Contact Us

Should Panhandling Be Illegal In Grand Rapids? [Poll]

Ed Yourdon, Flickr

Michigan law makes panhandling in public places illegal.  On Friday, a federal judge ruled Michigan’s law banning panhandling in public is unconstitutional.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit filed by two men who were arrested for panhandling in Grand Rapids in 2011.

Should panhandling in Grand Rapids be illegal?

WZZM has more on Friday’s ruling:

A federal judge in Grand Rapids says a Michigan law banning panhandling in public places “on its face” violates the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker made his ruling Friday in a civil suit by two Grand Rapids men arrested in 2011 for begging.

James Speet and Ernest Sims were represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says the city enforced the law 399 times between Jan. 1, 2008 and May 24, 2011.

There are times when panhandlers can make those being asked for money uncomfortable.  Being approached while walking alone downtown on an empty street can even make one feel unsafe, but panhandlers shouldn’t be treated differently than anyone else.

Street vendors, petition gatherers, and panhandlers should all have the same right to ask a question on the street.  If panhandlers aren’t trespassing or blocking a walkway, they should be allowed to ask for money.

Best of 100.5 The River

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://rivergrandrapids.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for The River's Loyal Listeners Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive The River's Loyal Listeners Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.