Banana Republics Have Nothing on New York City

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In a nation that incarcerates more people than any other, New York City hopes to jail a hefty proportion of its residents, too. The Daily News reports that the City now boasts more than a million “open bench warrants” for such heinous “crimes” as “drinking a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon on a West Village stoop” and “walking a dog without a leash.” The News lies somewhere to the left of Pravda, but even it marvels that an eighth of New Yorkers could languish in the pokey, which “number of outlaws … nearly matches the population of Dallas.”

What is the NYPD’s response to this horror? A spokesliar sniffed, “Clearly, we see the police department doing what they’re supposed to be doing … They’re following up on warrants and having people get their day in court. It’s a civics lesson. A good civics lesson.”

Indeed. The grad student who quaffed his brewski on a stoop agonized for 27 hours behind bars — the vertical kind, not the polished wood, horizontal type — as punishment. He asks, “Is my civics lesson that the NYPD is arbitrary and brutal or that I should never trust a cop in New York again?”

Go to the head of the class, buddy. And thanks to Charles Everett for the link.

1:25 pm on February 26, 2013