Cleveland's Anti-Panhandling Ordinances Have Been Repealed


1 comment
[image-1]Cleveland City Council repealed its anti-panhandling laws this month after more than a decade of questionable enforcement and after a lawsuit brought about a public conversation on the efficacy of those policies. Local veteran John Mancini raised concerns over ongoing harassment by the Cleveland Division of Police in a lawsuit earlier this year that targeted the city's laws.

The central contention involved free speech, and the ACLU of Ohio insisted (in Cleveland and in others cities that have repealed these laws) that anti-panhandling policies "criminalized poverty."

Mancini's experiences became such a constant thrum that he felt barred from public spaces. "I am even more afraid of panhandling in Cleveland now, because the police are acting angry that I filed my lawsuit," Mancini wrote. "They are stalking me and harassing me to intimidate me. I feel they are retaliating against me."

Last year, an ACLU lawsuit prompted the city of Akron to repeal its anti-panhandling laws.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.