Citizen-Times: ACLU of NC challenges Asheville’s park bans against felony littering defendants

“The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina sent a letter Jan. 19 to several members of Asheville leadership challenging a park ban policy that restricted 14 individuals’ access to city parks, according to an ACLU news release obtained by the Citizen Times.

“Felony littering is an extremely rare charge, and several of those charged have been banned from public parks for three years,” the release said.

It’s a charge other North Carolina attorneys have also called “rare” and “unusual,” and one that Muneeba Talukder, staff attorney for ACLU of North Carolina, agreed was an unusual charge, one she had not heard of before.

Talukder told the Citizen Times that the bans are indicative of the “strategic criminalization of mutual aid organizers,” which she said falls hardest on communities who have historically relied on mutual aid to support protest and movement. Namely, she said, “it does not seem random.”

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