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AOC on Judge's Detention Ruling: 'Unconstitutional'

Ocasio-Cortez: NYPD detaining arrestees for more than 24 hours without charges
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2020 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – On Thursday, a Manhattan judge issued a ruling affecting the NYPD and protests in New York City, and AOC is pushing back. Per Law & Crime, Criminal Court Judge James Burke granted the police department's request to allow for the detention of arrestees in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn for longer than 24 hours, even if criminal charges aren't brought. His decision came after the city's Legal Aid Society filed a writ on behalf of hundreds of people in city jails who'd been at demonstrations swirling around George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis. "There is a crisis within a crisis," Burke said in justifying his ruling. New York law requires a person to be arraigned within 24 hours of an arrest, but Burke agreed with the NYPD that "extreme measures" are necessary to keep order due to "rage against the police department."

Critics, however, say the judge's decision is a lifting of habeas corpus, a centuries-old legal doctrine prohibiting detention without charges—and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is among the most vocal. "Civil liberties protect ourselves from governments using 'crises' and 'emergencies' as justification to dismantle our rights," the congresswoman tweeted. "This is suspension of habeus corpus, it is unconstitutional, and it is deeply disturbing that both NYPD is seeking it and a judge rubber stamped it." Others worry that this decision could apply to anyone in these parts of the city, not just to protesters. Habeas corpus has been lifted throughout US history in rare instances, including Abraham Lincoln's Civil War easing to detain those who were pro-Confederacy, as well as to justify holding Gitmo detainees indefinitely, per Insider. (Read more Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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