[Hpn] NYC, NY - Opinion: Vagrants With Lawyers - The New York Post - April 2, 2003

Editor Editor <hccjr@bellsouth.net>
Fri, 04 Apr 2003 04:43:50 -0600


>From today's HOMELESS NEWS:


Opinion:  VAGRANTS WITH LAWYERS

[editors note]
~~~~~~~
Vagrants and "those called homeless" are NOT
the same people.  A vagrant can be homeless
and a homeless person (by their actions) can
be a considered a vagrant, but they are not the
the same and should not be grouped as one.

Vagrant definition (15th century) from Merriam-Webster:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Noun - 1 a : one who has no established residence
AND wanders idly from place to place without lawful
or visible means of support

b : one (as a prostitute or drunkard) whose conduct
constitutes statutory vagrancy
------------------------

Homeless definition (1615) from Merriam-Webster:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Function adjective: Having no home or permanent place of
residence

Noun: Not homeless, but "Homelessness"
________________________________________________________________
By Opinion Editors - The New York Post - April 2, 2003

NYC, NY -- Another day, another lawsuit "settled."

This time, the litigation was brought by Picture the Homeless
Inc. -
what an adorable name, no? - in conjunction with the
anything-but-adorable New York Civil Liberties Union.

The suit charged that the NYPD was "targeting" vagrants for
arrest
and jailing them overnight - instead of nudging them along to
shelter
facilities.

It was nonsense on stilts, of course.

Yes, department brass sometimes have to hector patrol cops to do
the
right thing regarding bums. It's one of the untold truths of
urban
police work that cops stay as far away from vagrants as they
can -
and for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, rather than fight, the city chose to settle.

So the NYPD will now send directives to its Transit Bureau, which
is
responsible for patrolling the subways, essentially urging its
officers to back off regarding vagrants.

So look for more - and more fragrant - panhandlers during your
daily
commute.

Think of it as one more step back toward Dave Dinkins' New York.

Which, frankly, was the point.

The litigants - just like the Coalition For The Homeless, Housing
Works and numerous others - were hell-bent on making policy via
the
judicial system.

Never mind the fact that vagrancy is still against the law. In
other
words, just lingering, hanging out on the street or on a subway
bench, is a violation.

If an individual can't produce the necessary identification after
having been told to move along by an officer of the law, he
should be
picked up.

But these lawsuits are designed to make it as difficult as
possible
for all cops - regular and transit - to do their jobs.

Most likely, the idea is to make the police second-guess
themselves
so much that they will tire of enforcing the law.

What then would be the result?

Can the activists "picture the homeless" freezing during the
winter?

They should - it happened, just this winter.

Picture this: Arthur Cafiero, an alcoholic derelict, froze to
death
on church steps at the northeast corner of 86th Street and
Amsterdam
Avenue in broad daylight on Jan. 18 - exercising his "right" to
be
free of "police harassment."

The NYCLU must be so proud.

The Bloomberg administration has been in office for 15 months
now.

It really should know better.

It must realize that the activists are committed only to their
own
agenda. They care not that the city is in dire financial straits
and
that commitment to quality of life is the only thing keeping the
Big
Apple from falling into the economic and social morass that it
became
in the late '80s.

If the administration continues to roll over with these nuisance
activist lawsuits, it will be perceived as weak.

Which will produce more suits.

It's not hard to picture the results.


Copyright 2003 NYP Holdings, Inc
________________________________________________________________
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 THE HOMELESS NEWS 
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