Monday, April 09, 2012

Mike Bloomberg's New York: Cops in Your Hallways | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

Mike Bloomberg's New York: Cops in Your Hallways | Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone
Have you heard about the "Clean Halls Program"?  It seems that in NYC landlords can turn their buildings into Constitution-free zones.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is oddly analogous to programs being run in other cities. Somehow it is "okay" for a city to ignore constitutional laws by partnering up with a private person.

The city of Houston, for example, has developed a "parking on unimproved lot" ordinance. Now keep in mind that this ordinance is NOT a prohibition against parking on a lot. The city has no such ordinance. Instead, this ordinance provides that if an HOA board opts into the program, then any homeowner parking on an unimproved portion of their lot can be cited by the CITY for a criminal offense and a $150/day fine.

Again it is not against the law to park on an unimproved portion of a lot. There is no such ordinance applicable to citizens of Houston generally. However, by "partnering" with an HOA corporation - suddenly the city can sanction homeowners as criminals because the homeowners "violated" an agreement between the HOA board and the city.

This is very similar to the NY case in the implementation. The property is all private property. As offensive as the New York story is, I find the city of Houston even more atrocious. The victims in the city of Houston cases are actually property owners. There is no "crime". They have essentially been deemed "criminals" for violating a "contract" between the city of Houston and an HOA corporation. The HOA corporation had ZERO ownership interest in the owner's property. Now the city and HOA are colluding to threaten you with your livelihood for not adhering to an "agreement" that you were never party to, received no consideration for, and would never have agreed to.