Posted on May 19, 2015

NYPD Commissioner Considering Granting Amnesty to 1.2 Million Low-Level Offenders

CBS New York, May 18, 2015

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is behind a controversial proposal to grant amnesty to more than 1 million people with open warrants for low-level offenses.

But some experts worry it could cause crime to skyrocket.

First he called for reduced penalties for smoking marijuana. Now, Bratton wants to explore granting amnesty to 1.2 million city residents with open warrants for low-level offenses, people who run the risk of being arrested for failing to resolve tickets for drinking in public, disorderly conduct and the like, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday.

There is one statistic that shows the magnitude of the problem. Last year, of the hundreds of thousands of tickets that were given out for low-level offenses, fully 40 percent of the people either skipped the proceedings or didn’t show up, Kramer reported.

Several members of the City Council, concerned with police-community relations, said amnesty is an idea that should be looked at seriously. Council Public Safety Chair Vanessa Gibson said she favors doing something to eliminate a backlog that includes some summonses a decade old.