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1540 Updates


An ordinance that bans panhandling on busy roads in Cranston is the subject of another federal lawsuit.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday sued the city, saying the ordinance passed in February violates the First Amendment.

The conflict is part of a long-running battle in Cranston, which last year acknowledged that a city panhandling ban instituted in 2015 was unconstitutional. The city agreed to settle a different ACLU lawsuit and stop enforcing the ordinance.

The new ordinance was described as a safety measure.

The ACLU says the ordinance is similar and still covers the same kinds of activities. They say it criminalizes poverty.

A spokesman for Mayor Allan Fung calls it narrowly tailored and says it prevents "dangerous circumstances within busy roadways and intersections."

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