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ACLU Sues On Behalf Of Indianapolis Poor Who Asked For Money

downtown panhandling

Photo: Steve Baker (flickr)

The city-council council has been considering an ordinance that would ban panhandling in downtown Indianapolis.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of four people who the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department allegedly told to move because they were asking for money in downtown Indianapolis.

“Persons are allowed to passively solicit funds from people under Indiana law and under Marion County ordinances, and recently it appears that there has been a concerted effort by the city of Indianapolis from stop persons from engaging in that activity which is protected under the first amendment,” ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk said.

A spokesperson for the IMPD said it is the department’s policy not to comment on pending litigation.

As we reported in March during his state of the city address, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard proposed a ban on panhandling in the city’s downtown. However, the ban needed the approval of the city-county council, which postponed a vote on the measure late last month.

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