Michigan business owners in uproar after city decriminalizes urination and defecation in public

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Business owners in Kalamazoo, Michigan are furious after city leaders voted to decriminalize public urination, defecation and littering, among other offenses, all under the guise of “equitable change.”

Becky Bil and Cherri Emery spoke with “Fox & Friends First” host Todd Piro on Thursday, raising concerns about the devastating effects that could result.

“I’m not having a horrible time outside of my particular store…but my neighbor had human feces outside his door,” Bil said. The Pop City Popcorn co-owner also pointed to her neighboring store owner’s struggle with increased litter, a struggle she says continues despite ambassadors coming to the area to help clean up.

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Emery, who owns a chocolate factory and cafe in Kalamazoo, however, said she has witnessed first-hand the consequences of the city’s lenient rulers.

“One day we kept smelling something in the back of the store…and it was human feces,” she said.

“I called my landlord and no one did anything. That was before we had ambassadors…so I had to clean up myself.”

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Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell looks at a newly unveiled city limit sign honoring the Kalamazoo Promise, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell looks at a newly unveiled city limit sign honoring the Kalamazoo Promise, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)
(The Associated Press)

Bil shared that the city recently installed an approximately $100,000 fully furnished restroom near the Kalamazoo mall — home to Bil and Emery’s businesses — to help reduce urine and feces on the streets. She adds, however, that the new bathroom is often locked.

“I don’t know how effective it is if no one can actually use it,” she said.

Emery described some challenges his employees faced on the way to work.

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“It’s not just the urination part. What really bothers us is people approaching other people, people following some of their employees to their cars and asking them for money. , and when they get to the car, and they still don’t give them any money, we had a guy start throwing rocks at their cars…” she said.

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