Thursday, July 11, 2013

Here are the laws Milford would prosecute KKK under

Police Chief Keith Mello is putting members of the local United Klans of America on notice (pun) that they could face charges under a couple of state and local laws prohibiting the distribution of leaflets/etc. on private property. 

A lot of people have commented that criminal charges for passing out leaflets and other such paraphernalia might be a violation of freedom of speech, and have mentioned that the police don't go after people who pass out unwanted leaflets from 1) churches, 2) candidates for political offices, 3) newspapers (ahem, New Haven Register). But, technically, it all seems illegal, Klan-affiliated or otherwise. 

Here are the laws Mello cited to me:

Connecticut General Statutes 23-65 - Posting or distributing advertisements. Removing, pruning, injuring or defacing certain trees or shrubs. Restoration. Damages. Regulations. Permit for cutting or removal. 

(c) Any person, firm or corporation which deposits or throws any advertisement within the limits of any public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property, unless the same is left at the door of the residence or place of business of the occupant of such premises or property, or deposits or throws any refuse paper, camp or picnic refuse, junk or other material within the limits of any public way or grounds, except at a place designated for that purpose by the authority having supervision and control of such public way or grounds, or upon private premises or property without permission of the owner thereof, or affixes to or maintains upon any tree, rock or other natural object within the limits of a public way or grounds any paper or advertisement other than notices posted in accordance with the provisions of the statutes, or affixes to or maintains, upon the property of another without his consent, any word, letter, character or device intended to advertise the sale of any article, shall be fined not more than fifty dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both for each offense.

Milford Code of Ordinance, Sec. 9-11

(e) Manner of distributing commercial and noncommercial handbills at inhabited private residences. 
(1) No person shall throw, deposit, or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private residence, which is inhabited, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or other person then present in or upon such private residence; provided, however, that in case of any inhabited private residence which is not posted, as provided in this chapter, such person, unless requested by anyone upon such residence not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private residence, if such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such residence or sidewalks, streets or other public places, and except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal postal law or regulations. 
There you have it. Under the Milford ordinance, the punishment follows that of the state statute.  


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