You are reading

Queens lawmaker’s measure to repeal citizen’s arrest law in New York passes in Senate

State Senator Michael Gianaris passes legislation to end citizen’s arrest in New York. (Courtesy of Gianaris’ office)

June 5, 2023 By Bill Parry

State Senator Michael Gianaris on June 2 announced that his legislation to end citizen’s arrests in New York passed in the upper chamber.

Gianaris first introduced his citizen’s arrest repeal measure in the wake of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man in Georgia who was murdered by two white men trying to effect a citizen’s arrest in their neighborhood in February 2020.

Gianaris introduced the bill following the murder of Ahmaud Aubrey in Georgia which set off intense protests in Times Square in 2020. (Photo by Dean Moses)

Citizen’s arrest laws allow untrained individuals to apprehend alleged suspects. Existing New York state law allows private individuals to arrest someone without a warrant for any crime, at any time of the day. In some circumstances, these individuals do not even need to inform the prospective arrestee of the reason for performing the arrest.

Private individuals are also currently authorized by law to use “such physical force as is justifiable” to effectuate the arrest, posing a significant danger to New Yorkers.

The proposal would not affect a people’s ability to defend themselves or others from harm, Gianaris explained.

Juvenile suspects are subject to similar citizens’ arrest provisions. Currently, anyone under the age of 16 may be taken into custody by a private person for committing an act that would subject an adult to a similar arrest. Juveniles do not need to be informed of the reason for being taken into custody.

“Citizen’s arrests are a dangerous and historically abused practice that should not be allowed to continue,” Gianaris said. It’s past time to end laws like this that have been used by racists to advance their bigoted goals.”

He added that efforts to repeal citizen’s arrest laws are currently underway in several states and recently enacted in Georgia. Syracuse Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter is sponsoring companion legislation in the lower chamber.

“Citizen’s arrest is a long outdated and unnecessary practice that must be removed from law to prevent future tragedies,” Hunter said. “Many of those who attempt these arrests have no formal training and needlessly instigate confrontations based on prejudice and misinformation. I look forward to working with Senator Gianaris on this legislation so that New York may continue to lead in securing these critical criminal justice reforms.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Armed robber hits 7-Eleven stores in three Queens neighborhoods in just over an hour Wednesday morning: NYPD

Police from two Queens NYPD precincts are looking for an armed robber who targeted 7-Eleven stores in three different neighborhoods in just over an hour during the early morning of Wednesday, Apr. 17.

Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park reported that the first heist went down just before 2:25 a.m. at the 7-Eleven located at 112-11 Liberty Ave. in South Richmond Hill. The perpetrator allegedly pulled out a handgun and demanded money from the 23-year-old man behind the counter, who complied, handing over $400 in cash from the register, police said.

Jamaica Estates man beaten, robbed by bat-wielding thugs near Cunningham Park: NYPD

A 22-year-old Jamaica Estates man was beaten and robbed in broad daylight three blocks west of Cunningham Park on Saturday, and police from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows are looking for the suspects who attacked him with a baseball bat.

The incident occurred just after 7 p.m., as the victim was walking home in the vicinity of 189th Street and Aberdeen Avenue when he was set upon by the two assailants who struck him in the face and head with the baseball bat, police said. They forcibly removed his cell phone and fled in a black Pontiac Grand Am, heading northbound on 109th Street toward Union Turnpike.

Dozens of restaurant and small business owners urge Sen. Ramos to support the $8B Metropolitan Park proposal at Citi Field

Around fifty restaurant and small business owners from Corona, Jackson Heights, and East Elmhurst signed a letter asking state Senator Jessica Ramos to support the $8 billion Metropolitan Park proposal from New York Mets owner Steve Cohen and Hard Rock International to build a casino and entertainment complex on the parking lot adjacent to Citi Field.

Jessica Rico, the owner of Mojitos Restaurant & Bar in Jackson Heights, hand-delivered the letter to a Ramos staffer while the Senator was in Albany on April 19.

Spring refresh: 10 unique home stores to check out in Western Queens

Apr. 18, 2024 By Amanda Salazar

Spring isn’t just a time for cleaning — it’s also a time of fresh starts and renewal. If you’ve been considering redesigning your home, now is the perfect time to renew your space. Whether it’s as big as a complete overhaul of your home’s interior design or as small as getting a new lamp, there’s a small business in western Queens that can help you breathe new life into your space. Here are 10 local home décor and furniture stores to check out this spring.