NYPD

NYPD No Longer Making Arrests For Drinking in Public, But Still Using Stop-and-Frisk

Criminal justice reform policies only work if police officers are aware of them.

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The New York Police Department (NYPD) will no longer arrest people for minor infractions such as consuming alcohol in public, urinating in public, littering, or taking up more than one seat on the subway.

NYPD Cheese!
Flickr/Mariah

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said earlier this week that his office will no longer prosecute these misdemeanors, a move which they hope will ease the burden on the courts currently "bogged down with minor offenses committed by those who pose no threat to public safety." 

Mayor Bill de Blasio added in a statement: 

Today's reforms allow our hardworking police officers to concentrate their efforts on the narrow group of individuals driving violent crime in New York City. This plan will also help safely prevent unnecessary jail time for low-level offenses.

Fewer citizens with criminal records, a less clogged-up court system, more resources for cops to fight actual crime (the kind where there's actual victims). What's not to love?

Well, criminal justice reforms are only worth celebrating when they're actually executed, and a recently issued report by a federal monitor states that the NYPD is a few years behind on successfully implementing a very high-profile court-ordered reform.

According to the report, the NYPD's use of stop-and-frisk (ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2013) continues to be deployed throughout the city. Though its use is on a much smaller scale compared to the days of Mike Bloomberg's administration, many officers and supervisors are simply unaware of the change in policy and thus continue to use the tactic. 

Addidtionally, the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB), an independent entity responsible for vetting claims of police malfeasance, announced in a review that over a five-year period, NYPD officers made at least 157 illegal searches of homes. The methods they used to enter the homes included threats of violence, as well as brute force.

Miranda Katz writes in Gothamist:

…the police arrested a young man for a drug-related crime and took him to the precinct, where they took his house keys and sent officers back to his home to search for drugs…Police entered his home with his house keys and encountered his mother, who repeatedly refused to sign a form allowing the officers to search the place without a warrant. At one point, an officer said, "Goddamn it, you fucking Haitian, just do it."

In a 2013 case, a man was woken up by repeated banging on the door, which he opened to find himself face-to-face with the barrel of an officer's gun. Police had traced the signal of a stolen phone to the barbecue grill outside his house, and they accused the man's son of stealing the phone. When the man said that his son was at basketball practice and that the officers could not search his home, one said, "You're fucking lying…I can do anything I want," before entering and searching the house with his gun drawn while the man's five-year-old son and daughter looked on. Police later determined that an unknown person of no relation to the residents of the house had placed the stolen phone in the grill.

Any day the mayor and district attorney of a major city propose locking up fewer people is a good day, but a better day would be one where the civil servants charged with protecting and serving the citizenry are aware of the laws they are bound by.

Watch my 2013 report on the trial that should have ended the practice of stop-and-frisk below:

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  1. “I can do anything I want”

    That is essentially true. The police in this country break any law that they want (who is going to do anything? the police?), illegally detain and arrest people, execute searches without warrants, file false reports, commit perjury, even commit murder, and nothing else happens.

    They have absolute power and are absolutely corrupt.

  2. Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)

    I thought CCRB stands for Compliant Civilian Review Board. Don’t they get a new toothless one every so often when the complaints about the toothlessness of the old one start stacking up?

  3. “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said earlier this week that his office will no longer prosecute these misdemeanors, a move which they hope will ease the burden on the courts currently “bogged down with minor offenses committed by those who pose no threat to public safety.” ”

    I like that the reason they’re doing this is because too many innocent people are clogging up the justice system and not because it’s wrong to arrest an innocent person for having a beer in public.

    1. Look, I wouldn’t want my kids seeing some schmuck drinking a Coors Light in public, either. Take that swill inside.

    2. It’s wrong to take away easy arrests from law enforcement professionals and instead shove them into the line of fire of those threats to public safety.

      1. I used to be a lifeguard in high school. The justification for lifeguards at the pool was that we would keep people safe, but all anyone wanted us to do was keep the riff-raff out and clean the area. We were janitors and gatekeepers who lowered insurance costs.

        It’s the same thing with cops. People say that police are critical to public safety, yet most people just want cops to enforce the petty stuff that makes life easier, and they’re more than happy to oblige. So long as the serious crime is localized in poor neighborhoods, I don’t think most city dwellers care. But homeless on the park benches…

        1. Most people have never been a victim of a serious crime. If they were, then they’d know that cops don’t do shit for crime victims. Their sole function is to bring in revenue for whatever government they work for. The only people they serve and protect are the people in government.

