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#1
Old 06-16-2007, 02:03 PM
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What exactly is illegal about "loitering"?

Saw this at the bank the other day, always wondered what the rationale was for loitering laws. I recall a woman being arrested once when she just parked her car in front of the business in question (a computer shop where a lot of us geeks always hung out at) and sat in the car for several hours until the cops were called. Anyone know?
#2
Old 06-16-2007, 02:31 PM
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In this specific instance, I would imagine that the shop was concerned that she was casing the joint for a future robbery.
#3
Old 06-16-2007, 02:33 PM
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In New York, "loitering" is defined as "wandering or standing with the purpose of begging," its not just hanging around.

Some things are just malum prohibitum as the Romans used to say... bad because they are prohibited, as opposed to bad in themselves (malum in se).
#4
Old 06-16-2007, 02:41 PM
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It is illegal because laws were passed making it illegal. The laws were passed because people in general find it creepy and annoying to have some people just hanging about for hours.
#5
Old 06-16-2007, 02:41 PM
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Along the lines of my Latinate colleague, some things are bad because they lead to worse things and it's advantageous to society to stop them before they do.
#6
Old 06-16-2007, 02:44 PM
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it's a "Convenience law"--something the police can use as a convenient excuse to get rid of a person who they don't want hanging around. It was originally designed, I think, in the 1930's as a way to get rid of hobos hanging around railroad yards, (or blacks in southern towns)
Although this wiki article gives examples of more recently passed loitering laws, aimed at inner-city gangs.

Anecdotal evidence:
When I was in high school (hippie era, 1968) there was a city park that was used by teenagers for hanging out --and smoking marijuana. The local residents complained, so one sunny afternoon the police swept down on the park and arrested everybody there( who had long hair and jeans) on charges of "loitering".

Well, umm, what's a park for if you can't sit on the benches with your friends and hang around?

A lawyer friend told me it was just a convenience law--they took everybody downtown, made their parents come pick them up, and then dropped the charges.
Then he said, yes, it is subject to abuse, but most of the time the police use the law against winos or guys standing around a playground with their zipper open, and as a liberal civil rights lawyer he didn't object.
#7
Old 06-16-2007, 03:19 PM
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Loitering laws have also been held UnConstitutional. YMMV, IANAL.


http://ndsn.org/summer99/courts3.html
On June 10, in a 6-to-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago anti-loitering law that allowed police to arrest persons who look like gang members and loiter on city streets (Chicago v. Morales, No. 97-1121 (1999)) (David G. Savage, "Supreme Court Rejects Ban on Gang Loitering," Los Angeles Times, June 11, 1999, p. A3; Tony Mauro, "Court kills Chicago anti-gang law," USA Today, June 11, 1999).

Chicago's 1992 anti-gang ordinance allowed police to arrest persons who "remain in any one place with no apparent purpose" in the presence of a suspected gang member and who then fail to disperse satisfactorily when warned by police. Under the law, the city could arrest and win convictions even if they did not prove criminal behavior, criminal intent, or previous criminal activity by the person accused of loitering. Before lower courts found the law unconstitutional in 1995, Chicago police issued 89,000 dispersal orders under the ordinance and made 42,000 arrests. The majority of people arrested were black or Latino.

Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "The freedom to loiter for innocent purposes is part of the liberty" protected by the U.S. Constitution. People in Chicago who stop to "engage in idle conversation or simply enjoy a cool breeze on a warm evening" should not be subject to police commands, said Stevens, joined in full by Justices David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In separate opinions, three other justices joined the majority but rejected the idea that loitering is a constitutional right. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and Stephen Breyer rejected the Chicago ordinance because it did not focus on specific criminal conduct. Justice O'Connor suggested that Chicago lawmakers should redraft their anti-gang laws to make it illegal to loiter in order to "establish control over identifiable areas or to intimidate others from entering those areas."

Justice O'Connor's opinion "gives states and local governments, for the first time, a legal avenue to address the terrible problems that communities face when gangs take over the public ways," said Brian Crowe, corporation counsel for the City of Chicago.


http://nytimes.com/2007/05/30/ny...rssnyt&emc=rss
The state penal code holds that a person is loitering if he “remains or wanders about in a public place for the purpose of begging,” but in a ruling that applied specifically to New York City enforcement, the provision was ruled unconstitutional in 1992 by a federal District Court.

