Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued an order this week telling cops that they can’t arrest people for loitering anymore.
The loitering statute was actually struck down way back in 1983 by a federal judge, whose opinion was bolstered by subsequent rulings which found the law unconstitutional. But the NYPD kept right on arresting people on loitering charges anyway. In April, a federal judge ruled the city in contempt of court for continuing to enforce the loitering laws.
In all, tens of thousands of people were improperly arrested. Now, in an Operations Order issued on November 9, Kelly writes that the loitering statute is “not to be used to issue a summons.” He notes that the state Legislature has repealed key sections of the loitering statute.