The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit today against the city over what its attorneys see as a too-aggressive crackdown on the homeless in Downtown Indianapolis.
The suit, filed on behalf of four men, says Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers have hassled them even though they weren't breaking state panhandling laws. Two men who were holding cups but not speaking were told by officers they couldn't solicit contributions, the suit says.
Two others who were not soliciting -- but appeared homeless -- have been forced multiple times to produce identification and wait while officers conducted records checks, the lawsuit says.
Such treatment violates the U.S. Constitution's protections of free speech and against unreasonable searches, argues the suit, filed this morning in U.S. District Court. It seeks class-action status and has four homeless men named as plaintiffs: Richard Dellantonio, Douglas Ayres, Ryan McClellan and Richard Byrd.
unsurprising because, as i've written before, it's clear from the mayor's own comments that the city crackdown on panhandlers is born not out of human compassion, but out of disgust and loathing. mayor ballard wants to get rid of those filthy panhandlers, and if that means strong-arming and hassling them, so be it. ¶