New Yorkers in Manhattan No Longer Arrested for Low-Level Offenses
- New York 03/01/2016 by Linda Perry (WBAI News)
It's not necessarily the end of broken windows policing, but there is a change in the way low-level offenses will be treated in Manhattan. It begins on March 7th. That's when New Yorkers in Manhattan won't be arrested for littering, drinking alcohol on the street, riding between cars or taking up two seats on a subway. That's unless the NYPD says what you're doing is a public nuisance. In most cases though, instead of arrests people will get summonses for low-level offenses. Other boroughs are expected to follow suit in the near future.
City Officials say the object is to use resources wisely, to reduce incarceration, unclog the courts and free up the NYPD to investigate serious crimes. The Manhattan D.A.'s office says with the change they won't have to prosecute most violations or infractions, that by the NYPD issuing summonses instead of arrests some 10,000 arrests will be diverted, arrests which would have been processed in Manhattan Criminal Court. The change will have a ripple affect and reduce the number of people going to Rikers, waiting for their cases to be heard.
Mayor de Blasio says, “Using summonses instead of arrests for low-level offenses is an intuitive and modern solution that will help make sure resources are focused on our main priority: addressing threats to public safety."
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said, "This new policy in Manhattan will save valuable police resources. Police officers can now quickly return a person to court on a warrant and, at the same time, adjudicate their current summonsable offense, all without jeopardizing the public safety.”