The New York Police Department agreed to curtail stop-and-frisk tactics in thousands of private apartment buildings, ending the last in a series of stop-and-frisk lawsuits that fundamentally changed the city’s approach to fighting street crime, reports the New York Times. A settlement addressed police stops in and around buildings whose landlords had asked police to arrest trespassers under a city-run program.
The agreement prohibits officers from approaching, questioning or detaining people merely because they are inside or around those buildings, and forces officers to apply the same constitutional protections that they are supposed to apply anywhere in the city. Civil rights lawyers said the “Trespass Affidavit Program” was an especially poisonous element of the city’s stop-and-frisk efforts because people were questioned or detained steps from their own apartments or those of friends or relatives. The lawyers say officers often stopped and searched people who were hanging out in the lobbies of buildings and questioned them about trespassing simply for having walked out of a building.