Civil Rights Groups Sue NYPD Over Private Building Patrols

They say tenants of buildings enrolled in the program are at a "heightened risk of unjustified and unlawful'' stop-and-frisks or trespassing arrests

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012  |  Updated 9:45 AM EDT
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Civil rights groups have filed a federal lawsuit against the NYPD regarding their Operation Clean Halls program, which allows officers to patrol private apartment buildings throughout the city.     

The New York Civil Liberties Union and other groups announced the lawsuit on Wednesday. They say tenants of buildings enrolled in the program are at a "heightened risk of unjustified and unlawful'' stop-and-frisks or trespassing arrests.     

Last year, officers stopped and questioned more than 680,000 people on the street. The so-called stop-and frisks totaled 684,330, a record since the NYPD began yearly tallies of the tactic in 2002.     

Civil rights advocates claim the practice unfairly targets innocent blacks and other minorities, and that many stops are made without proper cause.

The department calls it an essential crime-fighting tool.     

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