NYPD to limit condom confiscations in sex worker arrests

nypd drunk dwi arrested
Credit: Metro File Photo

New York City police officers will limit how they use confiscated condoms as as cause for prostitution charges against alleged sex workers according to a policy shift announced Monday.

And while many hail the decision to restrict how seized condoms might be used against individuals found with them during a search, some advocates remain hopeful the city will broaden the new rule’s scope.

“It’s definitely a step forward,” said Natalia Aristizabal, a lead organizer with nonprofit community organization Make the Road. “But as long as having a condom carries a risk to get arrested, I think a lot of people will choose not to carry them.”

Aristizabal said that while the change is an improvement from previous administration’s defense of detentions and arrests based on condom possessions, the conversation continues to be a confusing one that could criminalize condom possession by some sex workers or people who may be trafficked.

Through the city’s health department, New Yorkers have had access to free condoms since the 1970s. Today, some 38 million free condoms are distributed yearly at about 3,500 locations citywide.

“We have the city giving away free condoms,” she explained, “and on the the other hand the NYPD saying you can’t use condoms here but you can have them there.”

In a memo released on Monday, the Police Department said it would still secure condoms during arrests but for safekeeping as they do with other personal property, which is typically returned upon release.

Any condoms confiscated during arrests related to either sex trafficking or promotion of prostitution can still be used as arrest evidence.

The news was welcome by the de Blasio administration and and the five district attorneys’ offices.

“This is a reasonable approach to targeting the most at risk community as it relates to safer sex practices and continuing to build strong cases against the vast criminal enterprise associated with prostitution,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement Monday.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. also voiced his support as a means to curb the spread of disease while still committing to prosecuting offenders.

“I have long believed that it is possible to address the use of condoms as evidence in misdemeanor prostitution-related cases without weakening our ability to prosecute serious crimes, like sex trafficking,” Vance added.

Police were unable confirm at the time of publication when the change in police would go into effect.

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.