NYPD to stop seizing sex work suspects’ condoms

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JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (PIX11)– Bonnie Diaz works the street corners along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights daily.As a transgender sex worker, she’s constantly weighing the risk of carrying condoms that would help fight off a sexually transmitted disease against the threat of having those same condoms used as evidence in a criminal case.

“I’m scared, ya know? I never have condoms in my pockets cause, I look at the cop, I’m scared?” said Diaz.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio says the NYPD intends to take a “reasonable approach to promoting safe sex”  by letting men and women of the night like Diaz keep those condoms.


Condoms would not be used as evidence of prostitution under a proposed New York bill. (Photo: Getty Images)

The new policy doesn’t offer complete immunity for Bonnie’s chose profession.

While condoms will be kept and then returned to suspected sex workers after they’re released from custody.

Condoms may still be used as evidence in cases of sex trafficking and promoting prostitution.

Bianye Garcia is an organizer with Make the Road, a nonprofit advocacy group that works with the city’s sex worker community.

Diaz, the Mexican immigrant sex worker now in her fifth year on Roosevelt Avenue, says she’s not fully convinced it’s safe to practice safe sex out here on these streets.

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