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Friday, October 05, 2012

Changes in Loitering-related Arrest Policy

The New York Times reported yesterday on a recent ruling that challenges the legality of loitering arrests in public housing projects. Judge Scheindlin of the Manhattan Federal District Court said in her decision that the current loitering rules are "unconstitutionally vague". A number of unlawful arrest lawsuits have now been allowed to go forward where previously they would have not been heard in court.

This decision comes on the heels of the Bronx District Attorney's recent decision to no longer prosecute individuals arrested for trespassing in public housing projects unless the arresting officer can be interviewed and will attest that the arrest was warranted.

Bronx Community Solutions will frequently see clients from court who have been brought in on trespassing charges. It will be interesting to see how policy changes affect these numbers.

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