Despite that ruling, more than 2,300 people have been arrested statewide for violating it over the last decade, including 442 in 2006.


http://aclu.org/scotus/1998/13644prs19990610.html
CHICAGO -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and the Cook County Public Defender's office praised today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in City of Chicago v. Jesus Morales, et. al., striking down as unconstitutional Chicago's "anti-gang loitering" ordinance, as a meaningful victory for young men of color in Chicago and across the nation.

"We are grateful that the Justices of the Supreme Court understand what escaped the political leaders of Chicago: namely, that it is not a criminal activity simply to be a young man of color gathered with friends on the streets of Chicago," said Harvey Grossman, Legal Director of the ACLU of Illinois.


http://prisonactivist.org/copwat...3/loitrlaw.htm

http://santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/c...4045/index.php
Loitering laws were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because the court ruled, you can't arrest someone for simply being in one place too long.

http://libertarianrock.com/topic...w_victory.html
Superior Court Judge Chesley N. McKay released a preliminary ruling that Palmdale's curfew is unconstitutional. ...Barrera argued that the words "loiter, idle, wander, stroll or aimlessly drive" are unconstitutionally vague. "The ordinance also infringes on freedom of speech and freedom of association," he wrote.

Judge McKay's finding was based on a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled a similarly worded San Diego curfew unconstitutional.


http://ohiou.edu/~orle/new/bm.htm
To begin, a well-established element of the guarantees of due process requires that the proscriptions of a criminal statute be clearly defined. Haywood, 118 Ill. 2d at 269, citing Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104, 108, 33 L Ed. 2d 222, 227, 92 S. Ct. 2298, 2298-99 (1972). To avoid the vagueness doctrine, a criminal statute must meet two standards. The first, it must be sufficiently definite so that it gives a person "of ordinary intelligence" the opportunity to distinguish between lawful and unlawful conduct. And second, the statute must define the criminal offense in a way that it does not encourage discriminatory enforcement. Kolender, 461 U.S. at 357-58, 75 L. Ed. 2d at 909, 103 S. Ct. at 1858....A second constitutionally guaranteed right violated by the Chicago Gang Law is the right to free movement in any public place or forum. This right includes, "going to, remaining in and leaving at one’s own pleasure, such public places and forums as parks, plazas, streets, sidewalks, and the myriad other public spaces in and around one’s neighborhood. Indeed, the free use of such places is, for many, an integral and indispensable part of daily urban life."[6] In 1972, the Supreme Court found that loitering laws were unconstitutional and prohibited their enforcement.[7]



http://nationalhomeless.org/publ...itutional.html
Measures

Another tool that cities have used to target people who live outside and on the streets are laws that prohibit loitering. Due to the broad scope of prohibited behavior under loitering laws, cities have used these to target homeless people in public spaces. Fortunately, cities have found these laws less useful, as the Supreme Court has overturned several loitering laws for being unconstitutionally vague.

In several cases, the Supreme Court has found vagrancy and loitering ordinances unconstitutional due to vagueness, in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. A statute is unconstitutionally vague if it does not give a person notice of prohibited conduct and encourages arbitrary police enforcement. Since many loitering laws have similarly broad and vague language, homeless persons and advocates have a strong argument that such laws violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
#8
Old 06-16-2007, 07:23 PM
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There's been a bunch of controversy here in Baltimore over the past couple of years regarding the city police force's practice of sweeping up dozens of people at a time, and thousands over the course of a few years, in low-level "quality of life" arrests, many of which were merely for "loitering."

Even after the city's highest ranking criminal prosecutor, State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy, stated outright at a legislative hearing that many of the arrests were in violation of the Constitution, the cops have continued to pick people up on slim or no pretext.

In August 2005, almost 9,000 people were taken to central booking in Baltimore. Of those, 1882 cases:
Quote:
fit under the heading “could not prove,” including 408 drug cases, 248 arrests for trespassing, and 845 loitering cases.

Jessamy referred to five individuals she said police had arrested for leaning on a car. The police “said they had warned them the day before” not to loiter there, Jessamy told the legislators. “This arrest should not have taken place.”

<snip>

Minutes after Hamm’s testimony, Jessamy told the state legislators that despite the program to train police in avoiding violations of the Fourth and Fifth amendments, the number of cases her office has had to decline to prosecute has increased. “We have given the declines to the police and built a training program around them,” Jessamy said. “Unfortunately, the number of declines are not decreasing because of this.”

