BREAKING NEWS One Injured in Shooting in the 1000 Block Of Mississippi Street in New Iberia Full Story

The Louisiana Supreme Court Throws out Lafayette Judge's Ruling that Lafayette Consolidated Government's Ordinance Against Panhandling is Unconstitutional

The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Lafayette district court judge was wrong in finding that Lafayette Consolidated Government's ordinance making panhandling a crime is unconstitutional.

Posted: Oct 12, 2021 4:19 PM
Updated: Oct 12, 2021 4:35 PM

LAFAYETTE, La. - The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a Lafayette district court judge was wrong in finding that Lafayette Consolidated Government's ordinance making panhandling a crime is unconstitutional.

The case centers around Anthony Willis, a homeless man who was repeatedly arrested by Lafayette Police officers over the spring and summer for begging for money from the public.

Willis was charged with criminal mischief, but Judge Michele Billeaud ruled the ordinance unconstitutional.Today's ruling by the state's high court throws out Billeaud's finding and opens the door for LCG and Lafayette Police to again aggressively enforce the ordinance and jail people caught panhandling.

News15 reported over the summer about a directive issued by now-former LPD Chief Thomas Glover warning officers they would face discipline if they didn't enforce the ordinance or report the presence of panhandlers when responding to more urgent calls.

The state high court's ruling runs afoul of a previous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court finding that panhandling is protected speech under the First Amendment.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
New Iberia
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 81°
Ville Platte
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 84°
Abbeville
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 79°
Crowley
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 80°
St. Martinville
Partly Cloudy
80° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 81°
Opelousas
Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 84°
Rain tomorrow, hot weekend on tap

Latest Video

Image

Homecoming Safety

Image

Warmer Temperatures and Humidity Return Today

Image

I'm tracking warmer temps this week

Image

Federal Loan to Boost Economic Growth on Northside of Lafayette

Image

Federal Loan to Boost Economic Growth on Northside

Image

Nice Weather Sticks Around Today

Image

Gofundme for terminally ill toddler

Image

I'm tracking a cold front coming this week

Image

Cold Start to Sunday

Image

Fall Chill Arrives!

Community Events