NY1 Reports Legal Aid Will Go To Court If Necessary To Stop Draconian Fingerprinting Of NYCHA Applicants And Residents

NY1 reported on a statement by Steven Banks, the Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, that Legal Aid will go to court if necessary to stop the fingerprinting of NYCHA residents and applicants if the City proceeds with such an initiative based on the Mayor’s radio show comment last week that everyone entering public housing should be fingerprinted.

"As the largest legal defense and legal services program in the United States, we stand ready to protect public housing applicants and residents and their families from a draconian fingerprinting initiative," said Banks. The Legal Aid Society annually provides legal assistance in 300,000 individual legal matters in all five boroughs for low-income New Yorkers with civil, criminal and juvenile rights legal problems, including substantial numbers of New York City Housing Authority tenants.

News All Evening
NY1 (IND) New York
08/17/13 6-7 PM

Anchor: Mayor Bloomberg ignites a firestorm of controversy over a suggestion he made for security in public housing.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg: If you have strangers walking in the halls of your apartment building, don’t you want somebody to stop them and say, “who are you, why are you here?” What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in, and of course, since lots of—there’s an allegation that some of these apartments aren’t occupied by the people who originally have the lease.

Anchor: The mayor says scanners would make it harder for criminals to get in and to help weed out public housing residents who let other people stay illegally. There is no indication any policy along these lines is in the works, but the idea brought swift condemnation from democrats looking to replace Bloomberg at City Hall.

Bill de Blasio, Candidate for Mayor: It’s inappropriate, it’s immoral, it’s discriminatory.

Christine Quinn, Candidate for Mayor: It is outrageous, and I think the mayor should apologize for that statement.

Bill Thompson, Candidate for Mayor: It is just—it’s offensive.

Anthony Weiner, Candidate for Mayor: I don’t like the idea of further stigmatizing people.

John Liu, Candidate for Mayor: That’s ridiculous. You treat people as criminals to keep them safe?

Anchor: The Legal Aid Society says it would sue if the city ever put such a plan forward.