Never Mind The Law: The NYC Cop Will Ticket You For Not Disobeying It

Never Mind The Law: The NYC Cop will Ticket you for not Disobeying ItVivian Yee writes at NYTimes.com of a law student, Andrew Rausa, and a few of his friends, who got ticketed for drinking in public when they didn’t actually meet new York’s definition of drinking in public. (They were drinking on a stoop, behind a wrought-iron gate. one of those ticketed was apparently drinking a soda in a plastic cup.)

Meanwhile, Mr. Rausa, who will enter his third year at Brooklyn Law School this fall, had pulled out his iPhone to study the new York administrative code, which defines a public place as one “to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access, including, but not limited to,” a park, sidewalk or beach. Exceptions include drinking at a block party or “similar function for which a permit has been obtained” or places with liquor licenses.

Holding his phone, Mr. Rausa approached the officer, who had returned to his car, and said that because he was sitting on a private stoop behind a gate, he was not breaking the law.

“I don’t care what the law says, you’re getting a summons,” the officer said before rolling up his window, according to Mr. Rausa.

…Steven Banks, the chief lawyer for the Legal Aid Society, said that in Mr. Rausa’s case the open-container law should not have extended to the stoop because it was private property. “This is representative of the kind of overpolicing that detracts from focusing on real serious problems,” Mr. Banks said.

Hey, why run after a purse snatcher and break a sweat and all when you can just pass out tickets to a bunch of law-abiding people on a stoop?

Oh, and there’s some dispute in the comments below the piece as to whether the stoop actually is private property, but commenter Mike from Italy has it right:

The point is not whether the stoop is private property, or not. The point is that the NYPD has so much time and money as to drive around neighborhoods looking for hyper-technical violations of petty statutes. Don’t they have something else to do? Two cops and a car? what does that cost? I’m not sure it’s possible to walk down the street in the US any more without breaking the law. we have gotten very far away from what this country is about. And the cops wonder why they are hated. 5 views

Never Mind The Law: The NYC Cop Will Ticket You For Not Disobeying It


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