NY Post reports that a Harlem church overflowed with sinners Saturday as hundreds of petty criminals lined up for the chance to scrub their records clean.
The one-day event was launched by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office to give New Yorkers the opportunity to resolve warrants stemming from low-level crimes such as public urination, public drinking and pot possession.
As many as 200 scofflaws stood in a line that stretched down West 124th Street, outside Soul Saving Station Church, to gain their absolution.
“It’s a pretty long line but it’s a good idea,” said Anthony King, 28, who was at the “Clean Slate” event to clear up a warrant for public consumption of alcohol.
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Another attendee showed up for the sake of his one-year-old daughter, Bella.
“I have to clear up some things that happened to me before my daughter was born,” 25-year-old Letice Yates said of his possession of an illegal substance violation.“Now that my daughter is here, it’s time to clean my act up and change my life.”
Scofflaws were required to show ID so their records could be located and printed. They then went before a judge – accompanied by a Legal Aid attorney – who checked the records and decided if a dismissal could be granted. If so, the person was given a certificate and warrants and summonses were cleared.
Some people were a little wary of the opportunity, thinking it might be a trap.
“I hope I will clear my warrant and not get arrested,” King, of Brooklyn, joked.
There were no arrests made during the amnesty event, the first of its kind in Manhattan.