Since Mayor Bloomberg became mayor a decade ago, the NYPD has arrested nearly 350,000 young Black and Latino for low-level marijuana possession.
AlterNet / By Gabriel Sayegh
Last September, in response to mounting public pressure, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly issued an operations order reminding officers to follow existing New York State law; officers, Kelly wrote, must not falsely charge people for possessing marijuana in public view if the individual removed marijuana from their pocket under the order of a police officer. Unfortunately, Kelly’s order has not stopped the practice.
Stephen Glover, a 31-year-old African-American member of VOCAL-NY, was arrested for marijuana possession near 150th St and Courtlandt Ave in the Bronx in November 2011 – months after Commissioner Kelly’s operations order was issued.
“It seems like Commissioner Kelly can’t control his police force when it comes to stopping illegal marijuana arrests,” Mr. Glover said. “I was standing outside of a job training program when the police ran up on me, searched my pockets without my permission and found a tiny amount of marijuana. They kept me in jail for three days and then released me with the threat of another 20 days in jail if I had any more police contact. Saying one thing and doing another when it comes to marijuana possession will just push the NYPD’s credibility to new lows.”
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