ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

August 17, 2009

2009.08.17: NYT Letter from Desiree Buenzle (Brooklyn CDD)

Filed under: Civil Rights,Criminal Justice,Drug Wars,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 8:47 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 8:47 AM
To: 1199 Members; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: NYT Letter from Desiree Buenzle (Brooklyn CDD)

August 16, 2009


A Truth About Poverty

To the Editor:

Re “Is It Now a Crime to Be Poor?” (Op-Ed, Aug. 9):

It was such a relief to read Barbara Ehrenreich’s essay, and the answer is “yes.”

As a Legal Aid Society attorney in Brooklyn, I can confirm that the vast majority of people who are penalized, jailed, fined and surcharged are poor people of color and of Latino origins. These people are relentlessly arrested not for crimes of violence but for drinking, and publicly urinating, and walking, and talking, and driving, and selling, and just being there.

These are the so called “quality-of-life crimes.” Their perpetrators are ever-present reminders of the inequality of the society we live in. That is their real offense.

Desiree Buenzle

Bronxville, N.Y., Aug. 10, 2009


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