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The Law Means What It Says

Yves has a a look at some of what the NYPD has been up to: As Many as 24 People Arrested for Trying to Close Accounts at Citibank.

I looked at the video and read the reporting, and someone needs to buy the NYPD a few copies of the Penal Law of the State of New York.

The initial reporting said people were arrested for ‘Criminal Trespass’. I don’t see a fence, and it isn’t a school or public housing project, so that is just bad reporting.

The only thing they could be charged with is Section 140.05 Trespass: A person is guilty of trespass when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.

That is a ‘violation’, so it doesn’t qualify as a ‘crime’ under the definition in the NYSPL.

Let’s look at the law and add in the definition of terms, because words have definite meanings when the are used in the law.

The ‘culpable mental state’ for this offense is ‘knowingly’. The NYSPL says in Section 15.05, subsection 2: “Knowingly.” A person acts knowingly with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware that his conduct is of such nature or that such circumstance exists.

Now we look at ‘enters or remains unlawfully’. Section 140.00 subsection 5: “Enter or remain unlawfully.” … A person who, regardless of his intent, enters or remains in or upon premises which are at the time open to the public does so with license and privilege unless he defies a lawful order not to enter or remain, personally communicated to him by the owner of such premises or other authorized person.

Why would anyone who had an account at Citibank think they were trespassing when they enter a location during business hours to withdraw their funds, and are met with a refusal by the bank to comply?

How can the woman who was picked up outside the bank be charged with anything, when she obviously was no longer in the bank?

How can anyone be charged with not leaving when the bank locked the doors?

What on earth was a Captain or above [white shirt] doing at a scene where the highest crime available was a ‘violation’? Do they have so many ‘white shirts’ in NYPD that they show up for traffic tickets?

The NYPD has not shown itself to be as professional as mall security when dealing with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

7 comments

1 jams o donnell { 10.17.11 at 7:10 am }

I saw the citibank vid yesterday and I was appalled. THe protestors certainly appeared peaceful and that female customer. I hope sues for wrongful arrest.

I can’t believe how bloody stupid the NYPD are being. They are utterly unprofessional (at best). I give thanks that the Met are different… Oh wait, I think the family of Ian Tomlinson would disagree with that statement

2 Bryan { 10.17.11 at 1:24 pm }

The militarization of the police forces of the West as a result of the “Global War On Terror” is extremely damaging to the social contract. They are no longer seen as necessary to keep the peace, but as an impediment to peace and free speech.

If you suppress the expression of anger, it builds until it explodes.

At this point I’m convinced that the reason we are seeing so many ‘white shirts’ at these events is that they don’t trust the regular officers to carry out their program. The NYPD may be fracturing internally.

3 Kryten42 { 10.17.11 at 11:05 pm }

This is growing like a wildfire. It can’t be stopped now, it’s growing rapidly around the World. And moron’s like the NYPD (and not talking about the real Cop’s on the street, the ‘white shirts’ as you aptly call them. It’s appropriate… has echoes of ‘brown shirts’ from the 30’s) are only fueling the fire. It’s typical of the ‘powers that be’, they have zero understanding of such things, and all they know about history is their balance sheet from last month.

There is a website now called ‘Why we protest’, this is their forum for Global Protest Planning

Reading the posts, you can see the growing urgency, excitement, and the will to do. This isn’t going away any time soon.

Reuters has an article on the Globalization of the protests:
Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome

And our own SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) yesterday (I post this because it includes a lot of images):
Global protests increase heat on political leaders

Watching all this develop, I feel pleased. 🙂 I’ve smiled for the first time in quite awhile. I think the ‘Global Consciousness’ has finally been awakened and people have had more than enough. Where this will end, I don’t know. But it’s something. I warned about this coming years ago. It took a bit longer than I’d hoped, but still, I saw it. It really was inevitable. 😉 🙂

Well, this is the first time I’ve been somewhat *active* on any topic here. Feels nice! 😀 Though I still have issues with Internet access (and other *stuff*).

4 Kryten42 { 10.17.11 at 11:14 pm }

Oh! This one is a good resource because it updates daily and provides highlights and lot’s of links:

(Updated Oct. 18) Occupy Wall Street inspires global protests against the ‘1%’ (activist reports, videos, pics)

Even MSNBC are reporting on the Global protests:
Protesters plan to ‘Occupy’ London, Rome, Auckland
“Organizers aim for demonstrations in 951 cities in Europe, America’s, Asia and Africa”.

