Thursday, December 13, 2007

operation lucky bag

the times and daily news are reporting on a subway sting operation by the new york police department. in my opinion, operation lucky bag reeks of entrapment -- law enforcement practices that induce citizens to commit crimes they would otherwise have had no intent to commit. judge for yourself:

The NYPD revealed Wednesday its Operation Lucky Bag stings have snared nearly 300 people - many of whom had no rap sheet before they fell for the ruse. Since the start of the year, there have been 100 arrests as a result of the decoy operations, in which an undercover officer "drops" a wallet, iPod or cell phone in a subway station and cops pounce after it's picked up. Police said 58 of those busted had rap sheets, while 42 had clean records. There was a similar breakdown in 2006, when 188 were arrested. The NYPD said 101 had prior arrests while 87 did not.

worse still, good samaritans appear to be caught up in the sweep. isn't there enough actual crime on the trains? if predatory robbery (or even pickpocketing or pursesnatching) is a big problem in this setting, i could reasonably imagine, say, a decoy operation in which officers pose as attractive targets. but dropping a bag and arresting the rider who picks it up? that's just crimemaking.

-via boingboing

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