Monday, May 5, 2008

Police Intervention--in 2006

And see how much good it did: the arresting officer didn't go to court, so it was the offender's word against a ticket, and guess who won? From a New York Times article published August 22, 2006, “Under One Roof, Trial, Penalty and Civics Lesson”, on a multijurisdictional community court in Brooklyn:

Another man, Jonathan Bennett, a spokesman for the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, was issued a summons that stated he had let his dog run without a leash in Prospect Park outside the permitted area and hours.

“I hate to say this,” the judge said. “You’re not allowed to have a dog off the leash.”

Mr. Bennett, who said he scrupulously obeys the rules for leashing his dog, disagreed, his voice rising to a low boom as he spoke in his defense. “Respectfully, your honor, it’s not true.”

To trial, then.

Mr. Bennett was sworn in. If he seemed testy and defensive, it was because, weeks afterward, he remained outraged at what had happened that night. He had refused to give his identification to the officer who confronted him, saying that he believed he had done nothing wrong and that the officer had no cause to demand it. Then, Mr. Bennett had turned and walked away, prompting more officers to converge on his home for his eventual arrest, he said, followed by two hours of stewing, shoeless, in a precinct cell. But none of this came up in court.

The judge read the location of the arrest, which appeared to be outside the area where dogs are allowed to run free. “It doesn’t really seem like the Long Meadow to me,” Judge Calabrese said. “It seems like you were outside the Long Meadow.”

Mr. Bennett said, “I was definitely inside the Long Meadow.”

Judge Calabrese said without emotion, “Case is dismissed.”

Central Park
3:40 P.M. , 2 unleashed dogs east of of Sheep Meadow. Owners white.
3:50 P.M., 1 unleashed sheep dog with white owner dangling feet in lake, 50 ft. from sign saying
"no dogs in water"

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