Panhandling Becomes A Crime In Minneapolis

<p>The Minneapolis City Council has approved a measure to crack down on panhandling.</p>
June 18, 2007, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The council voted 9-3 for the changes that include prohibiting verbal solicitation for money within 10 feet of a crosswalk, a convenience or liquor store, or within 50 feet of entrances and exits to parks or sporting arenas."

"The rules also would prohibit panhandling by groups of two or more people and asking for money at night."

"'This is not an ordinance against homelessness or poverty,' Council Member Ralph Remington, who co-authored the changes, said today. 'What we are addressing is aggressive behavior, not a socioeconomic group.'"

"Remington said the rules would not affect panhandlers who silently hold signs asking for money. There had been discussion about citing those who give to panhandlers in the restricted areas. He said that the city will likely be legally challenged over the changes."

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Published on Friday, June 15, 2007 in Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
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