Jessamy said that when she started the training in 2000 the rate of cases declined was about 15 percent. “Sometimes now it’s up to 33, 34 percent,” she said. “There is no law against citizens standing in the street leaning on a car.”
And from an earlier story:
Quote:
Mrs. Jones is Baltimore City Councilman James B. Kraft’s shorthand for the upstanding citizen who wants the boys taken off the corner. The 1st District Democrat says he hears every month from constituents who complain about drug dealing or other activities.

So city police officers arrest the men on the corner. They arrest everyone on the street, and all the people sitting on the stoops. If they don’t find any drugs, they charge the arrestees with loitering or failure to obey a police officer and take them to Central Booking. “Many of those loitering arrests are just getting those people off the streets,” Kraft says, “because that’s what the community wants to do.”

Then these arrestees—about 1,800 of them every month—are released without formal charges being filed. The numbers of arrests—and the percentage of those released without charges—has been increasing steadily since 2002. Last week The Sun reported that figures for July 2005 were the highest since June 2002, when these figures began being compiled, with 2,824 cases going uncharged out of 7,697 arrests.

<snip>

Arrestees now receive a form that allows them to request expungement, though they have to give up their right to sue the department for false arrest, Warren Brown says.

<snip>

Because the Supreme Court has found the underlying law invalid, anyone in Baltimore—or anywhere else—arrested for loitering (and not additionally charged with prostitution or drug offenses) is by definition falsely arrested.

Rocah explained that a second big category of arrests that go uncharged is for “failure to obey” a police officer. “The average officer in Baltimore doesn’t have a clue as to what constitutes a lawful failure-to-obey arrest,” Rocah said. “They think that if they tell someone to do something, and they don’t do it, then they can arrest them. That’s not the law.”
#9
Old 06-16-2007, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappachula
(or blacks in southern towns)
Broad brush there mate.
#10
Old 06-16-2007, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Broad brush there mate.
Actually, if you bothered following the link provided in chappachula's post, you'd get to the Wikipedia entry for "loitering," which notes that vagrancy laws were used in the South to control blacks. This claim cites volume 37 of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, where you'll find an article entitled Regulating Race: Asian Exclusion and the Administrative State (pdf). That article notes that "a plurality" of loitering and vagrancy laws in Ameirca "relied on racist aspects of the legal history of loitering," and the article in turn cites 527 U.S. 41 City of Chicago v. Morales et al., which says:
Quote:
While antiloitering ordinances have long existed in this country, their pedigree does not ensure their constitutionality. In 16th-century England, for example, the " `Slavery acts' " provided for a 2-year enslavement period for anyone who " `liveth idly and loiteringly, by the space of three days.' " Note, Homelessness in a Modern Urban Setting, 10 Fordham Urb. L. J. 749, 754, n. 17 (1982). In Papachristou we noted that many American vagrancy laws were patterned on these "Elizabethan poor laws." 405 U. S., at 161 -162. These laws went virtually unchallenged in this country until attorneys became widely available to the indigent following our decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U. S. 335 (1963). See Recent Developments, Constitutional Attacks on Vagrancy Laws, 20 Stan. L. Rev. 782, 783 (1968). In addition, vagrancy laws were used after the Civil War to keep former slaves in a state of quasi slavery. In 1865, for example, Alabama broadened its vagrancy statute to include " `any runaway, stubborn servant or child' " and " `a laborer or servant who loiters away his time, or refuses to comply with any contract for a term of service without just cause.' " T. Wilson, Black Codes of the South 76 (1965). The Reconstruction-era vagrancy laws had especially harsh consequences on African-American women and children. L. Kerber, No Constitutional Right to be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship 50-69 (1998).
Kerber's book, which i have here in my office, discusses the racial, discusses the race and gender aspects of vagrancy and loitering laws, especially in the South, and she notes:
Quote:
"Broadly drawn vagrancy statutes," writes William Cohen, "enabled police to round up idle blacks in times of labor scarcity and also gave employers a coercive tool that might be used to keep workers on the job. Those jailed on charges of vagrancy or any other petty crime were then [given the]...'opportunity' to sign a voluntary labor contract with his former employer." Those who did not sign faced convict labor. Between 1890 and 1910 nearly all the former Confederate states adopted new and harsher vagrancy laws, most of which lasted well into the 1960s.

p. 69
So, unless you've got something to refute what chappachula said, might i suggest you take your knee out of your mouth. No-one said that all Southern towns did this; all chappachula noted was that loitering and vagrancy laws were convenience laws, and that one way they could be used was to regulate blacks in Southern towns.
#11
Old 06-16-2007, 08:44 PM
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Loitering laws were an excellent way to make Depression-era jobless feel unwelcome and get them out of town before they had a chance to take jobs from locals.

