Cranston acknowledges panhandling ban unconstitutional

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Cranston panhandler Michael Monteiro_237175

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The city of Cranston has acknowledged that an ordinance that banned panhandling was unconstitutional, and it agreed to stop enforcing it as part of a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Under a consent judgment filed Wednesday in federal court, the city also agreed to pay $1,500 to a man who was cited by police for soliciting donations at an intersection. The city acknowledged it violated Michael Monteiro’s First Amendment rights.

It will also pay $5,000 in legal fees and court costs.

The city did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Thursday.

The ACLU says the outcome is an important victory against the criminalization of poverty.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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