Is panhandling against the law?
Yeah, baby! You get a ticket. You get a ticket for panhandling. And if you catch a nice cop that has sympathy, they'll tell you to leave and come back when they leave. Some of them just write you a ticketsome of them just lock you up! I'm telling you, there are some nasty ones. Things have changed.
New York City law defines what I just saw you doing as panhandling. Do you use that term?
Uh, no, 'cause what I do now is no longer what they call "panhandling." I got arrested just this last Christmas, I was going to church over next to Fulton Street, I had a sign out saying "Veteran, hungry, need a day's work, God bless you." And they came by and arrested me for panhandling.
They said it was just for disturbing the peace, and I said, okay, I know a way around this. My sign NOW says "Veteran, trying to survive, day's work wanted, or any odd job." I never heard it being against the law asking for work.
Do you know anything about the law regarding panhandling?
They said the problem was that I was blocking the sidewalk. And they said you're not allowed to sit in one spot and block the sidewalk.
Tell me about the lawis panhandling against the law in ATMs?
It's against the lawespecially in ATM placesand Giuliani just passed the law not too long ago. It's against the law to even panhandle on the street. Just recently passed a law, panhandling in Manhattan is illegal now. Period.
What do you think's the big difference between you and other panhandlers?
The big difference is that I don't impose myself on people. I don't bother nobody! So why can it be against the law for me to be praying for somebody? If I ever get in trouble for praying, then this is not America! How can I get in trouble for praying? I ain't asking for nothing! How can I get into trouble, I'm an old man, I'm out here praying, I ain't asking for nothing, some people going to give me somethingif not, all right. I'm still praying. I'm preaching love, sowhat kind of trouble ... what am I doing to get in trouble, I'm not bothering nobody! They passed a law saying it's NOT illegal to panhandle.
Now they gonna tell me that the law, you can't ask people! [She laughs.] There's a law you can't ask people for money!
I hope there's not a law because
That is SICK! "Hey guy, will you buy me a beer?" No, that's against the law. It's full of shit! [Laughs] You know? Think about it!
I don't take this for granted. Now it's against the law to do this. So now you get twenty days for doing this.
Well, I tell you something. There are a whole lot of people earning money and they ain't paying taxes. And a whole lot of people stealing, and they ain't turning it in. I don't deal with Guiliani's law, I deal with God's law! There's man-made laws and there's almighty Jesus' lawand that's the law I deal with.
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