[Hpn] (no subject)

joe reynolds jos_reyn@yahoo.com
Sun, 29 Dec 2002 16:47:35 -0800 (PST)

> from www.silive.com 



> More support for suspended cop 


> Advocacy groups join forces and establish fund for 

> family of officer who refused to arrest homeless man


> Thursday, December 26, 2002 




> Staff members and clients of several of the city's 

> leading advocacy groups serving the homeless have 

> set 

> up a special fund to support the wife and five 

> children of Eduardo Delacruz, the Mariners Harbor 

> cop 

> suspended for 30 days without pay last month for 

> refusing to arrest a homeless man. 


> "This is a really beautiful thing," said Norman 

> Siegel, Delacruz's attorney, after the groups 

> presented him with a $3,000 check for the family, 

> during a Christmas Eve press conference on the steps

> of City Hall. "This demonstrates the true heart and 

> spirit of New York City." 



> "I've got housing now," said Minnie Wilson of 

> Manhattan. "But I know what it's like to be on the 

> street. I also know that I could have ended up in a 

> jail cell just for being homeless." 


> More than 200 people at Housing Works, a group 

> serving 

> homeless New Yorkers living with AIDS and HIV, 

> kicked 

> in money, according to co-executive director Charles

> King. 


> Other groups that contributed included the Coalition

> for the Homeless, Bailey House, CitiWide Harm 

> Reduction and the New York City AIDS Housing 

> Network. 


> The Delacruzes have five children ranging from two 

> months to 19 years old, according to Housing Works. 


> On Nov. 22, Delacruz, a four-year veteran of the 

> Police Department's Homeless Outreach Unit, refused 

> to 

> obey an order from a superior to arrest a homeless 

> man 

> sleeping in a Manhattan garage. He was placed on a 

> 30-day unpaid suspension the next day. 


> The Police Department confirmed his suspension ended

> Dec. 23 and that he has been reassigned to Transit 

> District 33 in Brooklyn, pending a departmental 

> hearing on the case. Under police guidelines, an 

> officer's suspension can last only 30 days without 

> the 

> department reviewing the case. 


> Delacruz is committed to remaining on the police 

> force, Siegel said. "He loves being a New York City 

> police officer." 


> Siegel declined comment on word that Delacruz 

> doesn't 

> want to return to the outreach unit, but stressed 

> the 

> cop stands by his belief that homeless people should

> not be locked up just for being homeless. 


> Delacruz apparently has support in the police 

> community. 


> "Jail is not the solution to the homeless problem," 

> said Anthony Miranda of the Lieutenants' Benevolent 

> Association, "and it never will be." 


> The Police Department has "to learn that being 

> homeless is not a crime," said Joe Bostic of 

> Manhattan, a member of the Housing Works staff. 


> Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, commenting on the

> Delacruz case, said a paramilitary organization like

> the Police Department can't function effectively if 

> officers disobey orders in the field. 


> But Siegel begged to differ: "I would respectfully 

> disagree with that view." 


> Contributions to the fund for Officer Delacruz's 

> family may be sent to: The Marissa Delacruz Fund, 

> c/o 

> Housing Works, 320 W. 13th Street, 4th Floor, New 

> York, NY 10014. Reginald Patrick is a news reporter 

> for the Advance. He may be reached at 

> patrick@siadvance.com. 


> Copyright 2002 SILive.com. All Rights Reserved. 


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