CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 6, 2013 |
The fate of the co-founder of frozen yogurt giant Pinkberry depends on the answer to one question: Who had the tire iron? Young Lee, 48, is accused of assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly beating Donald Bolding with a tire iron in June 2011 while Bolding was panhandling on the side of an east Hollywood street. After becoming upset that Bolding flashed a tattoo to people in Lee's car - including his fiancee - showing a stick-figure couple having sex, Lee drove away - but he returned with another man and beat Bolding, prosecutors say. During closing arguments Wednesday, the defense attorney and prosecutor alike said the outcome of the case depended on whether the jury believed Lee was the one who wielded the tire iron.
October 9, 2013 |
A war is being waged over panhandling, as cities and states pass tighter and tighter anti-solicitation laws to control transients and deal with chronic homelessness. A 2011 report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty found that more than 100 cities had some kind of restriction on panhandling; 16 of those were in California. Along with the bans on begging have come fierce constitutional challenges. Last week, a federal judge in Arizona was the latest to weigh in, ruling that the state's law making it a crime to beg for money or food was an infringement of the constitutional right to free speech.
October 7, 2013 |
An Arizona law that makes it a crime to beg for money or food in public is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona against the city of Flagstaff, which has drawn national attention for its aggressive stance on panhandling by jailing some violators. Last month, the city changed course after the ACLU sued on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested when she asked an undercover police officer for bus fare.
September 24, 2013 |
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - An Arizona city that led the nation in its aggressive stance on panhandling reversed course Tuesday night, setting in motion the apparent demise of a century-old state law that criminalized begging. The Flagstaff City Council voted to settle a lawsuit launched this summer by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested after asking an undercover police officer for bus fare. The ACLU argued that the state law and Flagstaff's enforcement of it were unconstitutional.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 |
Not too long ago, I was walking along the strip in Venice and saw a man holding a cardboard sign. For 10 bucks, the sign said, you could kick the guy in the crotch. I had to ask: "How's business?" "Slow, bro," he said, as if he was trying to unload Popsicles in the dead of winter. Ah, Venice - where just about everything is for sale. Along Ocean Front Walk, you can buy beach stuff, of course - bodyboards decorated with dolphins, sunscreen jacked up to the price of shiraz.
July 27, 2013 |
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Matt Evans realized Flagstaff's efforts to criminalize panhandling had reached new heights when a police officer intercepted him as he attempted to hand a $10 bill to a homeless family in a supermarket parking lot. "These people are breaking the law," Evans said the officer told him. She said that giving the money would be akin to facilitating a crime. Stunned, the 34-year-old PhD candidate looked again at the homeless couple with two young children in tow. "I have every right to give anyone I want money," Evans told the officer.