis minister will have his day in court.

The crime is considered a misdemeanor, but Ray Redlich was still issued a summons for it. 

Specifically, Redlich says he was caught giving sandwiches to the homeless on Halloween outside Christ Church cathederal downtown. The law is to protect the homeless from unsafe food, but Redlich says the sandwiches were from a certified church kitchen.

"Of course, they always mention the health and safety as the issue," he told KMOX's Kevin Killeen. "But that's really the surface issue. The issue for city leaders is they don't want these homeless (people) gathering downtown."

Redlich, who used to be a part of the now-closed New Life Evangelistic Center, says he's tired of that argument.

"Giving out the sandwiches does NOT create the need," Ridlich explained. "So, using the pigeon argument is only on a very superficial level. The need is there already! There are people that are homeless, there are people that are hungry!"

Redlich faces possible fines. His case was scheduled for the 9 a.m. docket today.

Related: Plans to Re-Open New Life Evangelistic Center Put on Hold Again