I'm reminded of a passage from Woody Allen, about a career criminal getting his start:
"His first arrest was for loitering. He loitered for five years until he realized it was not the kind of crime that brought in any money."
#12
Old 06-16-2007, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhendo
So, unless you've got something to refute what chappachula said, might i suggest you take your knee out of your mouth

Well, how about reality? I and all my relatives have lived in small Southern towns forever and have only witnessed this sort of persecution on TV and cheesy movies. Believe it or not, we didn't lynch all black people or run them out of town or burn crosses on their lawns. You might be surprised to learn that no town I or any of my relatives ever lived in even had the supposedly ubiquitous separate fountains or bathrooms. The intelligentsia you cited have perpetuated these stereotypes for sometime, and they are just that, stereotypes. I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood, which included several mixed marriages on my street, and my aunt married a person of color in the 50s. All are alive and well, and were never firebombed or even rousted. Racism existed, throughout the country, but not everyone in the south was a fucking klansman, hence my "broad brush" comment.
#13
Old 06-16-2007, 10:22 PM
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While that may be a good point today, Operation Ripper, I doubt you were around in 1865, or even during the period from 1890 to 1910.
#14
Old 06-16-2007, 10:36 PM
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"Loitering" is a law of convenience for cops, so they can arrest whomever they want.
#15
Old 06-16-2007, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Well, how about reality? I and all my relatives have lived in small Southern towns forever and have only witnessed this sort of persecution on TV and cheesy movies. Believe it or not, we didn't lynch all black people or run them out of town or burn crosses on their lawns. You might be surprised to learn that no town I or any of my relatives ever lived in even had the supposedly ubiquitous separate fountains or bathrooms. The intelligentsia you cited have perpetuated these stereotypes for sometime, and they are just that, stereotypes. I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood, which included several mixed marriages on my street, and my aunt married a person of color in the 50s. All are alive and well, and were never firebombed or even rousted. Racism existed, throughout the country, but not everyone in the south was a fucking klansman, hence my "broad brush" comment.
You have the most amazing ability to miss the point. Kudos. It must take some real effort on your part to be so oblivious to the actual argument that's being made here, rather than the paranoid fantasy you've constructed in your mind.
#16
Old 06-16-2007, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mhendo
You have the most amazing ability to miss the point. Kudos. It must take some real effort on your part to be so oblivious to the actual argument that's being made here, rather than the paranoid fantasy you've constructed in your mind.
No kudos to you though. From a distant time and place, you are telling me the sky is green down here because other people have told you so. I'm here, and I've been here a while, and it is and has been blue, and I've told you it is and has been, but you persist in trying to convince me that it is and has been green, because some guys told you so. No kudos to you mate.

Last edited by Operation Ripper; 06-16-2007 at 11:12 PM.
#17
Old 06-16-2007, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
No kudos to you though. From a distant time and place, you are telling me the sky is green down here because other people have told you so. I'm here, and I've been here a while, and it is and has been blue, and I've told you it is and has been, but you persist in trying to convince me that it is and has been green, because some guys told you so. No kudos to you mate.
No.

I'm simply saying that your own personal experience might not be reflective of what was happening in some other parts of the South in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Were you, for example, in Alabama in 1865 when the state broadened its vagrancy code? Did you see the results of that legislation? Were you alive between 1890 and 1910 when other former Confederate states adopted new vagrancy laws?
#18
Old 06-17-2007, 01:01 AM
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Sort of a WAG but I could imagine loitering could be harmful to businesses since it may scare off customers. For example, if you saw a bunch of shady looking kids in front of your local 7-11, maybe you would rather just go without that smoothie you've been craving.
#19
Old 06-17-2007, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by r4nd0mNumb3rs
Sort of a WAG but I could imagine loitering could be harmful to businesses since it may scare off customers. For example, if you saw a bunch of shady looking kids in front of your local 7-11, maybe you would rather just go without that smoothie you've been craving.
Littering as well, I would guess. Cigaretter butts and empty beverage containers getting left all over the place.

