Protest held over panhandling changes

March 25, 2013 3:22:29 PM PDT
Several ministers in the Durham held a protest Monday to highlight concerns over panhandling changes.

The ministers believe new ordinances in Durham are turning beggars into criminals.

Those ministers told ABC11 than a dozen people have received tickets and at least two have gone to jail for standing on roadway medians.

Under the law, panhandlers can no longer stand on medians and ask for money.

They can only collect money from drivers through the passenger side window, which means they'd have to be standing on the right side of the road with a car in the right lane.

The city said it's all about safety. Others see it as an unnecessary hardship.

"What they're telling us is it makes life more difficult when life is already difficult," said protest organizer Johnathan Wilson-Hartgrove. "We're simply asking city council to repeal this ordinance and rethink how to keep our roads safe."

A Durham attorney said he's planning to legally challenge the revised ordinance in court.

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