BTW, I think you are correct Bryan. Especially about the NYPD (which you would of course understand more about than most of us). Even Jon Stewart thinks so. 😉 😀

5 Bryan { 10.18.11 at 12:27 am }

The real ‘enemy’ has been identified and people see the truth in the statement that the 1% created this mess and they aren’t being held accountable. That’s what has everyone PO’ed, they did it and got bailout, and have been allowed to continue as if nothing happened while the rest of us are in real trouble.’

The only place they paid a price was in Iceland, and Europe is having a hissy fit because the people of Iceland refused to bail them out. Iceland charged them and sent them to jail.

Now, Europe is looking at having to bail out their big banks because of the problems in Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, etc. The people want some justice. They want to see bankers going to prison if they can’t see heads roll. They don’t want their money to be spent on the 1% – the people who caused this mess.

Australia, at least, doesn’t have a member of the 1% in charge, like Italy, and NYC, and a lot of other places. Your finance minister seems to have his head screwed on straight, unlike the US, UK, and much of the so-called ‘first world’.

The police response is really pissing me off, because it isn’t they way things are supposed to happen. They are supposed to be keeping the peace, not trying to start riots. This stinks of ‘privilege’, which literally means ‘private law’. The 1% are determining what the law is, and who is punished. That is bullshit, and needs to end.

People are really waking up to reality, because it is obvious that the people who started Occupy Wall Street are right – the financial industry is the problem, and until that problem is solved, nothing will improve. That’s why it has gone global, because the problems they caused are global.

It is amazing that all it really took was a group of dedicated people to make a stand, and to point out the obvious. People knew this, but they didn’t want to be the first to say it out loud. The big thing is that the movement is made up of ordinary people who aren’t on anybody’s rolodex, and they refuse to identify with any political faction. They don’t care who fixes the problem, as long as it’s fixed.

6 Badtux { 10.18.11 at 2:16 am }

I’m glad I’m not the only one who is baffled by arresting a woman for trespassing on a public sidewalk. That’s one of those things where I’m, like, “WTF?”. I don’t know about the NYC code, last time I had to handle this sort of situation from the viewpoint of a business owner was in Louisiana and the code was a misdemeanor trespass called “Remaining after being forbidden” (that is, if you asked the person to leave and they refused, the cops could be called to haul them off). I can certainly understand a bank branch manager blanching at a bunch of protesters entering his (or more often her) branch and deciding that the branch was closing early and demanding that they leave because the branch was now closed, and calling the cops if they didn’t leave. Bank branch managers just aren’t paid enough to deal with that kind of thing, they’re 99%ers too (thus why so many of them are women — this is a “pink ghetto” of the banking industry that women get promoted into in order to inflate the number of female managers in order to head off sexual discrimination lawsuits). But that doesn’t explain why the cops arrested a woman who clearly was *not* in the bank and thus couldn’t possibly be trespassing after being forbidden. It appears her crime was dissent, and Ayatollah Bloomberg can no more tolerate that than Ayatollah Khamenei. At least our dissidents don’t get stoned or hung, but still… does Bloomers *really* want to invite the comparisons with the situation in Iran, where the arrest of political dissidents is a routine thing? If so, he’s doin’ it right!

All in all, just baffling. Of course, the apologists for fascism are out in force, saying that anybody who dares dissent should be arrested and beaten, but (shrug). Not much to say about that. I just wish I had time to pay more attention to the details of what’s happening in New York City and elsewhere, but I’ve been busier than a one-legged kicker at a field goal contest, and just can’t do it justice…

– Badtux the Baffled Penguin

7 Bryan { 10.18.11 at 12:45 pm }

A veteran cop once gave us rookies a piece of great advice – if you want to seriously get your butt kicked, arrest an innocent man.

Everyone you arrest claims that they didn’t do anything, but the truly innocent are powered by righteous indignation, and you will really have a fight on your hands and major embarrassment when you have to ‘unarrest’ someone.

That woman had the righteous indignation rising, and I see a law suit coming. The guy in the sweatshirt is IDed as an undercover cop, but I didn’t hear him ID himself, and didn’t see a badge, so that’s an error that makes the ‘resisting arrest’ charge against the woman even flakier than it was.

This whole response is FUBAR.