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Homeless Civil Rights Violated, Says ACLU

Last updated on Thursday, June 12, 2008

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Indianapolis over a new policy applying to the homeless.

Ken Falk with the ACLU of Indiana says the city is violating homeless people's first and fourth amendment rights by taking them into custody and demanding ID. Falk says many homeless do not speak, but merely hold signs, which is their first amendment right.

The Greg Ballard administration put a program in place to cut back on aggressive panhandling. That includes donation boxes around downtown to the charities that help the homeless.

City leaders say many of the panhandlers downtown are not homeless, but instead are scam artists. Plenty of people who live and work downtown have been harassed by someone claiming to be homeless.

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