          1. True enough. Mrs. Dean’s car was stolen years ago. It was found again, and AFTER the cops had done their “investigation” (which consisted entirely of dumping talcum powder on the car, as far as I could tell) we found a school photograph in the car.

            Yes, an actual photo of one of the perps or their friends. That the cops missed. When we took it to them, their response was basically “What are we supposed to do with this?”.

            Useless. Completely useless.

            1. A while back a coworker told a story about her neighbor’s car being broken into, and the thief made off with a bunch of CDs. She reported it to the police, who of course did absolutely nothing. The neighbor then went to neighborhood stores that sell used discs, and sure enough the stolen music was there. In this state when someone sells discs to a store they must show ID and fill out some paperwork. So she had the thief’s identity. She took this information to the police, and they mocked her for doing their job. I’m not sure if they followed up on what she gave them. Doubtful.

        2. Spot on.

        3. So cops are the equivalent of lifeguards who can’t swim?

          1. And will drown anyone who tries to save somebody, yes.

  4. A large part of the problem is the general belief that ‘crime prevention’ is a sensible and proper approach.
    But if there has been no crime, what grounds are there for the police to be involved? The only way to ‘prevent crime’ is to stop someone from doing something that is legal but that could “enable” illegal behavior. Breathing counts — very few crimes are committed by the dead.
    Stop crime prevention so police can focus on dealing with crimes instead of committing them!

    1. Stop crime prevention so police can focus on dealing with crimes instead of committing them!

      Where’s the fun in that? Investigating crime is hard, and there’s no profit in it. Besides that, crime victims probably deserved it. Not only that, but these criminals who commit burglaries, rapes, assaults, and murders, are only doing things that the cops do every day. They have a sort of kinship if you will. But people who commit victimless crimes? They are the real enemy. They are disrespecting the state. For that they deserve death.

    2. Shirley, you can’t be serious!

    3. So, these three strings go into a bar. Two go sit at a table, and the other goes to to the bar and orders a pitcher of beer with three mugs. The bartender asks “Are you a string?”

      “Why yes I am” is the reply.
      “Well, we don’t serve strings, here.”
      So the strong goes to the table and tells his buddies. The second strong can’t believe it. “Why that’s discrimination! There must be a mistake, let me try.” The same thing happens.
      He goes back to the table and says “It’s true, they won’t serve strings!”
      The third string says “I got this, guys.”
      So he ribs his head against the wall until it started coming apart. Then he twists himself ask around until he’s all snarled up. He goes up to the bar and says “Let me have a beer and the mugs.”
      The bartender looks at him and says “Are you a string?”
      “No, I’m a frayed knot.”

  5. When the man said that his son was at basketball practice and that the officers could not search his home, one said, “You’re fucking lying…I can do anything I want,” before entering and searching the house with his gun drawn while the man’s five-year-old son and daughter looked on.

    Oh good. Thought I’d make it through my Friday before I got the chance to hear something that makes me wanna start punching things. Glad that’s not the case.

  6. PBA President Pat Lynch would deem this behavior essential, because War on Cops.

  7. The New York Police Department (NYPD) will no longer arrest people for minor infractions such as consuming alcohol in public, urinating in public, littering, or taking up more than one seat on the subway.

    Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said earlier this week that his office will no longer prosecute these misdemeanors…

    I hope you didn’t draw your conclusion in the first sentence solely from the statement in the second. They’re unrelated.

    1. These are not the misdemeanors you’re looking for….

  8. The New York Police Department (NYPD) will no longer arrest people for minor infractions such as consuming alcohol in public, urinating in public, littering, or taking up more than one seat on the subway.

    Sure they won’t. I trust them.

    1. “or taking up more than one seat on the subway.’

      Oh my God, they’re no longer arresting people for breaking the Man-Spreading ordinance?

      Yet another victory for the patriarchy.

      1. Hey, I see wiminz taking up a full seat all the time on the bus with their purse. This is simple reciprocity. Nothing to do with my bear fat deodorant.

        1. Wear foxglove like a man, Doyers.

          1. FOR CUNNING GENTLEMEN

            1. And ladies

              Ok, not really, but this video cracks me up every time.

