ACLU sues over Albuquerque panhandling ordinance

January 15, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has filed a lawsuit over an Albuquerque panhandling ordinance that went into effect last month.

The ordinance passed by the Albuquerque City Council prohibits panhandlers from soliciting motorists at medians and sidewalks. It also makes it illegal for motorists to physically interact with them.

City Councilor Trudy Jones sponsored the measure. She says the intent of it is to make streets safer.

The ACLU filed the federal lawsuit last week on behalf of five Albuquerque residents, including a woman who is homeless and another who regularly donates to panhandlers. The ACLU says the ordinance criminalizes poverty, and violates the free speech rights.

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