Judge rules police cannot arrest sign holders

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SARASOTA - Sign-holders are free to stand on city streets, thanks to a Sarasota judge's ruling.

The injunction -- effective immediately -- allows people holding signs to do so without interference.

In response, Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino issued an order Friday instructing officers not to arrest, cite or bother anyone seen holding a sign -- regardless of the sign's message.

This order comes just weeks after officers wrongly arrested a homeless man and charged him with soliciting funds.

The order allows an exception when it is clear the individual is creating an unsafe condition or blocking traffic.