Earlier this week, the first of three lawsuits challenging the discriminatory policing tactics used by the NYPD came under scrutiny. Civil rights groups are seeking a court injunction to limit the scope of the "Operation Clean Halls" program which allows the NYPD to patrol hallways, courtyards and stairwells in search of "trespassers" in nearly 16,000 privately owned, low-income apartment buildings in mostly Black and Brown communities.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg claims Operation Clean Halls is a vital policing tactic that reduces crime and gets guns off the street. But that's not what's happening. Police frequently arrest invited guests for trespassing because they did not know the name of the resident they were visiting or their apartment number. And according to testimony this week, uprovoked stops in the Bronx have gotten so out of control that the DA’s office was forced to change its policy and now arresting officers are all interviewed before a trespassing case is prosecuted.
The Court challenge comes on the heels of last week's City Council public hearing on the Community Safety Act which would address the chronic misuse and discriminatory nature of Stop and Frisk, and create greater accountability of the NYPD. But, the legislation is in serious jeopardy and may never come to the floor for a vote. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn wants Mayor Bloomberg's backing for next year's mayoral race and has declined to say whether she supports the package of bills that would refrom his Stop and Frisk program.
We need your help to really change the NYPD and end discriminatory policing in the city. If you haven't already done so please join the our campaign calling for an end to Stop and Frisk here.