Skip to content


New York police officers defy order to cut marijuana arrests

Survey shows nearly half of people charged with marijuana posession were not displaying the drug when they were stopped.

Police officers in New York are “manufacturing” criminal offenses by forcing people with small amounts of marijuana to reveal their drugs, according to a survey by public defenders.

Nearly half of New Yorkers picked up for small amounts of marijuana possession in recent months were not displaying the drug before they were stopped, the study shows, despite an order by New York police chief Ray Kelly that officers should not charge people in such circumstances.

The revelations will fuel criticisms of the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, which opponents say is criminalising a generation of young people from ethnic minorities and leading to tensions between police and the public.

Scott Levy, an attorney campaigner at the Bronx Defenders, the legal and advocacy organization that led the survey, said: “This is clearly an illegal practice. And the fact that it hasn’t stopped since Commissioner Kelly issued his memo, suggests there is a deep disconnect between what happens on the street and what the top brass in the NYPD are saying happens.”

Under New York law, possession of 25g or less of marijuana is only a misdemeanor offense, a violation that brings a $100 fine. Only when the drugs are in public view are the police permitted to make an arrest for drug possession.

In September last year, Kelly issued an order to officers not to arrest people caught with small amounts of marijuana. But the number of those arrested increased after the order was made.

In all, about 50,000 people were arrested in 2011 for marijuana possession; some 30,000 of these came after police stops.

In August there were 2,486 arrests after police stops. In October ? after the Kelly order ? the NYPD arrested 2,661 people on the same charge. That number dipped slightly in November and December, but was still higher than the same months in previous years.

Until now, no one has been able to tell how many of those arrested may have occurred only after a police officer compelled a suspect to pull the drugs out of his or her pocket, which gave them cause for arrest.

To get more detailed data, the Bronx Defenders teamed up with attorneys from the law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton to review police records and personal accounts from 517 people arrested for marijuana possession in the borough in the months before and after the Kelly order.

According to the survey, the percentage of illegal stop-and-frisks increased from 31% before the order to 44% after the order. Similarly, the percentage of manufactured misdemeanors increased from 33% to 44%.

One in three respondents said police had forced them to take the marijuana out of pockets or from under clothes and produce it into public view.

The NYPD did not respond to a request for comment. In the past, it has vigorously defended its policies, arguing that stop and frisks save lives.

But members of communities impacted by stop and frisks disagree, arguing that the policy has resulted in a form of institutionalized degradation that disproportionately impacts African American and Latino youth. They say the tactic leads to harassment and erodes trust between police and the public.

Darnell, who lives in the South Bronx who and requested his last name not be used, was stopped by the NYPD as he was crossing 170th and Valentine streets last October. He said two officers patted him down but stopped short of searching him in public. Instead, they took Darnell back to the precinct and asked him to remove his pants and underwear.

“They went through everything, and finally found about $20 of marijuana in my hat,” Darnell said. “They didn’t give’me no reason for stopping’me in the first place.” Darnell was held for 12 hours in the precinct and charged with a misdemeanor.

Vinci, another Bronx resident, tells of a more recent interaction with the NYPD the night before the 2012 Superbowl. “I was coming out of the store and the police stopped’me” Vinci said. “I felt real awful you know, it was in front of everyone and I hadn’t done anything wrong.”

In Vinci’s case the officers allegedly searched him on the street and took a small amount of marijuana from inside his pants. Vinci was locked up for 38 hours and released just in time to watch the final minutes of the game.

“It was a distressing experience,” he said, ” Makes you realize it can happen any time any place.”

NYPD data on all stop and frisks conducted in 2011 reveals officers suspected just over half of the nearly 684,000 people stopped had drugs on them, and ended up arresting about one in ten on that count.

In some instances police specified they could smell marijuana or someone was actually smoking it in public. Other reasons police stopped people who they subsequently arrested for marijuana were “furtive movements,” “suspicious bulges,” “being in a high crime area” and “other.”

Community activists have increasingly pushed back against the stop and frisk policy with public acts of civil disobedience. Beginning in October, a group calling itself the Stop Mass Incarceration Network launched a series of actions throughout the city with the support of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Activists willfully subjected themselves to arrest outside a number of NYPD precincts in some of the most heavily impacted neighborhoods in the five boroughs.

Legal experts and criminal justice scholars have claimed that stop and frisks-and the drug arrests that often result from them-routinely lead to fourth amendment violations and serve as pipeline for the nation’s bloated prison system.

Over the course of the last five years the NYPD has been named in three federal lawsuits over its application of stop and frisk practices, with one suit filed as recently as this week.

“If the Kelly order had worked, if his directive had remotely worked,” said Levy, “these types of unconstitutional arrests just shouldn’t still be happening so frequently.”

Alice Brennan is a reporter with the New York World, an accountability journalism project covering city and state government

Guardian News and Media 2012

Photo credit: Daryl Lang / Shutterstock.com

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Protests & Civil Disobedience.

Tagged with , , .

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer if you need to or buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could do with some. Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why/

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent
false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material. Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and #altnews alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.



css.php