NYPD deprived of stop ‘n’ frisk turns to eviction


The NYPD may thumb its collective nose at the new mayor’s busybody interference with their stop ‘n’ frisk  racket, but what with single-digit temperatures and double-digit snowfall, it’s just too darn cold to stand on street corners hassling passersby.  But how to meet their arrest quotas?

In Manhattan, they’ve hit on the perfect solution: raid the homeless family shelters. The cops get the lists of people living in these shelters and compare them to orders of protection or OOP’s. OOP’s are court orders to stay away from another person, issued more or less automatically in cases involving family members or domestic partners. Although the theory is protection,  it’s not so simple to keep involved people apart, and OOP’s are often ignored by the complainants.

But once there’s an OOP, it doesn’t matter what the parties think – it’s a crime to violate a court order.  So when the cops discover that someone in a shelter is living with his family in violation of an OOP, they arrest him.  They don’t ask whether there’s any current assaultive or abusive behavior going on, or what the other partner thinks.

Because these are classified as domestic violence contempt cases, the arrest automatically means jail unless the person can raise bail – highly unlikely for someone who’s been living in a shelter.  Consequently the remaining partner and her kids are no longer eligible to live in a family shelter and get kicked out too, with nowhere to go.  She may beg the cops and the Manhattan DA’s Office to drop the charges, but of course that would be a terrible undermining of The Law.

No doubt the NYPD’s new program has an attractive code name like Family Integrity Management or Domestic Cleansing.

We hope it will soon be warm enough for the cops to go back outside.

Hat tip to Claudia.

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
This entry was posted in Criminal law and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to NYPD deprived of stop ‘n’ frisk turns to eviction

  1. Well said! Needs to be a correction in the prosecution approach. I don’t think anyone would applaud the days when the DA’s office blew off all DV cases when the complainant had the slightest hesitation after the arrest, but now they’ve taken paternalism to the max, to the point of completely disregarding the views of the complainants altogether, even threatening them with getting the government to take away their kids, or throwing them in jail for making false reports, unless they march lockstep with the prosecution of their partners. Time for a change.


    • Steve Wasserman says:

      It is a totalitarian abuse of homeless families. And the sheer number of these prosecutions show that the legal system needs to take a closer look at monitoring and modification of OOPs. Admittedly it is complicated because many DV victims are not capable of standing up for themselves. Still there needs to a mechanism for revisiting or vacating OOPs on the application of the beneficiary.


    • An excellent article on the subject is Aya Gruber, The Feminist War on Crime, 92 Iowa L.Rev. 741 (2007), arguing that responding to the problem of domestic violence with harsh incarceration and separation policies comes at the expense of the individual desires, welfare and interests of the women affected, who are unfairly assumed to be universally “weak, damaged and unable to recognize their own interests.”


  2. Pingback: 3 Vignettes from the Struggle for a Police-Free New York | Novara Wire

  3. Pingback: 3 Bits of Context from the Struggle for a Police-Free New York (re-posted from Novara Wire) | lasophielle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.