Tags: New York City | Bill Bratton | amnesty | low-level

NYC's Top Cop Floats Amnesty for 1.2M Open Arrest Warrants

By    |   Monday, 18 May 2015 08:52 PM

New York City's top cop is floating the idea of using an amnesty program to resolve the 1.2 million open arrest warrants for low-level offenses.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton last year announced that the city would stop arresting people for alleged, minor marijuana possession.

But he's now locked in a battle with the City Council about decriminalizing quality-of-life offenses like public drinking, urination and fare evasion, arguing that police must retain the right to make arrests for those crimes.

Bratton's amnesty idea is focused on the almost 40 percent of the hundreds of thousands of people ticketed last year for minor offenses who failed to show up in court, and have open warrants.

"I think it would be a very delicate conversation where we want to find the right balance," Bronx Democratic council member Vanessa Gibson told CBS. "We also want all New Yorkers to respect the laws we have on the books because laws are meant to be implemented. They're meant to be enforced."

One former police officer worries the amnesty could trigger a spike in crime.

"You always have to be answerable for your behavior, and unchecked behavior, we know, leads to larger things, and those things manifest themselves in violent crime and property crime, like auto theft and burglary and things like that," Jon Shane, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told the CBS affiliate.

A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio said certain offenses, like drug crimes, probably shouldn't be forgiven, the affiliate reports.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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New York City's top cop is floating the idea of using an amnesty program to resolve the 1.2 million open arrest warrants for low-level offenses.
New York City, Bill Bratton, amnesty, low-level
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2015-52-18
Monday, 18 May 2015 08:52 PM
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