New York Police Department Faces Lawsuit For Ignoring Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s Stop-And-Frisk Pot Order
Posted by Little Buds | June 27 2012 | 1739 views | Comments ↓
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- NYPD Commisioner Ray Kelly
Marijuana is the number one reason for arrests in New York City. However, since 1977, marijuana possession in NY State has been decriminalized for amounts of 25 grams or less, as long as it’s not in public view. Last year, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly released a memo reminding NYPD officers that, "A crime will not be charged to an individual who is requested or compelled to engage in the behavior that results in the public display of marijuana."
The NYPD conducts approximately 600,000 stop-and-frisks a year, whereupon officers are allowed to stop and frisk one suspected of having just committed a crime, or being about to commit a crime. These suspects are commonly asked to empty their pockets. “Between two-thirds and three-fourths of people arrested on charges of possession of small amounts of marijuana displayed it at an officer's request," a sociologist at Queens College reported to the NY Times. Furthermore, the vast majority of those stopped and frisked are black or Latino, causing an outrage by the public, accusing the NYPD of racial profiling.
The Legal Aid Society has now filed a lawsuit against the city and the NYPD (despite the recent slaying by Republicans of the decriminalization bill) in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan. The suit alleges that cops ignored Kelly’s order in September of 2011 and made many misdemeanor arrests for finding small amounts of marijuana that were actually hidden from public view during stop-and-frisks.
Five New Yorkers who were all forced to pull out small amounts of marijuana into public view during routine police stop-and-frisks, are the people responsible for this lawsuit. They were all arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession. Their 28 page lawsuit reads, "The police repeatedly failed, and continue to fail to follow the law… And as a result, subject these individuals to the full arrest process, with all of its direct and collateral negative consequences."
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Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Photography by Kat Mack
Article by Little Buds, on Jun. 27th 2012