APD cited panhandlers despite court order to stop | KOB 4
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APD cited panhandlers despite court order to stop

Ryan Laughlin
July 18, 2018 07:09 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An attempt to limit panhandlers on the streets of Albuquerque has been challenged and now the ACLU is letting people know that it's their First Amendment right to hold signs on street corners.

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In November of 2017, the City of Albuquerque passed an ordinance that would have made it illegal to panhandle.

However, the ACLU challenged the ordinance and a court ordered was issued that was supposed to halt the enforcement.

“We've been doing significant outreach to the homeless community to one, educate them so that they should not be cited right now. And two, if they are cited, or even threatened to be cited they should come to us,” said ACLU attorney Maria Martinez Sanchez.

City officials said 35 citations were given despite instructions to stop.

The city has agreed to pay Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless $7,500 because it violated the court order.

Now some in the homeless community say they are seeing the number of panhandlers increase.

“Back then [panhandlers were on] every other street, on freeways, now it's not just the freeways it's all over the city,” said Frank Duran who’s been homeless for seven years.

The Albuquerque Police Department is investigating how they violated the court order and will release their findings when the investigation concludes.

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Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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