Friday, June 20, 2014

Let's All Check the Definition of "Public Park" Again

Because Lexington, Kentucky, seems to think the definition is "tax-payer funded space that rich people decide who gets to enjoy."

Beth Musgrave at the Herald:

In coming months, people who deal drugs, harass people or commit other serious crimes in Lexington's 105 city parks could be banned from the properties.

The Urban County Council voted 14-0 Thursday to approve a new parks department policy.

The council was the latest body to sign off on the policy, developed by a task force appointed in response to multiple citizens' concerns about safety in the city's green spaces. 
 General Services commissioner Geoff Reed said the banning policy was a effort to help police maintain safety in parks. Under the policy, someone who is banned from a park and then returns may be arrested for trespassing. Currently, if someone commits a particularly dangerous crime in a park — such as assault or selling drugs — there is no way for the city to keep the person out, Reed said.
Really? The police cannot arrest somebody for assault or selling drugs? Oh, wait, he means the police cannot arrest somebody who may have committed a crime in the past but who is not committing a crime in the present.

In a free, Democratic society, there is no such crime as "trespassing" on public property. Public property is, you know, public.

If people are committing actual crimes in that public space, then it is the job of the police to obtain probable cause - you know, like evidence - and then arrest the people committing crimes. It is manifestly not the job of the police to arrest people they or the powers that be don't care to share park space with.

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