CRANSTON, R.I. — Six people have been found guilty of violating a contentious ordinance that bans panhandling on busy roads in Cranston.
Advocates for the homeless panhandled and distributed fliers at a busy intersection during the afternoon rush hour in March in protest of the city's new ban on panhandling.
The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2gQ0yKs ) that six of the advocates were found guilty of violating the ordinance in Cranston Municipal Court on Thursday. The fine for each violation was $85.
The ordinance is the subject of a federal lawsuit alleging First Amendment violations. The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
Mayor Allan Fung says he stands by the ordinance and is prepared to defend it in court.