The council voted unanimously to stop enforcing the century-old state law and agreed to settle a lawsuit with the ACLU on behalf of a 77-year-old woman arrested for asking an undercover police officer for bus fare, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
"We are pleased that the hundreds of desperately poor persons arrested under this unconstitutional law in the last several years will no longer face arrest and jailing for simply exercising their right to free speech in a peaceful manner," said ACLU co-counsel Mik Jordahl.
The vote means police would no longer interfere with people peacefully begging in public spaces, but left the door open for other possible restrictions on panhandlers, the newspaper said.
A spokesman for Arizona State Attorney General Tom Horne said he wouldn't contest the ACLU's effort to have a federal judge rule the law unconstitutional.
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