About six months ago, there were a couple homeless camped out on the front lawn of the apartment building I live in. The pooped and pissed under the stairwell.
#20
Old 06-17-2007, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4nd0mNumb3rs
Sort of a WAG but I could imagine loitering could be harmful to businesses since it may scare off customers.
Sure and opening a competing business across the street could also cost a store a lot of business. Shall we make that illegal too?

Doesn't the fact that SCOTUS has struck down many of these laws make dudes wonder? And the fact that even after a high Court has ruled a law UnConstitutional, the Police continue to arrest dudes under that law?

Loitering laws are bad.
#21
Old 06-17-2007, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4nd0mNumb3rs
Sort of a WAG but I could imagine loitering could be harmful to businesses since it may scare off customers. For example, if you saw a bunch of shady looking kids in front of your local 7-11, maybe you would rather just go without that smoothie you've been craving.
Funny you should mention this. Around here, nearly every 7-11 has a "No loitering" sign out front. I've always assumed that they're concerned about unruly teenagers hanging around out front and scaring off other customers.
#22
Old 06-17-2007, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Diceman
Funny you should mention this. Around here, nearly every 7-11 has a "No loitering" sign out front. I've always assumed that they're concerned about unruly teenagers hanging around out front and scaring off other customers.
It's worth noting that the owner of private property can enforce a "no loitering" rule.

If the 7-11's sign refers to the store's own private parking lot, for example, they are perfectly within their rights to ask that people not hang around.
#23
Old 06-17-2007, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Well, how about reality? I and all my relatives have lived in small Southern towns forever and have only witnessed this sort of persecution on TV and cheesy movies.
What exactly do you define as Southern towns? All of the older parks around New Orleans still have two sets of water fountains left over from segregation. Of course, anyone is now free to use either one...the signs have been completely removed from most of them, although there is one set at Mel Ott Park in Gretna, Louisiana where you can still see the painted over signs that say "Whites" and "Coloreds". Those signs weren't painted over until the mid 1970s and the rule was probably enforced until the late 60s.

Things were different depending on where you were. I know of some small country towns in Louisiana where there was never any segregation (at least after the slaves were set free). A man I used to work with was the product of a white mother and a black father. He was born in the 1930s in a small town about 50 miles outside of New Orleans and there was absolutely no prejudice or oppression among the locals. If they had been 90 miles away in rural Mississippi, there probably would've been a hanging just for marrying a white woman.
#24
Old 06-17-2007, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jasonh300
What exactly do you define as Southern towns?
Well, I think I referenced small Southern towns, but anywho. To be a bit more precise, how about (surprisingly?) just about all Southern towns outside of Birmingham, Atlanta and New Orleans, heh, and even including signficant portions of those.

Look, most people aren't idiots, even in the south. Back in the day, you knew a black man or woman, or a Latino(a), or a Native American or an Irish American, whatever minority, who behaved like everyone else or worked hard or whatever and was a good peep, you weren't going to spit at him and organize a lynching just because of his ethnicity. That did happen, but not all over, which I think is the suggestion of the OP, and a bunch of historians and afternoon specials. Sweet jeebus, I was there!!! I have never personally known a klansman! As I related in another thread, when I, my mother and sister actually witnessed a klansman attack a African American in Cedartown, GA decades ago, we went straight to the police station and reported it, and followed it up the next day. Mom was pissed. So screw the broad brush.
#25
Old 06-17-2007, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Well, I think I referenced small Southern towns, but anywho. To be a bit more precise, how about (surprisingly?) just about all Southern towns outside of Birmingham, Atlanta and New Orleans, heh, and even including signficant portions of those.
Ok..."Skylab" didn't really give much of a clue.

My grandmother was born in the 19teens and was scared to death of black people...I think it was more of a fear of the unknown. She lived in Algiers Point (New Orleans on the Westbank of the Mississippi) most of her life and there were no black people in her immediate neighborhood until the late 80s, except for the next door neighbors. They were respectable people and once she got to know them, she didn't view them any differently than the rest of the neighbors. I played with their grandson as a child. Other than the neighbors and an elderly lady who cleaned her house, she had never had any contact with any other black people. There were still corner stores back then and she never really had much reason to leave the neighborhood.

However, if any other black person was loitering outside of her house and they didn't belong next door, she would've been (probably irrationally) in fear for her life and would've called the police, and the NOPD would've picked the guy up for loitering.

