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  1. #1
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Panhandlers in Detroit could face jail time

    Detroit Panhandlers who ask for change from people who are waiting in line for food, at an ATM or who act overly aggressive could be fined and face jail time under a new city ordinance set to go into effect here next month.
    What the ordinance says

    Under Detroit's revised three-page panhandling ordinance, people are allowed to beg except when they:

    Force themselves on another person.

    Block their way.

    Continue to beg after a person reacts negatively to the request.

    Touch an individual, or approach or talk to someone in a way that "would cause a reasonable person to fear imminent bodily harm or the commission of a criminal act."

    Solicit on property that has a "no solicitation" sign.

    Violators face up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail. The ordinance also spells out "no begging" zones within 15 feet of a public toilet; automatic teller machine; bus, train or taxi station; a business where people are lined up; or an outside seating area.

    Full story at: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...#ixzz24EaJsmsB

  2. #2
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    Nov 2011
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    Where would they get $500 to pay the fine? And what happens when the can't besides the jail time?

  3. #3
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    Dec 2011
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    terrible idea. Regardless of weather you believe it or not the police have increasingly become a revenue generator. Dangerous waters. This is the opposite of a money maker. Im surprised they didn't pass legislation against giving money to panhandlers. 500 dollar fines instead for people that can afford to pay em.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2010
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    I would imagine an opposite effect, those that would welcome 90 days heat, food, and dry out time.

    Just yet another stupid law.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2012
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    So they beg for money, and then can get sent to jail with lodging and food all on the taxpayers expense? Doesn't make much sense to me.

    I'm going to bet many of these panhandlers have mental illness. Does throwing them in jail really do anything to actually help them? I'm betting many of them would probably welcome a jail sentence.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2009
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    Ha ha. Does anyone really believe the city of Detroit which can't even spare police officers to respond to real crimes is going to do anything at all with panhandlers. This article is pure comedy.

    I agree with many of the other detractors on this thread. However, the biggest waste as far as this ordinance goes is more time is wasted putting another law on the books that won't even come close to being enforced.
    Last edited by Crumbled_pavement; August-22-12 at 05:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2010
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    Good.

    Fuck a bum.

    I've had encounters with the really aggressive ones that don't take polite hints.

    It probably won't get enforced 99% of the time, but if it gets at least a few of these jackasses to leave people alone when they've already said no then go for it.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Who is going to enforce it? Walking around downtown last Sunday was interesting. Had many encounters, never once saw a cop.
    If panhandling is illegal they might as well mug

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
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    Agreed that this would be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

    However, the situation is getting bad in some areas and something needs to be done. There are a few regulars at the corners of Warren and Southfield who are becoming a bit more forceful and belligerent. (and by regulars, I mean that I've seen them work that intersection for years.)

  10. #10
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    I agree that overnight accomodation is not the answer but I wonder about maybe throwing them in a lock-up area for 6- 8 hours after a warning to stay away from certain areas. Basically a cell with a cement floor that wouldn't be too comfortable. A glass of water only, no free meals.

  11. #11
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    Jun 2009
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    My 'hint' is rolling up windows and absolutely NOT responding to them at all. I give to the needy in other ways and as a female I cannot afford to take my hands off the wheel and any reaching into my purse or pocket.

    Still, this is a stupid waste of resources. We cannot keep violent offenders and robbers locked up! Now we have extra police to do this sorta of duty and space and more paper work for the jails? Nonsense!

    Quote Originally Posted by brizee View Post
    ...I've had encounters with the really aggressive ones that don't take polite hints.

    It probably won't get enforced 99% of the time, but if it gets at least a few of these jackasses to leave people alone when they've already said no then go for it.
    Last edited by Zacha341; August-22-12 at 09:07 AM.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2009
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    I believe that this is being enacted to address those "regulars" that a few have mentioned. They're known, but officers have little recourse. I don't see this as an end to those souls lost at the exit ramp.

    I have mixed feelings on fining those who pay the pay handlers. Criminalizing charity? bad idea. I was going to mention the "donation boxes" in San Francisco that would allow people to "give" to the homeless. Looks like it didn't work out. http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs...00316/-1/rss01

    I blame Engler.

