Brooklyn City Council Member Wants The Police Invited To Any House Party

from the sorry,-you're-not-invited dept

When we talked a while back about Boston police catfishing locals in order to suss out where the parties were so that they could shut them down, the general speculation was that it was a heavy-handed attempt at police enforcement. I had gone along with that, because it was an isolated case and no other explanation made sense to me. But perhaps there’s another explanation. When I was in high school and college, I would occasionally learn of some great bash that I had missed over the weekend. There’s a certain level of embarrassment that goes along with the realization that your peers were shotgunning beers, inhaling certain plant fumes, and throwing up in someone’s bushes without you. How dare they! If only there was some way the squares could know where these get-togethers were happening and when, then we could just show the hell up and demand entry. Sadly, no such notification method existed.

That might change, however, if Brooklyn City Council member and likely party-non-invitee Jumaane Williams gets his way. Williams announced his plan to propose a local regulation that would require any house party of more than 40 people to notify the NYPD and community board with at least 3 days advanced warning that there’s a shindig in the works. Also, he’d like to fine the hell out of anyone who manages to get more people at their parties than Williams did at his really, really embarrassing fifth birthday party when a couple of kids only showed up for the clown and then left before the cake was cut.

City Council member Jumaane Williams said he will propose legislation that would require hosts to notify local police precincts and community boards three days in advance if they intend to throw a party with 40 or more guests, following a multiple shooting that took place in East Flatbush last weekend. Another proposal put forward by Williams would seek to crack down on what the councilman calls “house clubs,” fining homeowners who advertise parties in advance, sell drinks and charge covers at the door.

“We think when there’s 200, 300 people in a backyard, and this happens on a routine basis, you’re really inviting trouble,” Williams said at a press conference earlier this week.

It’s always interesting to me to see a politician display a complete disregard for the concept of private property and the people’s right to assemble. It will be pointed out that the First Amendment specifically assigns the right of assembly as a method to display grievance to the government and seek redress. Surely, most house parties of 40 people might not fall under that designation… until, of course, you seek to require permission for those same parties. Suddenly, partying without notification is a political stance, a form of speech, showing your grievance, in which case the First Amendment suddenly applies.

What’s ridiculous is that it came to this at all. One thug shooting up a party should not result in the government being consulted each time a frat-house sized party takes place. And, no, having a party with 200 people isn’t asking for trouble. It’s asking for a party with 200 people. As long as the local regulations for safety (fire, alcohol laws, etc.) are observed, no further action should be required by the state.

So, sorry, Councilman, but neither you nor the government are invited to the party.

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Comments on “Brooklyn City Council Member Wants The Police Invited To Any House Party”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Is the NYPD going to stop and frisk at the front door?

Party regulation – is that like gun regulation?

I understand the permit for assembly upon public property, but private property is a different matter. You think the big politicos need permission before hosting fund raisers at their mansions?

Imagine the outrage if this requirement were levied upon those who invite hundreds of other rich folk over to enjoy celebrity entertainment whilst sipping expensive booze, making bad jokes and generally asking for money.

PaulT (profile) says:

“We think when there’s 200, 300 people in a backyard, and this happens on a routine basis, you’re really inviting trouble”

If there’s regular enough parties at a single domestic venue to be called “routine”, that hold more people than many nightclubs I’ve been to – and they occur without violating any existing licensing, zoning, noise, traffic or other existing rules, then you have enough problems without insisting on more rules.

The Real Michael says:

If you need to call in and notify the police (i.e. get their permission first), how long before a permit is required in order to exercise your First Amendment rights?

Oh wait, you need one in order to assemble/protest — yet another violation of the First Amendment.

I can only surmise that politicians are out to destroy us, our country and the Constitution it was founded upon. That’s their job.

iambinarymind (profile) says:


One is either a free individual with inherent self-ownership derived property rights, or one is a SERF/SLAVE.

The above story is an example of the slave masters looking to add yet another “rule” (arbitrary opinion backed by the threat of State force/aggression/violence) for their TAX CATTLE.

I prefer consensual relationships and voluntary exchange.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think your efforts might be wasted here. This is the same comintariat that voted OOTB of all fucking people ‘insightful’ for merely posting his typical class warfare bullshit sans attacks on mike or google. That’s it, just his usual screed without those two things = insightful here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So, to sum it up: you are complaining that people here can appreciate different points of view if they are stated coherently and without unnecessary personal attacks or wild tangents, instead of immediately blocking anything that is perceived as hostile.

Is that about right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Who said anything about different points of view stated coherently? We’re talking about the typical personal attacks and wild tagents only directed at different subjects than normal. Same quality of content. Same lack of an coherent logic. Different voting. I’m complaining that many people here report things they don’t like because they don’t like them and vote up drivel because they do. Pretty much the complete opposite of what you’re trying to twist the situation into actually.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

We’re talking about the typical personal attacks

Where was the personal attack in iambinarymind’s comment? I can’t find it.

