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NYPD Stops Arresting People for Minor Crimes in Manhattan

March 07, 2016  | 

A number of offenses that could have landed New Yorkers in handcuffs will now result in just a summons. 

People who commit low-level crimes — like littering, public urination, taking up two subway seats or public consumption of alcohol — will no longer be subject to arrest in Manhattan starting Monday.

Before Monday's policy went into effect, officers had to arrest someone committing a low-level crime if he or she had an open summons. More than 1 million New Yorkers have open summonses for failing to appear in court, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, NBC New York reports.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced on Tuesday that people who commit minor offenses in the borough would be issued summonses rather than being slapped in cuffs, unless there is a demonstrated public safety reason to arrest a suspect.

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Retired NY Boss @ 3/7/2016 2:53 PM

It was the little things that led to the big things in the 80's & 90's. By keeping a tight reign on the quality of life issues, major crime nose dived. If it even gets half as bad as back then, watch out. A lot of the old breed is gone and a lot of the new breed haven't dealt with streets like those.

Arnold Ziffell @ 3/7/2016 5:20 PM

I have always tried to look at crime from the eyes of the victim, Washington DC is going to pay criminal who don't commit violent crimes, How cool is this that you can pee on a person drink some more MD20/20and not get arrested I will be looking for them on GMA every morning when they show the people outside.

OK then @ 3/7/2016 5:49 PM

It will slowly tick back up and before we know it the homicide rate will be back up to 2200 a year like it was back in 92. This somehow is progress.

Chief 800 @ 3/8/2016 7:42 AM

The broken window effect. We have all been taught it. I can understand for a first time offender, but once you have demonstrated that you will not appear in court what good does a summons do. Maybe the answer is to make these things civil infractions instead of misdemeanor crimes. Then we waste no money on public defenders and the burden of proof drops to Preponderance of the Evidence.

Leonard @ 3/8/2016 8:57 AM

Broken Windows policing is failed policing. It contributes to the mistrust between police and the communities they supposedly serve. Its been used as a tool to target minorities especially in NYC. There is no evidence that this style of policing reduces crime, rather it feeds the prison industrial complex costing tax payers millions to house offenders for crimes that shouldn't be more than a ticket or a summons.

kevCopAz @ 3/8/2016 3:24 PM

Leonard, once again you are wrong. Broken windows lowered NYC (and other cities) crime rates dramatically. Don't know where you heard there wasn't any evidence of that, stop reading just liberal stuff and blogs and you might learn something. People like you will see when the crime rate soars and when it does do not co plain. (but I know you will and blame the cops again).

Leonard @ 3/8/2016 9:05 PM

@kevCopAz: you want to back up that assertion of yours. I know you can't. There has not been one credible study the broken windows reduced crime in NYC. In fact major crime reductions happen to coincide with improvements in the economy.

Robert @ 3/9/2016 10:48 AM

I think broken windows policing has some impact on lowering crime, in the short term & during a major systemic outbreak.
I don't think we should be implementing these policies for 20+ years straight.
NYC in 1992 was at the very height of the crack wars; which have since went down considerably...mostly because of various programs to reduce the number of addicts.
However, the problem was now moved to the suburbs and countryside (heroin and meth)...areas that typically did not have NYC type drug problems.
I really like Chief800 s response....and I think that is a better system than what we have now. Anything to clear up the huge backlog of NYC cases should be welcome. My one fear with Chief 800s suggestion is we need to ensure that the program is used to modify behavior and NOT a source of income / debtor's prison. Ferguson, MO and other places run their civil infraction / misdemeanor crime courts as income sources...sometimes by for-profit companies!

plato's playdough @ 3/11/2016 3:20 AM

If the majority of Americans do not commit crimes, nor glorify a gangsta lifestyle, and minorities DO so, then why is the minority exempt from scrutiny?

Sheriffs Explorer Sgt. @ 3/27/2016 6:47 PM

That's terrible. Concentrating on misdemeanors helps keep the crime rate down in these big cities. They'll be sorry in few years. But Leonard will never learn anything. He's infected with the bad cop cancer as Chief 800 said.

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