The Bronx DA's decision to not prosecute trespassing cases originating in public housing units unless the police officer submits to an interview has predictably "infuriated" law enforcement sources, who have run to the Post to complain. "You're wasting at least half a day," one source whines about having to meet with prosecutors to prevent bogus arrests. Another Bronx officer adds, "If you're going to have this attitude, why bother prosecuting any crimes?" Yeah, if you have to drag your feet through this "due process" thing to prevent false arrests, why even have a DA at all? Can't cops just cut the middleman when they want to arrest people who are taking out the trash or visiting friends and relatives?
The practice, which has been in place since July, has decreased the number of trespassing arrests in the Bronx as compared to last year by 38.2%. Jeannette Rucker, a bureau chief with the Bronx DA's office, wrote in a letter to the NYPD that her office was finding a significant number of cases where people arrested in public housing units (or those opened to NYPD stop-and-frisk tactics by the Clean Halls program) for trespassing were actually "legitimate tenants or invited guests."