Cop Charged for Not Arresting Indigent

Stuart Lawrence stuartwl at walrus.com
Wed Mar 26 12:53:57 MST 2003


March 26, 2003
Cop Charged for Not Arresting Indigent
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Filed at 1:51 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Police filed charges against an officer who allegedly
refused a sergeant's order to arrest a homeless man for trespassing in a
parking garage.

The officer, Eduardo Delacruz, 37, was formally accused Tuesday of
failing to comply with a lawful order and could ultimately lose his job
as a result of the charges.

Delacruz was suspended without pay after he refused to make the arrest
on Nov. 22, saying the man had nowhere else to go.

Delacruz now faces a department administrative panel, where he may
explain his position, and then a departmental trial, where police
officials present their case against him.

At issue is whether the order to arrest the homeless man was lawful,
said Norman Siegel, Delacruz's attorney.

The New York Civil Liberties Union sued the police department in
November, arguing that its policy of making such arrests was
unconstitutional.

``We still hope Commissioner (Ray) Kelly will allow us to amicably
resolve the controversy,'' Siegel said in Wednesday's New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-BRF-Homeless-Arrests.html



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