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NYC judge removed for ruling on drinking
A New York City judge has been removed from the bench over a ruling on how police determine if someone has been drinking in public, a court spokesman said.
Judge Noach Dear raised eyebrows last month when he ruled police should have a suspect beverage scientifically tested for alcohol rather than relying on the judgement of police officers who generally make that decision by sniffing the container.
Dear also concluded that enforcement of public drinking laws in New York was racially based.
The New York Post said the administrators of the Brooklyn Criminal Court decided Dear, a former city councilman who was working only part time, should step aside.
“The judge was, in fact, volunteering on the weekends because of a resource shortage, but at this point his services are no longer needed,” said courts spokesman David Bookstaver.
The Post said open-container violations were a common policing tool in New York where violators often turned out to be wanted for other crimes.
But legal analyst Arthur Aidala told the newspaper Dear seemed to be blocking enforcement of the law. “He’s legislating from the bench,” said Aidala. “He’s saying we’re not going to enforce the law even though people of color violate the law. That’s ludicrous.”
Copyright 2012 by United Press International