ACLU Sues Oklahoma City Over Panhandling Ordinance

Thursday, May 26th 2016, 5:47 pm

By: News 9

Medians at intersections all around Oklahoma City are clearing up.

“It makes me uncomfortable especially when I’m with my kids,” said resident Anne Kierl.

An ordinance banning panhandling from medians went into effect earlier this year. Since then police say they’ve written 25 citations.

Panhandlers say they’re technically no different from firefighters, who’ve been filling the boot for MDA this week. Police confirm they haven’t written any citations for firefighters raising money on roadways.

Even though firefighters were seen in roadways accepting money, fire officials say they are within ordinance guidelines. The ACLU says it is filing an injunction, saying it is treating citizens unfairly.

“The early discussions at city were not about public safety, they were about aesthetics. They were about a message they felt was sent by impoverished people’s standing in medians,” said ACLU Oklahoma Legal Director, Brady Henderson.

ACLU representatives hope to have to ordinance repealed.


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