On today's date in The Beacon archives, we published:•Reducing the Costs of Fighting Crime (2011)
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Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati
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As previously reported by The Beacon, self-styled Superhero Shadow Hare asked patrons of Mt. Adam’s Pavillion to put money in his bucket. He said the money would go toward the “Allegiance of Heroes,” and that with the money Shadow Hare would bring as many superheroes to Cincinnati as police officers. But how does this behavior match the code of conduct put forth by the World Superhero Registry, to which Shadow Hare belongs? And how does his request for funds match Cincinnati’s anti-panhandling ordinance?
Check out the following key excerpts from Cincinnati Municipal Code 910-12 “Improper Solicitation,” (my emphasis):
WHAT IS PANHANDLING?
The ordinance defines solicit and solicitation as making any request in person while in a public place, for an immediate grant of money, goods or any other form of gratuity from another person(s) when the person making the request is not known to the person(s) who are the subject of the request, or to engage in such activity on private property.
WHEN IS PANHANDLING A CRIME?
It is unlawful to solicit in the following places or under the following conditions:
1. In any public transportation vehicle.
2. Within 20 feet of an ATM or entrance to a bank.
3. From any operator or occupant of a motor vehicle or from any person entering or exiting a motor vehicle.
4. On private property without permission of the owner.
5. Between the hours of 7pm and 7am; or between 8pm and 7am (DST)
It is unlawful for any person to knowingly make a false or misleading representation in the course of soliciting. False or misleading representations include, but are not limited to the following:
2. Stating that the donation is needed to meet a need that does not exist.
Whoever violates the panhandling ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
Additionally, the World Superhero Registry has standards listed on their FAQ. Check out this excerpt:
Another common reason for delaying or refusing addition to the World Superhero Registry is an apparent commercial incentive. If you are a paid spokesperson for an organization, or trying to promote a business or band by pretending to be a Real-Life Superhero, you do not fit The Registry’s definition of a Real-Life Superhero.
Is Shadow Hare engaging a questionable commercial incentive when he asked patrons at Mt. Adam’s Pavillion to give him a donation? Further, is it legal for him to ask for money since (1) we don’t know his identity, (2) the request might have occurred during banned hours, and (3) the need he purports to fulfill does might not exist?
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