              1. UNREALISTIC STANDARDS OF BEAUTY

                1. Maybe for some people it’s unrealistic…

                  1. I can never get my hair to fall like that.

                    1. Me, neither. That’s why I cut it all off.

              2. My wife looked that good when she was her age. She still looks pretty good.

    2. I ALREADY SAID THIS BUT WITHOUT THE SARCASM WHICH IS A LOWBROW FORM OF COMMENTARY.

      1. Excuse me while I wipe my brow.

        *takes tissue, wipes knees*

      2. But your comment wasn’t first, therefore it is irrelevant.

      3. Well I’ve certainly never been called lowbrow before. PISTOLS AT DAWN

        1. Unfortunately the gentleman who serves at my second in duels is Ernesto my Filipino manservant and he was called away for a family emergency of some sort. His cousin or mother is sick or dead or something, I forget. Let’s make it next week.

    3. taking up more than one seat on the subway

      I’ve lived in NYC for 20 years and I have never, ever seen anyone arrested, summonsed, or talked to in any way regarding this behavior. IF it happens at all, it’s got to be only in bad neighborhoods I don’t visit. In fact, I haven’t seen a cop on a train in years – and I ride every day.

      1. I haven’t seen a cop on a train in years

        They’ve got cars with drivers. Why would they take the train?

        1. Because they’re supposed to patrol there.

  9. Praise Giuliani!

    Oh, and 911!

  10. “The New York Police Department (NYPD) will no longer arrest people for minor infractions such as consuming alcohol in public, urinating in public, littering, or taking up more than one seat on the subway. ”

    If they are still writing citations or summons for these things, then they are still arresting these people. You don’t have to be handcuffed and booked to be arrested.

    Call me a cynic, but this is a way to keep bringing in fine revenue while cutting costs. Guess what happens when you don’t pay the fine on time?

    1. Yep. All this means is that instead of arresting people for these minor offenses, they’ll arrest people for failing to appear in court for these minor offenses.

      1. And that just means more money. A lot more. In CA, if you fail to appear, the fine automatically quadruples, plus a bench warrant that’s a minimum of $1000.

        Four times the money with none of the costs.

        1. Baptists and Bootleggers.

      2. Damn, thanks for that nutpunch. You’re right – absolutely no difference to us at all. It just makes their lives easier.

    2. Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the fine.

  11. “”..Police entered his home with his house keys and encountered his mother, who repeatedly refused to sign a form allowing the officers to search the place without a warrant. At one point, an officer said, “Goddamn it, you fucking Haitian, just do it.””

    And Progressives perk up only at the “you fucking Haitian“-part

    When its the BLM seizing people’s shit at the point of a gun, why its just the glorious state serving the good of the people.

    1. Yep. When the glorious state seizes people’s shit, then that shit belongs to The People. It belongs to everyone, since we are government and government is us.

      A while back I was listening to NPR while driving (I know I know) and the commentator was talking about some case where some company had bilked people out of millions of dollars. The guy started to say something about the bilked people not being paid back, but then stopped when he saw that the company had been fined millions of dollars. He then continued, in an elated tone, about how The People had indeed been paid back. Because when someone is forced to give money to the government, that money now belongs to The People.

      I wanted to reach into the radio and wring the guy’s neck.

  12. What? There is nothing for Nikki and John to fight about in this article.

    1. A think Trump would make a great president.

      Discuss.

      1. Stop that.

        1. I could stand to hear a little more

  13. The New York Police Department (NYPD) will no longer arrest people for minor infractions such as consuming alcohol in public, urinating in public, littering, or taking up more than one seat on the subway.

    And the usual suspects (NY Post, City Journal, et al.) are going absolutely apeshit over this & the decrease in unconstitutional stops too. They want some good old-fashioned Guiliani-style policy state and they want it bad.

  14. *police state

    1. Works either way, really.

  15. entering and searching the house with his gun drawn

    That sure sounds like multiple felonies to me. What was the co[p’s sentence?

    1. The cop wasn’t able to use the illegally obtained evidence in court. Can you imagine the horror?

    2. Two weeks paid vacation, and that’s only if anyone even gave a shit.

  16. Terry v. Ohio was never overturned. Certain NYPD abuses of it were forbidden. A weapons-frisk is still fully legal, they just need to be able to convince a judge that their two suspicions (That the person just committed, is committing, or is about to commit certain crimes, and that the person is armed and dangerous) were both reasonable (30% certainty give or take.)

    A judge should throw out anyone who says they found weed or coke in a frisk and have them arrested.

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