HONOLULU (Reuters) – Facing criticism for his novel approach to Hawaii’s homeless problem, state lawmaker Tom Brower says he has put away the sledgehammer he was using to smash stolen or abandoned shopping carts used by the dispossessed to carry their belongings.
Brower, a Democrat whose district includes the beach-front tourist destination of Waikiki on the island of Oahu, has by his own estimate disabled about 30 shopping carts in a highly publicized campaign to crack down on the area’s homeless.
“I got tired of telling people, ‘I’m trying to pass laws.’ I wanted to do something practical, that will really clean up the streets,” he said in an interview broadcast by joint TV stations KGMB and KHNL, which also aired video of him smashing abandoned carts with a sledgehammer.
“I find abandoned junk, specifically shopping carts, and I remove them,” he said. “It creates a situation where those carts can’t be pushed around the city. I think it’s a good thing.”
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