Making sure someone doesn't die is not a violation of their civil liberties.
The mayor noted that a policy in which police are able to forcibly remove someone if their life is in imminent danger – but below-freezing temperatures do not constitute such a situation, according to him – is already in place in New York City, but it's a grey area when police have to decide what is “dangerous” for an individual.
That's where things get murky. Is any police officer at liberty to look at someone and immediately assess their situation? If the temperature is 10 degrees but a homeless person says he or she is fine, does the officer just have to take their word for it? Very simply, without any sort of check from a doctor, nobody is qualified to make a snap judgement like that.
Cuomo's initiative, which is another attempt to deal with New York City's homeless problem, will also be a boon to HomeStat. Last month, de Blasio announced HomeStat, an outreach program that attempt to engage the homeless population of New York City. By getting them into shelters or some place safe, you can more effectively reach the homeless population.
HomeStat is, in theory, a great initiative, but it's execution will likely be difficult. Cuomo's directive can certainly help with that execution.
This isn't a plan to restrict the freedom of New York City's homeless population or deprive them of their rights, but it is a plan to make sure they live through the winter and get another chance at life.
There's never been a redemption story that followed someone freezing to death on the streets.