New York City cops were using "Stop and Frisk" to target minority youth, to saddle minority youth with arrest records, to get an easy afternoon at the station house (processing the arrest), and for some easy overtime pay.—Ronald David Jackson
|Photo by r0bz.|
Don’t fear the reefer.
In a historic change, the NYPD on Nov. 19 will stop arresting people on low-level marijuana charges and issue tickets instead, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday.
People caught smoking on the street would still wind up in the pokey, but someone caught with a little less than an ounce of marijuana (25 grams) would be slapped with a summons.
“As for those who want to avoid summonses, don’t do it, it’s that simple,” Bratton said, holding up a baggie of oregano as a visual aid. “It’s still against the law. I’m not giving out get-out-of-jail for free cards.”
If found guilty, a violator will face a $100 fine for the first offense and $200 for a second, the top cop said.
Mayor de Blasio, who campaigned on curtailing stop-and-frisk, said “too many New Yorkers without any prior convictions have been arrested for low-level marijuana possession.”
“Blacks and Latino communities have been disproportionately affected,” he said.
A marijuana arrest means a police record, and that “hurts their chances to to get a good job, it hurts their chances to get housing, it hurts their chances to qualify get a student loan,” de Blasio said. “It can literally follow them the rest of their lives.”