Where have all the lawsuits gone? Long time passing…right into federal court

Just when I was wondering why I haven’t found any new lawsuits lately — the media seem to believe only events in the Supreme Court are worthy of notice — the New York Civil Liberties Union has stepped up big.

According to the New York Times, on behalf of many people, the NYCLU has filed a federal lawsuit against the New York Police Department for illegal stops in private housing “where officers have been given permission to enter by landlords.” Read the article by Al Baker and Aidan Gardiner. It should make your skin crawl. We cannot permit armed uniformed services to treat our fellow citizens like this.

Here’s an apropos letter in today’s Daily News:

Reich and wrong

Brooklyn: To Voicer Bill Duncan: Whether or not stop and frisk violates constitutional rights, as you assert, comparing it to Nazi atrocities is exaggerated, ignorant and offense. Shame on you. — Amy Elkin

Shame on you, Amy Elkin, for your ignorance, about both the Constitution and the security-minded uniformed bands of armed Third Reich thugs who invaded private houses without warrants, and stopped, frisked and arrested people for … well, for what? For looking, um, Jewish? For wearing funny-looking clothes?

I’ve never understood the City’s mealy-mouthed justification for all this unwarranted grabbing, and now that the statistics show that only a very small proportion of these activities results in any valid reason for an arrest, they really must be stopped. Don’t they remember how to get warrants? Thing is, a warrant requires probable cause to search, so by performing all these unwarranted searches the NYPD is virtually confessing that they have no reasonable justification.

This NYPD policy isn’t keeping us safer. It’s terrorizing thousands of innocent people. And it sickens me — and yes, Amy, because there’s an echo of the history that I at least know very well. I learned it by reading lots and lots of books.


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