[Marxism] Suit Accuses Police of Violating Rights of Residents in Private Buildings
giobon at comcast.net
Wed Mar 28 11:27:21 MDT 2012
Suit Accuses Police of Violating Rights of Residents in Private
By AL BAKER
March 28, 2012, 11:29 am
Updated, 12:50 p.m. | A civil rights group filed a federal lawsuit on
Wednesday accusing the New York Police Department of carrying out
tens of thousands of unjustified stops in privately owned buildings
in the city where the landlords have authorized officers to enter and
given them keys.
The suit, which seeks class action status, mirrors a claim in a
separate federal lawsuit against the Police Department involving
stops inside public housing projects.
The Police Department has come under intense criticism for its stop-
and-frisk practices, which detractors say unfairly and overwhelmingly
targets blacks and Latinos. The Police Department argues that its
tactics, including the patrolling of private buildings, have
contributed to a sharp reduction in crime.
“By challenging uninvited individuals, police are providing a level
of safety to tenants that residents of doormen buildings take for
granted,” said Paul J Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Federal District Court in Manhattan,
involves what is known as the “Clean Halls” program and includes
16,000 buildings throughout the city, many of them in the Bronx.
Landlords who participate in the program register with the Police
Civil rights lawyers say police officers view the invitation to enter
— denoted by a metal sign outside a building — as a license to roam
hallways, laundry rooms and stairwells questioning people and making
arrests on charges of trespassing that are sometimes unjustified.
Some residents feel compelled to carry identification when doing
mundane tasks like retrieving mail or doing laundry for fear of being
arrested for trespassing, the suit said.
Beyond that, officers have extended this practice to sidewalks around
the buildings that participate in the program, according to lawyers
for the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Besides residents, visitors and people in the vicinity of the
buildings are often stopped by the police.
As a result, the suit said, “Residents of some Clean Halls Buildings
their friends, family members, and others not to visit them for fear
that they will be stopped, questioned, searched, and issued summonses
or arrested for trespassing by NYPD officers. Consequently, residents
of Clean Halls Buildings are restricted in their ability to maintain
familial ties, friendships, and other relationships with individuals
of their choosing.”
At a news conference in Manhattan on Wednesday, several plaintiffs
spoke of living under such conditions that too often feel like a
The suit details the experiences of several residents of privately-
owned buildings who claim to be stopped by the police even though
they had committed any wrongdoing.
In one instance, a 17-year-old boy who lives in a building in the
Bronx describes being stopped by the police and questioned after
returning from buying ketchup for dinner. His mother, according to
the suit, was asked by officers to come down to the lobby of the
building and verify her son’s identify.
More information about the Marxism