PHOENIX – The city of Phoenix is facing a possible lawsuit after a woman claimed a city worker told her she could not pass out free water in the Arizona heat without a permit.
Dana Crow-Smith tells ABC 15 she was passing out water bottles in the 112-degree heat along with others in an attempt to share their Christian beliefs with people attending a festival downtown last month, when a city worker ordered them to stop. She said the worker told the group they would be cited if they continued passing out the water because they did not have a permit.
“It was really hot and yeah we wanted to show God's love and a small act of kindness is a great way to do that without shoving it down someone's throat,” Crow-Smith told ABC 15.
Now, a civil liberties organization is threatening to sue the city on Crow-Smith's behalf, saying her First Amendment rights to freely practice her religion were violated.
"It is a sad day when local government officials prohibit Americans from such charitable acts as giving water to the thirsty in their city," John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute told ABC 15.
The city had no comment as of Monday night.