NEW YORK – The New York Police Department will no longer confiscate unused condoms from suspected sex workers to be used as evidence of prostitution, ending a longstanding practice that had been criticized by civil rights groups for undermining efforts to combat AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.
Under the new policy announced Monday, officers may continue to seize condoms as evidence in sex-trafficking and promotion of prostitution cases, but they will not use them in support of prostitution cases. Critics had said the previous policy amounted to police harassment, and noted that New York City spends more than $1 million a year to distribute free condoms.
“The NYPD heard from community health advocates and took a serious look at making changes to our current policy as it relates to our broader public safety mission,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said in announcing the new policy.
For decades, police in New…
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