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NEW YORK CITY (AP) Eight rappers who say they're being targeted by police for selling CDs to Times Square tourists have joined federal lawsuits against New York City.

Attorney Katie Smith tells the Daily News Saturday (http://nydn.us/1gK6Lf9 ) you don't have to like the hustlers' music or sales tactics to respect their constitutional rights.

The rappers are known for aggressively pushing their music on unsuspecting pedestrians. But they argue in a consolidated lawsuit that their sales are protected by the First Amendment. They say NYPD officers target them but let other vendors operate without incident.

The men allege officers slap them with disorderly conduct and aggressive begging charges that rarely stick. They say the cases are usually dismissed.

A Law Department spokesperson told the newspaper the lawsuit's claims were merely allegations until proven otherwise.

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Information from: Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com