by Al Baker

“Civil rights lawyers say police officers view the invitation to enter—denoted by a metal sign outside a building—as a license to roam hallways, laundry rooms and stairwells questioning people and making arrests on charges of trespassing that are sometimes unjustified.  Some residents feel compelled to carry identification when doing mundane tasks like retrieving mail or doing laundry for fear of being arrested for trespassing, the suit said.

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In one instance, a 17-year-old boy who lives in a building in the Bronx describes being stopped by the police and questioned after returning from buying ketchup for dinner.  His mother, according to the suit, was asked by officers to come down to the lobby of the building and verify her son’s identity.”