LANSING, Mich. — A Lansing City Councilman is hoping to get rid of 18 city ordinances as a way of furthering police reform.
“Some of these ordinances are petty and are conduct that really should not be punished by 90 days in jail, a $500 fine or two years on probation,” said councilman Brian Jackson.
Some of the ordinances lay out criminal penalties for things like climbing trees in the park, riding your bike in the park and even being a kid playing outside.
“Kids playing in the street, I cannot imagine any police officer in any circumstance where they would have to arrest a kid for that,” Jackson said.
Jackson, a former assistant city attorney who now works in the Ingham County public defender’s office, has worked with these ordinances up close. He said a lot of them create a disconnect between police and the community.
“They’re unnecessary,” he said. “Some of them are unconstitutional and they’re over-reaching what authorities should be. Ultimately, I think they will create mistrust in the community if people realize that police can and will arrest you for some of these petty offenses.”
The repeals will be presented during Monday’s council meeting, and Jackson hopes the measure gets community support.
“This is the very beginning of a process that will hopefully be done and hopefully the public and everyone will have an input to help do it," he said.
The repeals have to go through the council’s Public Safety Committee, then through a public hearing, and from there, a final decision will be made.
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