For the past several years New York City's "stop and frisk"
program has been a lightning rod for controversy. Now, one of the program's
most vocal critics is calling for an end to arrests for so-called "minor
City Councilman Jumaane Williams is calling for an end to the New York
City Police Department's policy of arresting people for committing
minor crimes on the city's subways. Minor crimes, according to non-binding
Resolution No. 91, which Williams sponsored, include loitering and occupying
more than one seat. Williams's reasoning for the elimination of the
arrests is that he believes the arrests are "overly punitive"
and "unfair" as they can put a significant financial burden
on those who are subject to them.
Critics to Williams's proposal believe that the arrests for minor offenses
are likely to help keep New York City subways safe, and may help police
to better locate people who have outstanding arrest warrants. In their
opinion, ending the program would serve, in effect, to significantly hamper
New York City police from conducting valuable police work.
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