NEW YORK - A group of business owners in Upper Manhattan say they are the targets of police harassment and are now looking into suing their local precinct.
More than a dozen bars and restaurants in Inwood and Washington Heights say police are imposing thousands of dollars in tickets for bogus complaints of noise, being over capacity, or selling alcohol illegally.
Business owners say the constant raids are driving out customers, and have since met with attorneys who will consider if a civil rights case could be made against the 34th precinct.
"We've had enough of it. We employ thousands of people. And you know what? This precinct has not treated us with the respect that they deserve," said Fernando Mateo of the Northern Manhattan Restaurant and Lounge Association.
"It's about to kill us as a business. And we're here to protect about that, because we have to protect our family, to protect our employees, and to protect our employees families. That's the most important thing," said Inwood Bar and Grill Co-owner Eddy Perez.
The State Liquor Authority has vowed to mediate with police and business owners.
A meeting with senior NYPD members is planned for next week.