COPS CAN’T TICKET YOU FOR PANHANDLING!
Last week–as a result of a Federal District Court ruling that a Grand Junction panhandling ordinance is UNCONSTITUTIONAL (because it violates a person’s free speech rights)–Denver Police Chief Robert White instructed all Denver Police Department officers to stop ticketing people under the Denver Panhandling Ordinance (Section 38-132)!
This means cops SHOULD NOT ticket you for sitting or standing on public space asking for money, or flying a sign to do so, EVEN IF IT’S:
# Near a public toilet (public toilet?? What’s that???)
# Near an ATM machine
# Near a bus or shuttle stop
# Near the entrance to a building
# After dark
# Near an outdoor patio where food or drinks are served
BUT–You CAN still be ticketed if, in the course of panhandling, you:
* Touch or cause physical contact with someone against their will
* Interfere with the safe or free passage of a pedestrian or vehicle
* Use violent or threatening gestures or abusive language toward someone
* Along with others, act in an intimidating way as you approach or follow someone
* Remain on private property after being asked to stop or leave
* Are on or near a street or highway
City Council will be reviewing the current (suspended) panhandling ordinance and may make changes to eliminate the UNCONSTITUTIONAL parts. We will keep you updated!
Meanwhile…if you DO get harassed or ticketed or told to stop panhandling, in violation of Chief White’s order–LET US KNOW by stopping in at our office at 2260 California St (the purple Centro Humanitario building), or by contacting us at:
720.940.5291 — firstname.lastname@example.org