TRI in the News


Dana Crow-Smith Told She Cannot Hand Out Water in Phoenix in 112 Degree Heat


By Michael Allen
August 21, 2012

From Opposing Views

Original article available here

Dana Crow-Smith was told by a Phoenix, Arizona city official that she could not hand out free bottled water to people in 112 degree heat, last month.

Crow-Smith said a Neighborhood Preservation Inspector came up to her and her group during the First Friday festival and said that they were violating the law by handing out free water without a permit, reports ABC-15.

Crow-Smith and her group were handing out water and engaging people in discussions about religion.

Crow-Smith told ABC-15: “It was really hot and yeah we wanted to show God's love and a small act of kindness is a great way to do that without shoving it down someone's throat.”

Now, the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization, is representing Crow-Smith and calling this is “a violation of Crow-Smith's First Amendment right to freely exercise her religion, her Fourteenth Amendment due process rights, as well as Arizona's Free Exercise of Religion Act.”

John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, demanded the city of Phoenix issue a written apology to Crow-Smith and assure her no city officials will interfere with her distribution of water. He also wants the city to require workers go through training on the proper enforcement of the city code.