2008-12-19 / Letters

Harassment, Not Trespassing

Dear Editor,

Can someone tell me the definition of trespassing? I found three in the dictionary: to make an unwarranted or uninvited incursion; to enter unlawfully upon the land of another; and to intrude.

My children live out-of-state, so they have out-of-state ID. You mean to tell me if they happen to give me a surprise visit and the cops stop them asking for ID and I wasn't home to verify who they were because I didn't know they were coming, the cops will actually take them in until they can

reach me? All while my innocent children are locked

down like animals.

I've witnessed episodes like this; I've seen my friends coming from their mother's house getting picked up for "trespassing."

I've been a victim to this twice. The first time, my in-law came to visit me and the cops came out of the exits. Luckily I was home to verify him. Even though I did this, they still took his ID and ran it down. The second time my in-law came by my house and then went by another relative's house. On his way back to my house the cops picked him up for "trespassing." I felt bad because I invited him over and said he was always welcome in my home. I had to go to the precinct and pick up his property.

This makes no sense. I have family members and friends who lived the straight and narrow path all their lives and have good jobs. They shouldn't be subjected to this.

My sister works for ACS and has never been in trouble. How would it look if she comes to visit me and gets picked up for trespassing? That would mess up her record and she could lose her job.

Most of these charges are a waste of time and get dismissed, but it remains on your record, "if you stay out of trouble for a year," which isn't fair at all.

When I was growing up and to my understanding, you trespass if you go on private property, not public property. This is public housing, like the public library, public transportation and public bathrooms. I see suspicious looking people going into all these public places. Do they arrest anyone suspicious entering any other public places, besides public housing? What about public parks? A lot of crime is committed in public parks.

Entering a public building shouldn't be trespassing; entering a private apartment can be considered trespassing.

Trespassing should apply to those who are on the "unwanted list" because that is the true definition of trespassing.

CYNTHIA SMALLS-WILLIAMS

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