The American Civil Liberties Union will take Providence to court if anti-panhandling ordinance is passed
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE): The American Civil Liberties Union is not afraid to take action against Providence if the City Council passes an anti-panhandling ordinance.
A Providence City Councilman, Nick Narducci, proposed the ban on Thursday.
"If for any reason the city council ends up adopting it, we are prepared to go to court," Steven Brown, Executive Director of the Rhode Island A.C.L.U. said.
The city council successfully passed a similar anti-panhandling ordinance in 2002. However, in 2016, the city decided not to enforce it.
Panhandling is a debate that extends beyond Providence.
In 2015, The A.C.L.U. sued Cranston after they passed a ban that would keep panhandlers off the streets and won the case. Cranston then passed another ordinance in 2017. That case is still pending in the U.S. District Court District of Rhode Island.
Narducci, who made the proposal, said it is for public safety.
"I introduced it because two murders were due to panhandling," Narducci said.
Back in June, Gary McConville was charged with murder after police said he stabbed another panhandler on North Main Street and Cypress Street. The argument was over who had the right to work the corner, according to police.
The proposed ordinance will have to pass the Ordinance Committee before the full council.