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NYCLU Lawsuit Over Operation Clean Halls

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) and several other civil rights advocacy groups recently filed a lawsuit of great interest to New York civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm and other defenders of civil rights. The NYCLU lawsuit (No.12-CIV-2274) was filed against the New York City Police Department.

It claims officers violated civil rights and challenges a controversial stop-and-frisk type program in private rental apartment buildings called “Operation Clean Halls.” Operation Clean Halls allows officers to patrol the halls of residential buildings and look for drug activity, trespassing or loitering. The result of this program has been thousands of stops, searches, summonses and arrests of buildings’ residents and their guests, according to the civil rights violation complaint.

Many invited guests and even residents of the buildings were wrongfully arrested or ticketed for trespassing because the person failed to “affirmatively justify his presence to the police officer’s satisfaction,” the civil rights violation lawsuit said. Among the civil rights violation complaints, some residents claimed they feared leaving their apartments to take out the garbage without their identification.

The civil rights violation lawsuit argues that the stop-and-frisks constitute a violation of Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as well as the anti-discrimination provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The buildings are all enrolled in the Clean Halls program. The lawsuit alleges that the NYPD discriminates by targeting Clean Halls Buildings where there is a greater population of blacks and Latinos.

The civil rights advocacy groups and New York civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm are not calling for the end of NYPD presence in the buildings. Rather, as the lawsuit recommends, they request that police are restrained from stopping and questioning individuals, the program is better monitored and the officers are better trained. Individuals who believe they have been victims of a New York civil rights violation including discrimination or racial profiling can contact New York civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm.


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