City Councilman Calls for an End to Arrests for Minor Subway Infractions

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 crimes."

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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