NYC’s gravity-knife law, cont’d

Carsten Vogel had been a vociferous defender of New York City police practices against critics. That all began to change one afternoon at the Nostrand Ave. station for the A train, “when he was approached by an NYPD officer, who asked what he had in his pocket.” [Jon Campbell, Village Voice; earlier here and here]

One Comment

  • The Village Voice mixes two issues together in this article.

    Gravity and switchblade knives where pretty much legal everywhere until a 1950’s nationwide mania caused by a movie stampeded legislatures across the country into enacting these silly laws. The movie was “Black Board Jungle.” Juvenile delinquency was new to the language. It was a big deal at the time.

    Many jurisdictions deliberately leave knife enforcement language vague enough for law enforcement officers to take action against common everyday knives if the officer feels that the possessor is a “wrong guy” with criminal intent. Not surprisingly, New Jersey is not far behind NYC in criminalizing pocket knives.

    The important secondary issue is that of Cops being graded and promoted by the number of arrests they make. We all know that this has been the case with motor vehicle summonses.

    When the liberty of citizens is hostage to internal police procedural headhunting, things are out of control.