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ACLU files lawsuit over panhandling ban

ACLU files lawsuit over panhandling ban

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado ACLU has filed a lawsuit to block a panhandling ban set to take effect in Colorado Springs.

The civil rights group says the ban stifles speech.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include street musicians, advocacy groups and a wheelchair-bound panhandler.

ACLU legal director Mark Silverstein said the panhandling ban is too broad.

"This is a lawsuit about the right of free expression," said Silverstein.

Another plaintiff, Beth Clements Mosley, argued it's a slippery slope "to deny messages we don't wish to hear."

She emphasized the ban also forces out street musicians and non-profits hoping for donations.

The ban approved by City Council leaders on Tuesday prohibits solicitation across 12 city blocks. 

The ACLU hopes to stop the ban before it goes into effect on Dec. 2.

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