NY Trespassing Arrest For Lost ID
The arrest and detainment of a 21 year old college student has made for a pretty nice story in the New York Times. But her story is one that’s repeated several times a day by the New York Police Department. The difference is, the leading character is usually male and usually a minority.
Twenty-one year old Samantha Zucker is a student at Carnegie Mellon University who had traveled to Manhattan with a group of students to scope out jobs in the design industry. One night of her stay, she walked with another student to the park to see the Hudson. But, it was late and the park was closed.
As the two students walked, they were stopped by a police car who told them the park was closed. They responded that they hadn’t known and began to walk back towards the hotel. Another police car stopped and told them they would be ticketed for trespassing. When Ms. Zucker revealed she had left her identification at the hotel, she was informed it was “too late” to send someone back for it and that she would be arrested.
Zucker was taken to the 26th precinct station house and then moved to central booking in Lower Manhattan. She was finally moved back to Harlem for the night when the arresting officer was getting off his shift before Zucker had the chance to be photographed. In the morning, she was awaken and taken back to booking where she would spend another night.
On that second morning she was finally taken before a judge where the ticket was dismissed in less than a minute.
Though carrying identification is not a requirement under the law, Zucker was stopped for a criminal offense (trespassing) and protocol is that someone accused of a crime without identification can be held for a court appearance rather than being cited for a later date. But is Zucker’s arrest a good use of taxpayer resources? Not hardly.
Every year about 40,000 people, mostly black and Latino males, are arrested by the NYPD for misdemeanor open display of marijuana, a fact not lost on this NY Times story. Because possession of marijuana has been decriminalized but the open display of marijuana is a misdemeanor, cops can affect an arrest once they ask a person to empty their pockets, bringing their marijuana into the open.
Hardly a worthwhile use of the courts, petty arrests seem to do nothing more than increase an officer’s productivity on paper and alienate the public from those tasked with protecting them.
Not all criminal charges are levied against the stereotypical criminal. Instead, many are brought against people who have done little if anything wrong, certainly not something worthy of a night or two in jail. If you’ve been charged with a crime and are questioning the validity of the arrest, contact us today to discuss your case.