Archive for the ‘Panhandling’ Category

Begging No Longer a Crime in Flagstaff, AZ

Back in June, I posted a blog about police arresting people asking for money or food on the streets in Flagstaff, Arizona. I also discussed the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, which alleged that such actions by police officers are unconstitutional. Fast forward a few months to September—the City of Flagstaff has agreed to settle the lawsuit and police will no longer be arresting individuals for begging in public. Loitering to Beg Though Flagstaff police claim to have increased their efforts of arresting panhandlers in hopes of getting “alcohol transients off the street earlier

Between June 2012 and May 2013, the Flagstaff Police Department made 135 arrests under a new statute which criminalizes “loitering to beg” in all public spaces, including parks, sidewalks, and thoroughfares. City program, Operation 40, named for the 40-ounce beer beverages that are commonly consumed by transients, was initiated to prevent petty crimes by “street alcoholics.” The operation works to specifically enforce the following violations: disorderly conduct, trespassing, urinating in public, panhandling, littering, and drinking in public. Authorities in Flagstaff explained that by targeting transient drunks during the day, before they become extremely intoxicated, they can better prevent petty crimes

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