ACLU sues Springfield over panhandling lawsuit
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the city of Springfield over its panhandling ordinance.
The ACLU says in a news release that the ordinance is unconstitutional. The suit was filed Thursday on behalf of 61-year-old Bobby Hunicutt, of Springfield, who was "threatened with criminal charges" after holding a sign asking for money last month on a public sidewalk. The sign read: "Trying to Support My Sick Wife" and "Please help."
The suit said that a couple weeks earlier, a Springfield attorney received a citation for panhandling after he held a sign and accepted donations for the American Cancer Society.
Springfield city spokeswoman Cora Scott didn't immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press.
In October, the city of Bolivar repealed its panhandling ordinance after the ACLU sued.