Lansing City Council could repeal “minor” offense orders

LANSING, me. – If you climb trees in the park and play in the street, it may lead to an offense in Lansing City. A council member is trying to change that.

“Lansing has criminalized minor conduct that is really not in public safety and should ultimately be investigated,” said Brian Jackson, a member of Lansing City Council.

Jackson suggested that the city overturn 18 low-level criminal ordinances in February.

Councilors and other community stakeholders met earlier this month. They agreed to repeal seven of them, including ordinances prohibiting cycling in Riverfront Park during an event and swearing in a school.

Jackson, a former city attorney, said he had worked on cases where people went to court for these offenses.

“I felt sorry for many people who were charged with trivialities like in a park after dark, or loud and exuberant behavior, or drug paraphernalia but no drugs, and only saw the negative effects of the criminal on the judicial system dealing with them “, he said.

Jackson believes repealing these ordinances could help strengthen the community’s relationship with the Lansing Police Department.

“Removing some of these ordinances would reduce the number of negative police contacts and could ultimately reduce the likelihood that those contacts would get worse,” Jackson said.

While some ordinances are on the way to being repealed after the first round of scrutiny by the council, other controversial ordinances such as possession of drug paraphernalia are slated for a public hearing on April 26th.

“This is a great time for the public or anyone to have their voices heard and get their opinions out,” said Jackson.

The hearing will be virtual. More information is available on the Lansing City website.

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