Tuesday, April 10, 2012

NYPD's Stop and Frisk in Apartment Hallways!!

Okay, Hayek has taught us the worst get on top in government, now the government is conducting stop and frisk operations in hallways in NYC. The police state continues to grow. Very scary.

Matt Taibbi reports:
Bloomberg, that great crossover Republican, has long been celebrated by the Upper West Side bourgeoisie for his enlightened views on gay rights and the environment, but also targeted for criticism by civil rights activists because of stop-and-frisk, a program that led to a record 684,330 street searches just last year.
Now he’s under fire for a program he inherited, which goes by the darkly Bushian name of the "Clean Halls program." In effect since 1991, it allows police to execute so-called "vertical patrols" by going up into private buildings and conducting stop-and-frisk searches in hallways – with the landlord’s permission.
According to the NYCLU, which filed the suit, "virtually every private apartment building [in the Bronx] is enrolled in the program," and "in Manhattan alone, there are at least 3,895 Clean Halls Buildings." Referring to the NYPD’s own data, the complaint says police conducted 240,000 "vertical patrols" in the year 2003 alone.
If you live in a Clean Halls building, you can’t even go out to take out the trash without carrying an ID – and even that might not be enough. If you go out for any reason, there may be police in the hallways, demanding that you explain yourself, and insisting, in brazenly illegal and unconstitutional fashion, on searches of your person.
The easiest way to convey the full insanity of this program is to simply read stories from the complaint. The first account comes from Janean Ligon, a 40 year-old black woman from East 163 St. in the Bronx. She lives with her three sons, J.G., J.A.G., and Jerome, all of whom have been repeatedly stopped and harassed.
According to the suit, Mrs. Ligon in August of last year sent her son J.G. to go to the store to get ketchup. He went to the store, got the ketchup, and started home. Just outside the door to his apartment, he was stopped by four policemen, two in uniform and two in plain clothes. They ask him why he’s going into the building. He explains, produces identification, and even shows the police the ketchup in his bag. But that’s not enough. After that:
… One officer asked J.G. to identify the apartment in which he lived. J.G. responded, telling the officer his family's apartment number. The officers then rang the bell to Ms. Ligon's apartment. Over the intercom, Ms. Ligon heard a man say that he was a police officer, and he needed her to come down to identify her son.
Terrified that J.G. was injured or dead, Ms. Ligon ran out of the apartment to find out what had happened to J.G. As she approached the lobby she saw J.G. standing just outside the vestibule near the mailboxes, surrounded by four officers. She collapsed and began weeping. One officer began laughing, asked Ms. Ligon if J.G. was her son, and handed her the ketchup.
In another incident, police stopped three friends of a Bronx resident named Alex Lebron as they were leaving his apartment. Lebron’s mother saw the teenagers being interviewed in the stairwell, approached the police and told them she knew them and everything was okay. She then went to her apartment and told her son that the cops were talking to his friends. Lebron, according to the suit, then races downstairs "to prevent their arrest." Here’s the rest of the story, according to the complaint:
Mr. Lebron encountered his handcuffed friends and the two police officers in the lobby of his building. He told the officers that he lived in the building and that the teens had been visiting him. The officers responded that it was "too late" and placed the three young men in a police van…. The arresting officers took W.B., J.G., and their friend to the 44th Precinct, where they were locked in a cell. After approximately two hours, they were given summonses for trespassing and released. The trespassing charges against W.B., J.G., and their friend were later dismissed.
This is Michael Bloomberg’s New York – where, in a stirring homage to the underappreciated Wayans Brothers classic Don’t Be a Menace to South Central (While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood), you really can be arrested for "being black on a Friday night." (Okay, the Lebron incident was actually a Wednesday night – June 15 of last year).


  1. RW states: "The police state continues to grow..."

    One part of the puzzle that seldom gets examined is the growing Police State is a money making venture.

    One of the latest examples is the "Traffic Safety Camera" which records when you crossed the yellow light and some Tech issues a traffic ticket if you are deemed an enemy of the State (Try "facing your accuser" on this one...). One such camera in L.A. has made $3 million in crime fees alone. Dunnellon Florida has 3 lights on the main highway and the charge per offense is $300 and 3 points on your license.

    State Power continues to abuse and grow.

    Charles Wilson

  2. That is insane.
    I had no idea this went on out that way.
    It is against Everything I was taught what it meant to be in America while at the same time it is Everything I was taught what it meant to live in the old East Germany or in Soviet Russia.

    That story to me is the essence of a police state under tyranny.

    Thank you for further enlightening me as to the true nature of things.

  3. My response would be:

    Show me a warrant, or justify probable cause or face a lawsuit if you even so much as delay me another second. If you touch me I'll have you charged with criminal assault even if I have to file the charges and take it to court myself.

    I'd bet they'll back down pretty quickly.

  4. This is an expected result of socialist/fascist state. What self-interested tenant would tolerate such intrusions, violations, and threats from their landlord in a truly free market? Well NYC is far, far removed from a free market so its citizens can't expect freedom on the street, in their homes, or even in their private communications.

  5. What is sad is to realize that most people don't recognize that we live in a police state as well the many people who recognize it but support it anyway.

  6. I don't know how things work in NYC, but I imagine the cops reaction to James Hancock's suggestion would be to laugh while beating him up.

    Heck, it seems as though cops everywhere don't even need warrants to break into People's homes and kill them:


    - clark

  7. @James Hancock: if you say that to NYPD they will not back down, they will take it as an invitation to beat your ass into the ground and then charge you with resisting arrest and obstructing justice.

  8. What about private property rights? The owner of the building is allowing the police to enter his property and patrol his or her hallways. The police do not enter the apartments of the tenants. What people need to focus on is the "stop and frisk" law that allows police to question and search anyone they deem to be suspicious. This is what is being abused by the police, allowing a police officer to enter your property to make sure it's safe should not be an issue in and of itself. The issue comes when we give this type of power to police officers who can abuse "stop and frisk" laws to harass people.