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Mayor Wants Fingerprint Access To NYCHA Buildings; Candidates Cry Foul

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On his weekly radio interview Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said putting a fingerprinting system in place at New York City Housing Authority complexes would reduce crime, but the plan has already drawn strong opposition from some of the candidates running to replace him. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

A resident of a New York City Housing Authority building showed NY1 a special magnetic key that residents use to get into housing authority buildings.

"You can't really make copies of it unless you get a copy from the management office," the resident said.

On his radio show Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested another way.

"If you have strangers walking in the halls of your apartment building, don't you want somebody to stop and say 'Who are you? Why are you here?'" Bloomberg said. "What we really should have is fingerprinting to get in."

The idea of fingerprinting isn't new for Bloomberg. He was a supporter of fingerprinting for food stamps.

This time around, the idea prompted a flurry of criticism from the Democrats looking to replace him.

"It's immoral. It's discriminatory," said Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

"It is outrageous, and I think the mayor should apologize for that statement," said Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn.

"It is just, it is offensive," said Democratic mayoral candidate William Thompson.

"I don't like the idea of further stigmatizing people," said Democratic mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

"That's ridiculous. You treat people as criminals to keep them safe?," said Democratic mayoral candidate John Liu.

The whole conversation started because some residents and visitors to the housing authority claim they are the subject of unlawful arrests and stops. It's the subject of a class-action lawsuit that's been assigned to the same judge who just ruled on stop-and-frisk.

On Friday, the Bloomberg administration filed paperwork to appeal that stop-and-frisk decision, which found that the practice violated the constitution and requires a court monitor of the practice.

"As mayor, I would end any appeal of that decision," de Blasio said.

"Think about it. They want to be mayor, but they want to have outsiders come in and tell them what to do," Bloomberg said. "City's going to pay for it. City's going to suffer."

They don't think so.

Quinn took it a step further, filing court papers against the administration.

"Since there's been some questions raised about the validity of the mayoral candidates' statements about not appealing, I wanted to make it abundantly clear that I do not want the administration to appeal, and that when I'm mayor, I will drop that appeal on day one," she said.

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