Lawsuit targets Operation Clean Halls - New York News

Lawsuit targets Operation Clean Halls

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A federal lawsuit is targeting Operation Clean Halls, a New York City program that lets cops into buildings to keep the criminals out. 

But some residents here say what it is really doing is robbing them of their rights.

Now a federal judge will decide.

The city says signs that read "Operation Clean Halls" have been around since 1991, ever since operation clean halls began. Participating landlords give police the right to patrol their hallways. But a federal class action lawsuit filed the NYCLU alleges the program is being abused to illegally stop and frisk thousands of law abiding blacks and Latinos in or near their own buildings.

In federal court, a city attorney argued that the statistics used by the NYCLU are wrong. The city says the program is an effective tool, one of the reasons the crime rate has dramatically declined to record lows since the early 1990s.

Those bringing the lawsuit want limits put on Operation Clean Halls. The city is arguing that it is not necessary.

The hearing is expected to last all week, with Judge Shira Scheindlin having the final say.

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