A coalition of lawyers and activists has asked a federal judge to immediately halt implementation of Mayor Eric Adams’ new mental health policy, which requires the city’s police force to involuntarily take homeless people for psychiatric evaluation and possible hospitalization.
The group, which included New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, filed a request for an injunction that would block introduction of the policy in an existing federal class action lawsuit in Manhattan.
In the brief filed Thursday, the attorneys argued that the proposed policy would violate both the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and New York City’s human rights law.
Adams announced the new policy at a news conference last week and gave examples of people who could be jailed under the new policy, citing a “shadow boxer on a Midtown street corner mumbling to himself while stabbing an unseen opponent.” “.
In the lawsuit, attorneys argued the policy was vague and could unlawfully detain people in New York.
“The city’s new policy does not provide details on how an official can actually determine if Mayor Adams’ shadow boxer is unable to attend to his basic needs or is just training,” the filing reads.
“If the involuntary removal policy is allowed to continue to be implemented, the plaintiffs and countless other New Yorkers will suffer irreparable harm, including a significantly increased likelihood of being subjected to unlawful detention and involuntary hospitalization simply for exhibiting behavior perceived by a law enforcement officer be unusual – whether the person has an intellectual disability or not,” she adds.
The motion was filed in a class action lawsuit Justin E. Baerga filed in federal court in Manhattan in 2021.
The existing lawsuit aims to remove police officers as first responders for people who need mental health treatment.
“The new involuntary deportation policy doubles on decades of failed, police-centric city mandates, just as we should create health-centric supports for people with mental illness,” Marinda van Dalen, an attorney with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, said in a statement Thursday.
Judge Paul Crotty will decide whether to grant the restraining order.
A spokesman for the city’s legal department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
https://nypost.com/2022/12/08/eric-adams-plan-to-commit-harmful-nyc-homeless-faces-challenge/ Eric Adams’ plan to commit harmful New York homeless people faces a challenge