The NYPD is Running Stings Against Immigrant-Owned Shops, Then Pushing For Warrantless Searches | ProPublica

by Sarah Ryley for ProPublica and the New York Daily News

East Harlem

Police filed 34 nuisance abatement cases against businesses in the precinct covering, East Harlem, a largely Hispanic neighborhood in Manhattan. (Edwin Torres for ProPublica)

An undercover NYPD officer entered the spotless Super Laundromat & Dry Cleaners in Inwood, a largely Dominican neighborhood at the northernmost tip of Manhattan. He made his rounds through the store, hawking what he said were stolen gadgets — an iPhone, iPad Mini and iPad.

One man took the bait, agreeing to shell out $200 for all three. He was arrested during the May 2013 sting, and the trouble seemed to end there.

But seven months later — the week before Christmas — cops arrived at the laundromat again. This time, they slapped a neon sticker on the front door declaring in block letters: “RESTRAINING ORDER.”

They presented the store’s owner, Sung Cho, with a daunting slew of legal papers, threatening to shutter the laundromat for a year and auction off everything inside. Their justification, the cops said: The store was being “used to facilitate criminal possession of stolen property.”

Read more: The NYPD is Running Stings Against Immigrant-Owned Shops, Then Pushing For Warrantless Searches | ProPublica

ProPublica District Maps - East Harlem - East Village

Two neighborhoods. Same problem, but different treatment.

The NYPD forwards every arrest or summons for alcohol violations at a business to the State Liquor Authority, which can issue thousands of dollars in fines and revoke alcohol licenses. The police can also file a nuisance abatement action against businesses over the same alleged offenses. From 2013 through the first half of 2014, East Harlem and the East Village had similar numbers of referrals to the state liquor authority: 54 and 59 respectively. But in East Harlem, a heavily Hispanic residential precinct, the NYPD filed 32 alcohol-related nuisance abatements. While, in East Village, a primarily white precinct dominated by bars and college students, the NYPD filed only five of them.

Read more: The NYPD is Running Stings Against Immigrant-Owned Shops, Then Pushing For Warrantless Searches | ProPublica

Related:

Op-Led: Pain Is Compliance – NYPD’s Guiding Principle In The Hood

Another Police Officer Indicted After Video Proves He Lied | Slate

How the NYPD is using social media to put Harlem teens behind bars | The Verge

The NYPD’s Own Statistics Reveal a Troubling Trend in the NYPD’s Marijuana Enforcement | Mic

NYPD Reviewing Police Beating of Alleged Inwood Drug Dealer, Officials Say | DNAinfo

NYPD Paints Over Inwood Mural Calling Cops “Murderers” | NBC New York

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