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Chicago Ends Old Ban on Swearing

April 21, 2003  | 

The Chicago Police Department will stop enforcing a 100-year-old ordinance that outlaws public swearing. Less than a month ago a proposed class-action suit alleged that the ordinance banning “indecent acts and words” violates the 1st amendment right to free speech.The Police Department ordered enforcement of the ordinance to stop on March 27.But a spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said the policy changed because a new, similar ordinance was enacted last summer. Most of the police citations under the “indecent acts and words” ordinance in recent years had been for public urination. Now that another law covers that offense, the antiquated ordinance was seen as no longer necessary.

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