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City won’t enforce new panhandling ordinance during lawsuit

October 13, 2019


ON HOLD — AND IT COULD STAY THAT WAY FOR A LONG TIME. THE CITY HAS AGREED TO SUSPEND THE LAW UNTIL A JUDGE CAN DECIDE IF IT )S CONSTITUTIONAL. NEWS 13 )S JACKIE KENT IS LIVE AT COAL AND I-25 WITH WHY THE CITY PUT A STOP TO ITS OWN ORDINANCE… JACKIE. DEAN/JESSICA… THE A-C-L-U SAYS IT )S A WIN BECAUSE PANHANDLERS WHO WORK OFF-RAMPS LIKE THIS ONE… NOW DON )T HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR OF BEING CITED OR ARRESTED WHILE TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING. PANHANDLERS AT FREEWAY OFF- RAMPS AND ALONG ALBUQUERQUE INTERSECTIONS. Joseph Lannonde, Albuquerque: I do see panhandlers a lot, especially down off the freeway around the exits. SOME PEOPLE AREN )T HESITANT TO SAY IT )S A NUISANCE. Samantha Korse, Albuquerque: I do see it as a problem. I don )t think the laws prohibiting it are bad. NOW THE CITY )S EFFORT TO PUT A STOP TO IT THROUGH THE NEW PANHANDLING ORDINANCE THAT KEEPS PEOPLE FROM SOLICITING MONEY FROM DRIVERS — IS ON HOLD. THE U-S DISTRICT COURT LAST WEEK APPROVED THIS JOINT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY AND THE A-C-L-U… SAYING POLICE OFFICERS AND OTHER CITY WORKERS CANNOT ORDER ANYONE TO REFRAIN FROM PANHANDLING OR ORDER THEM TO LEAVE A PUBLIC PLACE. Maria Martinez Sanchez, ACLU Staff Attorney: People who are using the solicitation of donations as a means of surviving can go back to that without fear of arrest, without fear of citation. THIS– IN RESPONSE TO THE ACLU )S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY LAST MONTH… CLAIMING THE ORDINANCE IS AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL ATTEMPT TO GET RID OF PANHANDLERS BY CRIMINALIZING FREE SPEECH IN PUBLIC AREAS. AS WE )VE REPORTED — THE CITY HASN )T BEEN ENFORCING THE LAW SINCE IT WENT INTO EFFECT IN EARLY DECEMBER, APD SAYS IT WILL KEEP TRAINING OFFICERS ON THE LAW IN CASE A JUDGE EVENTUALLY SIGNS OFF ON IT.. Gilbert Gallegos, APD Communications Director: … gives us more of an opportunity to add additional resources, create resources and more training for our officers to educate the public and eventually implement the ordinance, depending on what goes on in court. APD SAYS THEY )VE ALREADY MADE A BROCHURE TO HAND OUT TO PANHANDLERS ABOUT CITY RESOURCES FOR THE HOMELESS. NO COURT DATES HAVE BEEN SET FOR THE LAWSUIT. JESSICA… BACK TO YOU. OKAY, JACKIE. THE CITY COUNCILOR BEHIND THE NEW ORDINANCE CLAIMS THE LAW IS MEANT TO KEEP PEDESTRIANS SAFE — BY LIMITING WHERE THEY CAN STAND AND BY BANNING THE EXCHANGE OF MONEY IN THE STREET. CRITICS CALL IT A THINLY VEILED CRACKDOWN ON PANHANDLERS. THE MAN ACCUSED OF BEATING A WOMAN WITH A

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