Having found out that the city had relocated 5 homeless people with criminal records involving sexual activities to Radisson Hotel in the financial district, parents were distressed with the fact that it was only a block away from an elementary school.
City officials moved the men as part of a housing project in late 2020, despite the pandemic being in full swing during that time.
As the situation was brought to light, local parents demanded that the deviants be relocated farther away from a school or other places where they might be able to interact with children as 2 of the men, Lonzel McNeil and Lee Jackson, were both incarcerated for the crime of sexually assaulting minors.
The city of New York has since issued a statement that the mistake had been corrected and reassured the public that no registered sex offenders were residing in the area.
One concerned mother argued that while she is in full support of helping those in need of shelter and medication in the community, she would never be in support of placing numerous violent pedophiles near places that children frequent.
Furthermore, both men were no longer on parole, which in turn allowed the city officials to bypass the New York laws prohibiting parolees or those on probation access to spaces within 1000 feet of schools or other children-care facilities had they committed sexual offenses against children in the past.
What is concerning is that one of the men, Lee Jackson, was also convicted of manslaughter in the past, and yet is allowed near children and minors alike.
Not the first case of illegal or barely-legal sheltering of sex offenders
This wasn’t New York’s first rodeo with these matters as only a few months before the aforementioned relocation in November of 2020, the city used the Belleclare Hotel to house more than 6 sex offenders in spite of the hotel being only a block away from a playground.
This, however, proved to have been completely illegal as the deviants were still on parole, forcing New York’s officials to find a better solution.
Others vocalized their opinions on the matter too, including some of the shelter users themselves.
Don Parker, a 52-year-old homeless person said that finding out he was living with sexual deviants had upset him, even more so knowing that some of them were pedophiles.
He continued criticizing the city’s actions, claiming that anyone who has children of their own should know that there are just some things that aren’t right.