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.