Albany pols, NYPD order cops to do nothing as drug addicts shoot up

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NYC Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill last week decriminalizing the possession or sale of heroin needles

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The war on drugs in New York City is over. The addicts won. The New York Police Department (NYPD) waved a white flag last week – on orders from Albany to surrender – instructing officers to allow drug addicts to shoot freely on city streets, and even that let them share the needle.

“Effective immediately, service members should not take any enforcement action against any person who has a hypodermic needle, even if it contains remnants of a controlled substance,” a directive issued last Friday to NYPD commanders and obtained by the Post Gaya.

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Senate Bill 2523, cited in the Street Police order, curtails the possession or sale of hypodermic needles and syringes, commonly used by addicts to inject drugs such as heroin.

“This law says stick a needle in your arm, pump your body with poison and lose your life,” said State Sen. Andrew Lanza, R-Staten Island, one of the few NYC lawmakers who opposed the law. . “This law tells people with addiction that New York has abandoned you, that New York doesn’t care about you.”

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The measure, effective October 7, originated in New York City, sponsored by State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, D-Bronx, and was signed into law last week in Manhattan by Gov.

“It’s outrageous,” said real estate executive William Abramson, who represents residential and commercial clients around the city, many of whom have complained about drugs that have stuck in their stoops and doors. .

“Once again, the quality of life in New York City is deteriorating due to laws that do not consider city residents and businesses. We can all agree that something needs to be done to help addicts. But they should Letting bullets on the streets doesn’t help anyone. It’s bad for everyone.”

Drug deaths are skyrocketing across the city. The Centers for Disease Control reports that drug overdoses killed 2,243 people in New York City for the 12-month period ending March 31 – a 36 percent increase in overdose deaths compared to a year earlier.

The NYPD decree also tells police that “it is no longer a violation of the law for a person to have a hypodermic needle, even if it did not come from a pharmacy or needle exchange program.”

In other words: addicts are free to inject needles on the black market, or share them with other addicts, a risky behavior that poses additional dangers to both the user and the wider community.

The ability to share needles, Lanza said, “violates any logical and reasonable science based on public health standards.”

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This bill was “passed under the guise of compassion, but it is one of the least compassionate bills I have seen in the legislature in a long time,” he said. “There’s nothing kind about asking people to do something that’s going to kill them.”

Sharing needles increases the risk of communicable diseases, especially HIV.

According to the health department, the city has 14 storefronts and 33 mobile needle exchanges, which distributed 4.5 million syringes last year in 2018 for which data is available, adding that these exchanges have helped prevent the spread of HIV.

Luke Nastya, CEO of Camelot Counseling, a longtime substance abuse treatment center on Staten Island, said, “This law is a monument to how screwed we have become as a society with regards to drug abuse. ” “The more permissive we are as a society, the more difficult it is for people struggling to rehabilitate.”

The new law comes at a time when New York City’s streets, parks and public spaces are occupied by drug addicts.

The Post has chronicled addicts with needles, syringes, crack pipes and other items, injecting or smoking narcotics in broad daylight across the city in recent months, often with cops nearby. High-profile places like Washington Square Park and the streets of Midtown Manhattan, which are usually packed with tourists, are filled with fearless junkies of law enforcement.

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Barbara Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance, is outraged by the wave of heroin use facing member businesses.

“The new law is absurd,” she said. “Mentally and emotionally ill persons should be involuntarily removed from the streets if necessary. They should be placed in high quality settings, institutional settings, where they need shelter, food and care, if necessary Being a drug addict, a dreadful situation, freely injecting drugs and going out in public is not appropriate.”

New York lawmakers apparently see no problem, voting for drug addicts to freely use heroin and other injectable drugs in public without the threat of arrest.

“I hear legitimate concerns that some New Yorkers have about the increasing presence of substance use on our streets and its impact on our communities,” said bill sponsor Rivera. “That’s why it’s important that we move quickly to open overdose prevention centers, a proven tool in preventing overdose deaths, halting the spread of disease, a safe non-invasive treatment for those using drugs.” Providing a public space and a way to recover.”

State Conservative Party chairman Gerard Kasar said the decriminalization of hard-drug paraphernalia represented a sharp pivot to the left by Democrat Gov. Hochul, who is from a traditionally Republican upstate district.

“It’s not even a standard democratic approach. It’s a progressive democratic approach and that’s what she’s signing here,” he said. “It all seems very oriented towards keeping the socialist progressive movement happy and working to defend itself against (possibly NYC-based primary opponents) Tish James or Jumane Williams.”

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Before the new law, a cop could have arrested an abuser after watching him shoot in public, with only drug residue left in the syringe. But that remains is no longer a cause for arrest under the new law.

Based on the state’s latest bail-reform laws, hypodermic needling has been an arrestable but non-bailable offense. Addicts arrested for shooting or even selling small amounts of heroin usually took to the streets the same day.

Those bail-reform laws, with the threat of injury or infection to the police by needle-wielding addicts, and a lack of qualified immunity that makes officers personally liable if the arrest is bad, have allowed police to face drug abuse. Invited to look on the other side of the road.

The new law, and instructions to officers, codified this informal hand-off policy.

Professor Joseph Giacolone of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice said the consequences for all New Yorkers, including addicts, would be predictably worse.

He said, “Six months from now, New York politicians will be scratching their heads wondering why syringes are everywhere, drug use is on the rise, overdoses are on the rise, and why open drug markets are thriving. are,” he said.

“It makes you shake your head.”

Click Here to read more on New York Post.


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