Since the neighborhoods were still pretty well segregated, it only took a split second to realize that this person wasn't from the family next door and didn't belong in the neighborhood. If a white guy was hanging out, he could've been any of the hundreds of white people living within a few blocks (of course, she probably would've called the police anyway, but that's a different story).
#26
Old 06-17-2007, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
Sweet jeebus, I was there!!!
You were? Is this the answer to the question i asked you?

You were in Alabama in 1865? You were alive in the period 1890-1910?

May i congratulate you on your longevity.
#27
Old 06-17-2007, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mhendo
May i congratulate you on your longevity.
Well thankee, little feller. Please explain to us unwashed masses the immediate nuances of the Magner Jimmy Carter based upon your extensive readings from other equally well-read fellers who weren't there.

Last edited by Operation Ripper; 06-17-2007 at 09:28 PM.
#28
Old 06-18-2007, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operation Ripper
I and all my relatives have lived in small Southern towns forever and have only witnessed this sort of persecution on TV and cheesy movies. Believe it or not, we didn't lynch all black people or run them out of town or burn crosses on their lawns. You might be surprised to learn that no town I or any of my relatives ever lived in even had the supposedly ubiquitous separate fountains or bathrooms. ... I grew up in a multicultural neighborhood, which included several mixed marriages on my street, and my aunt married a person of color in the 50s. All are alive and well, and were never firebombed or even rousted. Racism existed, throughout the country, but not everyone in the south was a fucking klansman, hence my "broad brush" comment.
I believe the claim was a general one -- "vagrancy laws were used in small southern towns to control the black population." Absolutely nothing you have said refutes this claim.

Note that the claim was not -- "Within the lifetime of every single now-living person and to this very day, all southern whites and the towns they living mandate race-based separation of toilet facilities, drinking fountains, segregated residences, banning of interracial relationships, racist terrorism and murder, membership in the KKK, and daily lynching." If it had been, then, yes, your purported personal experience would have refuted that.

Quote:
The intelligentsia you cited have perpetuated these stereotypes for sometime, and they are just that, stereotypes.
So, is your position that the whole of the public awareness of the civil rights movement and the conditions that spawned it is based on unfair stereotyping by intellectual elites? The American south was exactly the same as the rest of the country in terms of its legal and social treatment of the race issue and any perception that things differed in any substantial manner between north and south is the result of damned Yankee propaganda? Is that it?
#29
Old 06-18-2007, 11:28 AM
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Look man, I'm from a small southern town too and I didn't get offended or think he was using a "broad brush" He simply wrote, "blacks in southern towns." It wasn't a broad brush because didn't specify that it was the reason for loitering laws in every southern town. It was simply an example. All he needs to back up that statement is to prove that loitering laws existed to target blacks in at least two southern towns. I don't find that hard to believe. He made the language particularly weak to avoid having to defend it.

I've never seen any kind of cross-burning, etc or any serious action against blacks in my town, but I don't believe that it was never used, especially in the civil rights era in larger towns like Selma, etc.

Look, you might as well face it. Although the south that we may have grown up in (I don't know how old you are) was different that the common picture, it doesn't mean that it never existed. There was some nasty shit that went down, and I'm sure you still know a lot of nasty people (I do).
#30
Old 06-18-2007, 01:10 PM
The Central Scrutinizer
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 23,203
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhendo
It's worth noting that the owner of private property can enforce a "no loitering" rule.

If the 7-11's sign refers to the store's own private parking lot, for example, they are perfectly within their rights to ask that people not hang around.
I was coming in to say this. It renders all the hijacks moot. The OP was talking about a no loitering sign on a private business on private property. It is their right to state they don't want anyone hanging out on their property that is not there to conduct legitimate business. Anyone who would be arrested for not leaving would be arrested for defiant trespass (or whatever it is called in your state) not loitering.
#31
Old 06-18-2007, 03:00 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 24,626
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach
I was coming in to say this. It renders all the hijacks moot. The OP was talking about a no loitering sign on a private business on private property. It is their right to state they don't want anyone hanging out on their property that is not there to conduct legitimate business. Anyone who would be arrested for not leaving would be arrested for defiant trespass (or whatever it is called in your state) not loitering.
Right, but the OP didn't say where in/on the bank the sign was posted. If the sign was posted outside the bank, and the bank was facing onto public sidewalk, the bank doesn't own the sidewalk and has no right to control who stands there (unless there's some special law about banks that i'm not aware of). The OP was also asking specifically about loitering laws, implying that the main concern was about those laws as they apply to public, rather than private property. I don't think the discussion of those laws has been a hijack at all.
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