A Crime To Ask For Help? Such Statutes Declared Unconstitutional At Last!

image of stamp with the words
A stamp in honour of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The lifeguard is no more than a couple of strokes away from the drowning person when… “Stay Back” shouts an officer in the police boat that speeds between the rescuer and the victim. “We clearly heard that person call for help! That is a crime punishable by arrest and and at least a fine, if not jail. We don’t want to arrest you, brave lifeguard, as a co-conspirator in this disgusting criminal behaviour, so swim back an arms length or two while we arrest this perp. Where’s he got to, anyway?”

Some American jurisdictions have passed statutes, long on the books now, that criminalize the action of asking for help. That is indeed what begging is — a request for help. Asked of you, it’s an action to which you can respond as you see fit. Ignore, shake your head politely, or actually offer help. But criminalizing such a request?

Fortunately, a judge wielding the weight of the U.S. Constitution has brought at least a pause to this particular version of insanity.

Where did such an idea come from in the first place? Read more at Fox54: Injunction granted against statutes that criminalize homeless people for soliciting donations