Nearly every apartment building in some Bronx neighborhoods is enrolled in "Operation Clean Halls;" in Manhattan, nearly 3,900 buildings are part of the program.
The New York Civil Liberties Union and Hispanic groups said the program puts tenants and their guests at a heightened risk of unjustified and unlawful arrests.
WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reports
"Going out for a container of milk or a pack of Skittles can result in somebody being detained, thrown up against the wall, even arrested for trespassing," Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU, said. "People are turned into suspects for no other reason than where they live."
Several residents living in designated "clean halls" buildings said they feel like prisoners in their own homes and claim they have been stopped by police without having committed any wrongdoing.
One 17-year-old said he was arrested for trespassing when visiting friend. The charges were later dropped.
1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reports
The NYPD has defended its stop-and-frisk practices saying the program helps get illegal guns off the streets and reduces crime.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said "clean halls" makes buildings safer.
"I would suspect that the attorneys involved in this case live in buildings with doormen and they have a level of safety that people who live in tenements don't have," Kelly said.
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