Jameelah El-Shabazz

Police raided Jameelah’s apartment in 2011 and found several cups filled with crushed eggshells, which Jameelah uses for religious purposes. Believing the cups were filled with drugs, police arrested Jameelah and her son Akin and held them in jail for a week. Jameelah and her son sued the city for wrongful arrest, and the city agreed to pay $37,500 to settle the case.

One month after paying that settlement, police returned to inform Jameelah that her apartment had been ordered closed under the city’s no-fault eviction ordinance. City attorneys, relying on those same discredited allegations about the cups of crushed eggshells, were claiming the apartment had been the site of drug crimes.

Although the city’s allegations were meritless, a judge had already ordered Jameelah evicted at a hearing where she had no notice of the allegations and no opportunity to respond. Jameelah could not afford the time and expense of fighting to get that decision reversed. So, to regain access to the apartment, a legal aid attorney signed an agreement on Jameelah’s behalf under which she must permanently bar her son Akin from her home.

  • October 12, 2016    |   Private Property

    New York City Evictions

    Waive Your Rights or Else: Challenging NYPD’s Use of “No-Fault” Eviction to Compel Innocent Residents and Businesses to Give Up Constitutional Rights

    When undercover NYPD officers offered to sell stolen electronics to customers at Sung Cho’s laundromat, near the northern tip of Manhattan, Sung never imagined the sting operation could be used as a pretext to shut down his business. But that’s exactly what happened. Attorneys for the city threatened Sung with eviction merely because a “stolen…

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