  13. #13
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    Apr 2009
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    I have been accosted at gas stations and post offices. Unfortunately most of the time the owners have the right to chase them off, but very rarely do.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    My two cents:


    • This law was passed to give police an option for handling aggressive panhandlers, not as a panacea. It replaces a previous law that was struck down.



    • For our economy, its important that people feel safe and comfortable in Detroit; efforts to curb panhandling are welcome, even if incomplete.


    1953

  15. #15
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    How about instead of locking them up which is a waste of resources and time, find some work details for them to do. You work so many days you work off the fine. We need trash pick up grass clippings etc in the roadways and parks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by firstandten View Post
    How about instead of locking them up which is a waste of resources and time, find some work details for them to do. You work so many days you work off the fine. We need trash pick up grass clippings etc in the roadways and parks.
    I thought about that and it would seem to be fitting punishment and possibly instill some work ethic. But I think if you'd be forcing them to work, you'd still have to provide food and housing + cost of supervision, tools, and transport to work sites

  17. #17
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    Jun 2009
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    I've learned to respond to bums the same way they approach me. That tends to reinforce the "treat others as you wish to be treated" rule to the ones who aren't suffering some grave mental defect.

    There's this guy who panhandles at the light where northbound I75 service drive traffic crosses the freeway towards westbound 8mile. He's an old vet who holds up a cardboard sign, he's always asking for work, and he smiles and waves at you even when you roll up your window and give him dirty looks. 2 winters ago, I pull up behind a car stopped at that light and saw a guy wearing a tie, driving a white Benz roll down his widow and throw a drink on him. It was about 25 degrees outside.

    You don't have to hug the bums or give them your money. But for godsakes at least have the decency to politely ignore them if nothing else. They are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, whether or not they choose to be there.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by detroitsgwenivere View Post
    There's this guy who panhandles at the light where northbound I75 service drive traffic crosses the freeway towards westbound 8mile. He's an old vet who holds up a cardboard sign, he's always asking for work, and he smiles and waves at you even when you roll up your window and give him dirty looks. 2 winters ago, I pull up behind a car stopped at that light and saw a guy wearing a tie, driving a white Benz roll down his widow and throw a drink on him. It was about 25 degrees outside.

    You don't have to hug the bums or give them your money. But for godsakes at least have the decency to politely ignore them if nothing else. They are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, whether or not they choose to be there.
    "There's this guy..."? I think you're making some big assumptions here. How do you know that the guy in the Mercedes who threw the drink didn't know him from before? How do you know it's not his brother, abandoned son or someone who hired him and had his tools stolen or had something expensive broken while hiring him for work or some other ongoing bad relationship? Someone who just randomly throws drinks at a random person from a stopped Mercedes all dressed up makes no sense at all. Would any normal person do that? No, I don't buy it. I think there was more to it.

    I would never do that and wouldn't expect anyone all dressed up from a Mercedes to randomly do that either because, first, if I don't know who he is, I don't know how he's going to respond. But, I'm guessing, being a vet, he's probably trained to respond aggressively from his former military training and living on streets. If it were me, I would be concerned the vet wouldn't come over and put a dent in my car costing over a thousand dollars worth of body work for provoking him. What does he have lose by attacking you? Seriously. He's probably already lost everything, which is why he's out there. What does he care if he loses it and takes you down? Same thing with aggressive panhandlers in downtown. I've had beggars follow me several blocks continually asking for change. I could just imagine what would happen if I threw a hot coffee at him.

    I just politely say sorry I have no change. For all I know, he could shank me for it. I can't even imagine a time where I've seen a panhandler in Detroit who didn't give off a vibe that he would yell at me or pounce if I did something to set him off like throw a drink at him.

    Your story sounds very rare and really out of the ordinary to make your case and I'm willing to bet there was something more to it. That's not something I've observed and I'm sure most others haven't either. To use that example to challenge the new panhandler law is so outrageous. I can't even go through this thread without having to respond to it.

