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The police report on the arrest refers to the pistol she was carrying and two "glassine envelopes of alleged coc aine."
But when I asked the Manhattan district attorney's office afterward whether the woman actually had coc aine in her pocket, a spokesman told me that she did not.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens), chairman of the Public Safety Committee, personally asked Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office not to push for the 3 1/2-year minimum sentence for Meredith Graves, 39.
“By prosecuting this woman and seeking 3 1/2 years of jail, we are shooting our own [gun-control] efforts in the foot and giving the rest of the country ammunition,” Vallone said.
“Clearly, the laws are too strict here, but that’s something we need to work out for ourselves without honoring licenses to carry guns in states where felons can carry them,” he said.
“We have pretty severe laws. Sometimes, cases like this make us question if the laws are up to date and if it was really what the legislators had in mind,” said professor Maki Haberfeld, chair of John Jay College’s Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Department.
It turns out the white powder in her pocket was not drugs, according to the police, who tested it. The mayor said, before the lab reports came back negative, that the arrestee deserved no leniency and ought to be sentenced according to the existing guidelines.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), whose district includes Ground Zero, said he will have a "committee ... see how exactly the law is being enforced and to look at the possibility that there should be changes in the law," the newspaper reported.
The changes could include being more lenient on people who mistakenly bring guns from other states where they are legally licensed.