BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They’re on dozens of street corners across Baltimore. Now the City Council considers a crackdown on aggressive beggars.
Adam May finds out who a new law would affect.
Martin Luther King Boulevard in Baltimore is a panhandling hot spot. WJZ found one who really stands out.
“I’m seven months pregnant out here on the streets, asking for help,” said “Tiffany.” “If you can hire me while I’m pregnant, I’ll take it.”
The 22-year-old and others like her could be arrested if the City Council passes a new bill.
“The primary reason is safety of the individual and of the people in cars. Something terrible is going to happen,” said Council member Rikki Spector.
Spector wants to model the bill after one in Baltimore County. It has exceptions for groups like firefighters and other charities that get panhandling permits.
The ACLU says that raises legal issues.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You can’t let one group ask for money and other groups not ask for money. You have to be honest about the real goal of this legislation,” said Meredith Curtis, ACLU.
Meanwhile, drivers aren’t sure what to do. Many people turn down people like “Tiffany.”
“I have given before but I don’t know if they’re using it for drugs,” said one driver. “I want to help them.”
Meanwhile, “Tiffany” is hoping to get off the streets before she gives birth in a few months.
As of right now, the bill has only been introduced. The details will be hammered out in a work session. They could include legally tricky exemptions for firefighters and charities.
Recently, courts across the country have ruled many anti-panhandling laws unconstitutional.