NY Times – A new law enacted in June gave New York City police officers the discretion to issue a civil summons, rather than a criminal one, for offenses such as public urination and public drinking.
It appears that many officers have opted to do neither.
Officers issued 4,370 criminal summonses from June 13, when the law went into effect, through Oct. 1, according to data from the city released on Friday. Over that same period in 2016, they handed out more than 55,000.
The more than 50,000 missing criminal summonses did not simply transition to civil offenses; officers handed out about 26,000 new civil summonses for those offenses, suggesting that many may be deciding to not punish the offenses at all.
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