NYPD Says You Won't Get Arrested For Peeing In Public
Drinking in public and littering will apparently no longer get you arrested in New York City.
According to WNBC, these are just two of the low-level crimes that, as of today, will only result in a summons as opposed to an arrest in the borough of Manhattan.
The move was first announced last Tuesday by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Police Department Commissioner William Bratton and Cyrus Vance Jr., the New York County district attorney.
Other crimes that won't land you in handcuffs anymore include public urination, riding between two subway cars and taking up two subway seats.
The trio said now, an officer will only arrest someone for these crimes if "there is a demonstrated public safety reason to do so."
Prior to the change, offenders of these minor crimes were only arrested if they had open warrants or they did not possess identification.
Offenders with open warrants will still be taken into custody should they commit a minor crime, but they will only be issued summonses and not have to face additional criminal cases.
If someone without an ID commits a minor crime, he or she will reportedly get the chance to call someone who can bring a photo ID to the police station.
Vance said this new measure will prevent courts from being "unnecessarily bogged down with minor offenses.”
By giving cops the discretion to issue summonses instead of requiring them to make arrests, we ensure they do not spend hours processing cases as minor as littering, and we enable officers to get back to patrolling, investigating and keeping our neighborhoods safe.
The three officials estimated Manhattan courts will have 10,000 fewer cases a year thanks to this change.
Between 2001 and 2013, approximately 81 percent of the 7.3 million people who were issued summonses by the NYPD for these types of minor offenses were black or Hispanic, New York Daily News reports.
Out of these summonses, the most popular offense was public consumption of alcohol.
Data reportedly obtained from the District Attorney's Office states more than one million people who live in NYC currently have open summonses for failing to appear in court.
Citations: NYPD Stops Arresting People for Minor Crimes in Manhattan (WNBC), Littering, public urination and other minor offenses in Manhattan will lead to summons and not arrest (New York Daily News)