May 30, 2012; Source: USA TODAY
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We’d love your reaction to this story. In Cleveland, Ohio, where you can receive a ticket for giving to a panhandler, John Davis was recently cited for littering when he handed a couple dollars to a disabled man in a wheelchair who was holding a religious sign. Davis’ own brother is paralyzed, so Davis immediately sympathized with the other man’s situation. One of the dollar bills fluttered to the ground and Davis was then pulled over by a police officer that presented him with a $344 ticket for littering. Davis is contesting the ticket in court, which may increase his expenses for his small act of charity yet more.
We find this story confounding. It’s not that NPQ has not been following the anti-panhandler laws, but since when did we decide that our public servants should spend their time prosecuting random acts of kindness to the full extent of the law? We’d love to hear from readers about their reactions to this story and their experiences and thoughts on anti-panhandler statutes.–Ruth McCambridge