In The News: NYPD Agrees to End Raids on UWS Shelters

Editor July 2nd

In their second major victory this year, Picture the Homeless (PTH) has successfully defended the rights of New Yorkers from future police raids on homeless shelters. Raids of this sort are conducted to look for people with outstanding arrest warrants.

PTH held a rally in response to an incident that took place at the Freedom House shelter on 95th street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive. At 4:00am on May 23, police officers from the 24th Precinct (which covers the Upper West Side between 86th and 110th streets) raided the shelter and arrested 22 people after running background checks on all of the residents.

After the rally, people supporting PTH marched to a 24th Precinct community council meeting. At that meeting, PTH President Jean Rice asked if any of those arrested were associated with a recent crime. The Precinct Captain Marlon Larin replied that there was nothing to prove any connection between those arrested and recent crime in the area.

In the days leading up to the rally, New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton  said that raids on homeless shelters are, “well intended but something that I’m not supportive of”. Captain Larin added that the 24th Precinct would no longer continue the raids, saying, “There won’t be any more operations in the immediate future”.

For now, this means the residents of shelters on the West Side can rest easy. PTH has vowed to try to have this policy put in place to stop raids on homeless shelters throughout the city.

For more information about this story, and to learn more about PTH please click here.

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