I’m complaining that many people here report things they don’t like because they don’t like them and vote up drivel because they do.

I think your complaint is overstated. I do see collapsed comments that I don’t think should have been flagged, but they aren’t common and I understand why they happen — and it has nothing to do with disagreeing with them. Certain trolls have such a long history of trolling that there are some who simply flag every comment they make without reading the comment itself. I don’t agree with the practice, but I understand it: 90% of the comments these trolls are objectively worthy of reporting.

Anonymous Coward says:

First off, the constitution doesn’t carve out an exception for safety in the bill of rights. It specifically states “these rights shall not be abridged.”

Secondly, they’re pretty much outlawing the family reunion with these limitations. It’s 25 people in my state where the ordinances on assembly kick in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Family reunions? My great aunt has 4 children, 8 grand children, and 9 great grandchildren. If everyone shows up for a birthday party, Christmas, Easter, July 4th, weddings, baptisms, etc, they’re aleady at 22 out of 40. That’s not counting the spouses and boy/girlfriends of the children and grand that regularly show up, bringing it up to 30 out of 40. Throw in friends, relatives on the other sides of families, slightly more distant relatives like me, and it’s pretty easy to hit 40 people without holding a family reunion.

Plus there’s a vast difference between “40 people” and “200-300 people”.

Anonymous Coward says:

so, is he or every other member of the council going to be bound by the same ridiculous regulation, then and if not, why not? he cant say that he has less people or makes less noise, because he wont know until during and after the party. just another way of removing freedom of expression and instilling regulations on others that he doesn’t want and wouldn’t tolerate on him or his friends

Shaun Wilson (profile) says:

It could almost be legitimate if it was an issue of parties happening in dense residential neighborhoods causing noise complaints… thing is if there’s a noise complaint then the cops know where to go and don’t need to be notified in advance – and if there’s no noise (or similar) complaint then a 300+ person party isn’t a problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

According to an attorney I talked to at an occupy event, it’s illegal to gather in large numbers without a permit. I don’t remember the Bill of Rights mentioning anything about a permit. In fact, there are more than 40 signatures on the constitution. And what about the House and Senate? Hell, even Walmart has more people than 40 in the store at once. I guess it’s ok if they are all complete strangers. You just can’t have 40 people together who know each other. That’s a travesty. /sarcasm

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

it’s illegal to gather in large numbers without a permit.

In public spaces. It is not inherently illegal to gather in large numbers on private property (although you may violate fire codes).

Permitting is not considered unconstitutional so long as the permits are issued without regard to who the crowd is or what they’re saying.

Franklin G Ryzzo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m inclined to disagree with this sentiment, and if permitting is not considered unconstitutional than perhaps it should be. I don’t have a problem with a permit as a voluntary request, but making it a requirement is most certainly unconstitutional. All mandatory permits can lead to is censorship, other than the gatherers providing the courtesy of notification. If the permit is declined that’s censorship. If the permit allows an institutional response to the assembly that alters the scope or presentation of the assemble, then that is censorship as well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Really, thinking about it, as a practical matter, this sounds like the sort of law that will get completely ignored in practice, except as either an additional excuse for vindictive neighbors to call police anytime someone they don’t like has any sort of gathering (the cops showing up to little Timmy’s 10th birthday party to do a head count is sure to be loads of fun for him), or as an extra thing to slam people with when the cops get called to the house for more normal reasons.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: The counter to that if the legislation passes...

“This is the fifth notice you’d submitted this week, yet not a single one of the gatherings you’ve notified the police of have had anyone at all show up.”

“Well you know, sometimes plans change, I’m sure at some point we’ll get a party together successfully, and until then I figure I’d better keep sending the notifications just in case, don’t want to get a fine after all.”

Eponymous Coward says:

Re: The counter to that if the legislation passes...

I’m curious if this response would have any benefit for I’m assumng this notifcation system will be used to bust “undesirable” parties. Meaning as police patrol certain, target neighborshoods (think same as stop & frisk, aka minorities) they will run checks on parties they see in action and shut them down when they come up noncompliant. I find it unlikely your response will negate their plan for this unless you’re actually sending in notices for houses in areas they’re are looking to shut down.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

There's the old leprechaun trick.

The ribbon-around-the-tree story.

Get enough people to rotate announcing a party every single day, so that there’s twenty-to-fifty “parties” happening at any given time. When the cops show, “well yeah, I wasn’t feeling well, so I cancelled. Sorry.”

A similar option is to simply arrange that a party is always announced in every neighborhood, every day. If they complain the location’s not exactly right “Yeah, the venue was too small / big / messy / reserved for an AA meeting, so we moved it here.”

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