NYC: Revoke Judge Burke’s suspension of habeas corpus & have innocent protesters released

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As of yesterday, June 5th, Manhattan Judge James Burke denied a writ from legal aid to release hundreds of protesters who have been detained for days. He has suspended Habeus corpus in NYC, stating it is “a crisis within a crisis” (nydailynews source below). This sets a precedent that could potentially mean any New Yorker can be arrested and held for ANY amount of time WITHOUT CAUSE. This is unconstitutional. It is also against the just, progressive values NYC is supposed to stand for. New Yorkers should not have to live in fear that the NYPD can abuse their power to jail anyone they feel like.

If processing times are truly the only reason people are stuck in cramped jails during the coronavirus pandemic, please provide whatever resources needed to process these people and get them released, rather than roll back the 24-hour holding rules. Public safety is not in danger because of peaceful marches, like NYC has seen for decades. Protestors have the right to free speech. Regardless, this could affect all citizens of New York, from the privileged to vulnerable immigrant communities, and we must understand the potential gravity of this decision. Not having due cause is more of a public safety issue. The checks and balances of the legal system are in place for trying times like these and must be upheld. This suspension could cause for many innocent people to lose their liberty and set a precedent that NYC is willing to erode our freedoms. You can’t stand up against Stop and Frisk or be a sanctuary city and then allow this to happen. 

Mayor DeBlasio, We demand action to keep us safe from what would normally be considered unlawful detention, and furthermore seek the resignation of Judge Burke. 


Concerned New Yorkers 

(a reference story.