ACLU: OKC panhandling ordinance “criminalizes poverty”

ACLU: OKC panhandling ordinance “criminalizes poverty”

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO)-The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting a recently-tweaked ordinance in Oklahoma City on panhandling.

The original ordinance, passed in 2015, limited panhandling based on the size of the median where it was done, but after a vote this week, it will only affect people on medians where the speed limit is less than 40 miles per hour. It is set to go into effect on December 7th.

The ACLU says the ordinance limits free speech and is therefore unconstitutional.

"You can't target the poor, you can't criminalize poverty simply to improve the image of your city," said Brady Henderson.

The Oklahoma Muscular Dystrophy Association says the edit to the ordinance should help their "Fill the Boot" campaign. An executive with the association says she believes this should open up about 100 intersections in Oklahoma City for firefighters to ask for donations.

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