  19. #19
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    Nov 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by davewindsor View Post
    "There's this guy..."? I think you're making some big assumptions here. How do you know that the guy in the Mercedes who threw the drink didn't know him from before? How do you know it's not his brother, abandoned son or someone who hired him and had his tools stolen or had something expensive broken while hiring him for work or some other ongoing bad relationship? Someone who just randomly throws drinks at a random person from a stopped Mercedes all dressed up makes no sense at all. Would any normal person do that? No, I don't buy it. I think there was more to it.

    I would never do that and wouldn't expect anyone all dressed up from a Mercedes to randomly do that either because, first, if I don't know who he is, I don't know how he's going to respond. But, I'm guessing, being a vet, he's probably trained to respond aggressively from his former military training and living on streets. If it were me, I would be concerned the vet wouldn't come over and put a dent in my car costing over a thousand dollars worth of body work for provoking him. What does he have lose by attacking you? Seriously. He's probably already lost everything, which is why he's out there. What does he care if he loses it and takes you down? Same thing with aggressive panhandlers in downtown. I've had beggars follow me several blocks continually asking for change. I could just imagine what would happen if I threw a hot coffee at him.

    I just politely say sorry I have no change. For all I know, he could shank me for it. I can't even imagine a time where I've seen a panhandler in Detroit who didn't give off a vibe that he would yell at me or pounce if I did something to set him off like throw a drink at him.

    Your story sounds very rare and really out of the ordinary to make your case and I'm willing to bet there was something more to it. That's not something I've observed and I'm sure most others haven't either. To use that example to challenge the new panhandler law is so outrageous. I can't even go through this thread without having to respond to it.
    People are cruel, period. To think they aren't makes me question how naive you are. People do shit to people everyday for no reason, to deny so would be foolish on your part.

  20. #20
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    Nov 2011
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    I usually don’t mind when people ask for money – as a downtown resident I’ve come to expect it and deal with it. I’m always respectful, and I give when I can – depending on how I’m approached. The one thing that still bothers me is when panhandlers enter a restaurant and hit me up for money (or food). Over the past month I’ve been approached inside of Olga’s, Rub Pub, and just last night at Coaches Corner. It’s bad enough to get pounced on when you enter/leave a restaurant, but when you’re having dinner with your family, and they stand over your table – that’s crossing the line. In these cases, a little police intervention is not a bad idea.

  21. #21
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    Sounds like a very reasonable law. It doesn't prohibit panhandling. It does prohibit offensive behavior. Not a lot different than the 'do not call' law.

  22. #22
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    Apr 2012
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    I totally agree with this. I have no problem with some panhandling. Many of these people are yes, scammers. The people with mental issues I feel for and wish the state would take better care of them or force them into some type of shelter. They are not of sound mind to make these decisions themselves. Some of them are real assholes though. I had an interview in Campus Martius and one came right up to us begging, we ignored and were called white devils and sat through about 4 minutes of cussing. Wish I would have had some pepper spray for this .......

  23. #23
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    Mar 2009
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    When I was a child I learned from my mother the concept "There but for the grace of God go I." So I don't have a need to over-react to panhandlers who ask for change on the street.


    However, I never give money to panhandlers. To me it's more effective to donate to the Capuchan Soup Kitchen or the Open Door at Fort Street Presbyterian Church.


    When I'm asked for change (which happens almost daily as I walk through downtown), I look the person in the eye and simply reply, "Thank you sir (or ma'am), but not today." I don't engage in any further conversation and I just keep walking. Rarely does the panhandler say anything aggressive after that.


    I do need to add, the street people around Union Street seem to be much more aggressive than those in the CBD and Greektown areas which are where I'm more likely to be walking. Also I don't buy gas at stations where street people just hang out.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    People are cruel, period. To think they aren't makes me question how naive you are. People do shit to people everyday for no reason, to deny so would be foolish on your part.
    I dare you to throw a drink at a random beggar. I double dare you. If you think they are not going to assault you in this city for it or kick a dent in your car, then that is very foolish and naive reasoning on your part. It's just common sense not to do that. It has nothing to do with cruelty.

  25. #25
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    May 2012
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    Homeless are moving into the suburbs. I've seen them standing in the median at 16 and Van Dyke and outside McDonalds. The guy in the median was wandering into traffic. He didn't last long. Sterling Heights police probably escorted him back to 8 Mile.

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