People v. Diaz

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal


Judge ShawnDya Simpson

Defendants were charged with disorderly conduct. They sought dismissal for facial insufficiency or in the interest of justice. The amended complaint alleged defendants were observed, with 50 others, standing in front of the 73rd precinct blocking the entranceway. It was contended defendants refused to disperse, despite instructions by police to do so preventing officers from entering or exiting the precinct. The circumstances here fell within the standards outlined in Criminal Procedure Law §170.40(1). The court noted the allegations did not provide sufficient facts to establish proper cause for defendants' arrest as essential details were missing to show commission of the crime. Also, it found defendants were alleged to have been involved in a peaceful protest addressing an issue concerning the public welfare—protesting the stop-and-frisk policy. The court stated no harm was alleged as there appeared to be no victim herein, thus the seriousness of the violation alleged was, at best, "de minimis." Further, it noted there appeared to be little evidence of guilt as the cases of the other codefendants were dismissed after trial for lack of evidence and failure to meet a prima facie burden to show commission of the single violation charged. Dismissal was granted in the interest of justice.

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