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Study shows Bronx cops made hundreds of unlawful arrests.


Jul 25, 2008
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Those NYPD blue'ers are doin' Anslinger proud :rolleyes: ff! :holysheep:

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New study by Bronx public defenders claims NYPD cops made hundreds of unlawful marijuana arrests

Bronx Defenders says 41% of those arrested for pot had their rights violated

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Bronx cops made hundreds of unlawful marijuana arrests and trumped-up charges over a five-month period last year despite a warning from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, claims a study by the Bronx Defenders.

The study released Friday shows that illegal stops and searches are an “epidemic” in the Bronx, said Robin Steinberg, Bronx Defenders executive director.
Her organization interviewed 518 people apprehended for marijuana possession from May to October 2011 and found that 41% had their rights violated.
In 176 cases, there was no cause for people to be detained, and in 184, the organization concluded that cops "manufactured" misdemeanor charges by forcing people to show their pot.
Nearly all the people arrested for marijuana possession in the Bronx are black and Latino men.
The cases reveal "a policing strategy that overwhelmingly and disproportionately targets young people of color and relies on rampant disregard for the civil rights of the people the NYPD is charged with protecting," the organization said in a statement.
In New York, possession of a small amount of marijuana is only a misdemeanor when the pot is displayed in public. When the substance is concealed, it becomes a violation punishable by a fine - even when an officer pulls the pot out of the defendant's pocket or orders the defendant to pull it out.
NYPD officials said they would not comment because they have not seen the study.
Last September, the commissioner issued an internal order related to arrests for small amounts of pot not in public view.
However, the Marijuana Arrest Project study found that illegal stops and wrongful marijuana arrests actually increased in the month after the order, from 31% to 44% and from 33% to 44%.
People arrested for pot in the Bronx are often handcuffed and jailed for 24 hours. Such arrests can ruin lives because they can lead to a criminal record, eviction, deportation, loss of parental rights, denial of financial aid and loss of employment.
The negative consequences of the arrests hurt the low-income neighborhoods where most of the collars are made, Steinberg said.
Many people arrested for small amounts of marijuana in the Bronx have no prior criminal record and receive adjournments that are eventually dismissed.
Most defendants who fight back plead guilty rather than miss work or school for numerous court dates, said Scott Levy, the Bronx Defenders lawyer who led the study.
Vocal critics of the "stop and frisk" strategy used by the NYPD, including the Bronx Defenders, claim it leads to illegal searches of minority youth.
But proponents such as Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg argue it allows officers to nab people with illegal guns and make high-crime neighborhoods safer.

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