By Kevin Murphy
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - A small Missouri town was sued on Monday by a homeless couple who are accusing it of violating their constitutional rights by forcing them to leave because they stood on a street corner holding a sign seeking assistance.
Brandalyn Orchard and Edward Gillespie, who were holding a sign that read "Traveling. Anything helps. God Bless," obeyed police who ordered them to leave Miner, Missouri, on September 26, according to the federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on the couple's behalf.
Officers, who showed them copies of ordinances against vagrancy, begging and loitering, told the couple they would be arrested if they did not leave town in five minutes, the lawsuit said.
The city clerk in the town of 980 people in southeast Missouri said ordinances the officers cited do not exist, the lawsuit said.
"The police are our first line of defense and we entrust them with the ability to arrest, but in return we need some Read More »from Homeless couple sues Missouri town for asking them to leave