NYPD to Innocent Business Owners: Give Up Your Rights or Get Shut DownOn October 21, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
My name is Song Cho, I operate coin laundromats in the city. I started with one, now I have three. We do a good job in providing excellent service, its clean, safe. These undercover cops were operating and coming into my business and then asking customers of our business, and enticing them to buy stolen goods at a very deep discount. One person took the bait and got caught, a second person who was on the outside of the store got caught. Did my employee buy it? No. Did I buy it? No. Did I say, did I put up a sign saying come in and buy stolen goods here? No. What they claimed was that we, as a business, provide space or inducive to providing those kind of illegal activities, because it happened at or near my business, I was the guilty victim. Under the New York City’s nuisance law, my innocence was not a defense, I had a decision to make, you know whether to really fight this out in the court or to try to settle this. I felt that there is a very possibility that the end of my business was in jeopardy. Under the settlement, the police could come in at any time to a warrantless search, and I’m forced to operate the surveillance system 24 hours a day and make it available to please for their reviews. That’s such an unfair, unfair to me, unfair to the old investment that I made here, unfair to employees that work here and support their family. It’s New York City versus you know, a little guy like me.