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News ::
Attn. Quincy People- Let get rid of this city's loitering law.
07 Sep 2004
Modified: 11:04:17 PM
The City of Quincy is selectively applying this law against young people, poor people, and anybody else that the police arbitrarily decide is an undesirable.
This law is not only Un-American, it is illegal and could result in costly lawsuits against the city.
The Quincy Center red line stop is also the major bus hub for the South Shore. It's a busy place, people are always coming and going.

Young and homeless people often congregate at the train station or the nearby park adjacent to Quincy City Hall. The fact that these people are often harrassed by the police is nothing new. But in the aftermath of a recent stabbing and rape in the train station parking garage, police have been overcompensating by frequently using an unconstitutional anti-loitering law to chase undesirables from the park.

If you look young or poor you will be told to leave the park. The man in the suit sitting on the bench next to you, the police won't bother him.
Today I was threatened with arrest for reading on the grass. They said I was sitting there too long. I couldn't get them to ask the nun to leave as well.

This is ridiculous and needs to be challenged.
I'm going to be giving out leaflets with the following info. If you want to help, get in touch.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Laws against loitering are unconstitutional and have consistently been struck down by the Supreme Court.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states-
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Quincy Municipal Code 9.08.060 reads-
“No person shall accost or annoy persons, or disturb the peace, or loiter or address another person with profane or obscene language in any public park, public reservation or city-owned land in the city.”

What is loitering anyway?
Black’s Law Dictionary defines it as-
“The criminal offense of remaining in a certain public place (such as a public street) for no apparent reason. Loitering statutes are generally held to be unconstitutionally vague.”

The City of Quincy is selectively applying this law against young people, poor people, and anybody else that the police arbitrarily decide is an undesirable.
This law is not only Un-American, it is illegal and could result in costly lawsuits against the city.

Sitting in a Park is not a Crime.
(WHAT WOULD JOHN ADAMS SAY?)

This work is in the public domain
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Citizen Arrest Cops for Loitering Around Donut Shops?
07 Sep 2004
Might we worth a try.

Good to see you up and about, Nick.
Re: Attn. Quincy People- Let get rid of this city's loitering law.
08 Sep 2004
There is a statue of John Adams in the park. I'm thinking it might be good theater to arrest him for loitering.
I think its a good law. Its not as unfair as you think.
08 Sep 2004
"Young and homeless people often congregate at the train station or the nearby park adjacent to Quincy City Hall. The fact that these people are often harrassed by the police is nothing new. But in the aftermath of a recent stabbing and rape in the train station parking garage, police have been overcompensating by frequently using an unconstitutional anti-loitering law to chase undesirables from the park."

It is not unconstitutional for laws to be bassed to restrict assembly in certain areas. There is no infringement on the First Amendment rights there, and it makes sense in the wake of the stabbing and rape. To "get rid" of the law makes no sense.

You failed to mention the fact that many of the people "hanging out" there also accost passers by and beg for money. They also sell and use drugs there. To the person who mentioned the cop and the donut shops, COPS DONT LOITER. Whatever they are doing is none of your business, and if they are breaking the law, then report them.

To the people travelling to work, those people "hanging out" are a nuisance and make them feel unsafe (and rightly so). Try to look at both sides of the issue. Some of us work for a living.
Re: Attn. Quincy People- Let get rid of this city's loitering law.
08 Sep 2004
I don't think people reading books should be threatened with arrest, however I agree. I have been to Quincy Station and every other station around here. I think idle persons not engaged in awaiting public transportation should be expelled from the station premises. I for one am tired of being harassed by drunks, beggars, thugs, and persons who smell like urine. Can't they be made to fill in potholes and pick up the loose trash around Boston and paid a small fee?
clarification and response
09 Sep 2004
first of all, the MBTA is considered private property. I am aware of this. I don't think it's right but perhaps it is a battle for another day.

But the city owned park adjacent to the train station is public property and the loitering law I am referring to is unconstitutional by it's vagueness. Also, the selective enforcement of ANY law is a violation of due process and therefore unconstitutional.

Begging for money is protected by the constitution.

Using and selling drugs is illegal and there are laws on the books to deal with such behavior. To pre-emptively apply a loitering law to prevent potential drug using or selling is illegal and unconstitutional.

How does "it make sense in the wake of a stabbing and rape" to get rid of people who could potentially stop such crimes.? People don't usually get raped if there a others present to do something.

If people make you feel unsafe that is a problem in your own perception. Republicans make me feel unsafe but I can't get them swept off the streets.

Oh, you might work for a living. But as a Union Boilermaker I work HARD for a living. And if I want to park my ass in a park, ain't nobody gonna stop me.

Quincy Municipal Code 9.08.060 is history.
google "loitering law" to witness the fate of other such anti people legislation.
Vagrants are annoying. If they were productive, they wouldnt loiter.
10 Sep 2004
"How does "it make sense in the wake of a stabbing and rape" to get rid of people who could potentially stop such crimes.? People don't usually get raped if there a others present to do something."

What are they gonna do, join in? I would like to read JUST ONCE that some vagrant transient stopped a crime. Why is it that you liberals dont make the connection between the where and the WHY? Although it may not be true for a small minority, the VAST majority of transients (people who "hang out" in parks and at train and bus stations) belong to the following groups:

Drug users and alcoholics
The homeless (for reasons other than temporary hardship)
Mentally ill (Vietnam Vets 'God Bless Them' who talk to walls)
Beggars
Thieves

What would you do if somebody decided to "hang out" on the public sidewalk right in front of your home day in and day out, then beg for a dollar every time you went out your front door? Who has the choice in that situation...the bum hanging out, or you? The bum can hang out elsewhere.