- Last Updated: 10:53 PM, June 16, 2012
- Posted: June 17, 2012
Looks like Nicholas Garaufis isn’t the only autocratic judge riding a bench in Brooklyn.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Noach Dear has carried judicial activism to the height of insanity by ruling that cops must prove that a beverage is alcoholic before issuing a summons for public drinking.
Just smelling it isn’t enough, he ruled — now each sample must be lab-tested, or he’s going to throw out the summons.
Which is exactly what he did in one case — even though the person cited actually admitted that he was violating the law.
Dear says that by demanding a higher standard of proof in violations of the open-container law, he’s hoping to pretty much end — or at least reduce — actual enforcement of the statute.
Which is beyond bizarre.
Yes, the NYPD comes down hard on public drinking, issuing more summonses for it last year than for any other violation.
For good reason.
The summons, even with its relatively low fine, allows cops to check the person being ticketed for outstanding warrants.
Indeed, it’s the very basis of the so-called broken-windows approach to police work — that small crimes and/or blight, just like a single broken window in an abandoned building, inevitably lead to chaos and decay if ignored.
It’s precisely the approach that reclaimed New York’s streets from the thugs and led to historic drops in crime that continue to this day.
Indeed, this approach rescued New York and made it livable again.
Which is why the NYPD still focuses on seemingly minor quality-of-life offenses.
But Dear either doesn’t understand — or doesn’t care.
Of course, he’s perhaps New York’s least likely jurist, never having even practiced law before being elected to Civil Court.
His previous stints as a City Council member and Taxi & Limousine commissioner were undistinguished, to put it mildly, and he was constantly under one ethical cloud or another.
Now, he’s reportedly eyeing a return to electoral politics — where a populist appeal certainly won’t hurt. (He did much the same thing by dismissing debt-collection cases en masse.)
Dear has always been a hack.
Now he’s a dangerous hack.Follow @NYPostOpinion