ACLU suit: Akron panhandling law is abused, unconstitutional

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is suing a northeast Ohio city over an ordinance that forces panhandlers to register with the city, wear identification badges and restricts the activity to daylight hours.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Akron federal court states the law is only enforced against people perceived as poor or homeless, and not against others who ask for money, such as those connected with nonprofit groups.

The ACLU says the ordinance violates the constitutional rights of panhandlers and that police abuse the law to relocate homeless people.

The group is asking the judge to deem the law unconstitutional. The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages and attorneys’ fees.

A city spokeswoman says they haven’t been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment.

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