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NYPD Sued over Rule on Protest Arrests

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo NYPD is sued over rule on protest arrests Thursday, May 31, 2001 By KAREN MATTHEWS The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2001
      News for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      NYPD is sued over rule on protest arrests

      Thursday, May 31, 2001

      By KAREN MATTHEWS
      The Associated Press

      NEW YORK -- A Police Department policy of arresting
      demonstrators for minor offenses at protests and requiring
      that they spend the night in jail is unconstitutional,
      according to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by the New
      York Civil Liberties Union.

      "Once again the Giuliani administration has demonstrated to
      us that it cannot be accused of being soft on freedom of
      speech," Donna Lieberman, interim executive director of the
      civil liberties union, said at a news conference announcing
      the suit's filing.

      Lieberman called the police policy a "flagrant violation of
      the First Amendment."

      Police officials said the practice began informally in early
      1999, after the fatal police shooting of Amadou Diallo
      prompted daily protests outside police headquarters.

      A message sent this month to police commanders ordered that
      no summonses or desk appearance tickets should be issued for
      offenses committed at demonstrations or similar events with
      more than 20 participants, according to a published report.

      In the past, those arrested for misdemeanors such as
      disorderly conduct or obstructing governmental
      administration would get a summons to appear in court at a
      later date, and would generally be allowed to leave after
      processing.

      "This policy, by its express terms, singles out
      demonstrators and that's a tragedy in the city of New York,"
      Christopher Dunn, a lawyer for the NYCLU, said at the news
      conference.

      The suit names the city and the Police Department, and
      argues that the policy violates the First and Fourth
      amendments. In addition to barring enforcement of the
      policy, the suit seeks damages for two people arrested at
      demonstrations.

      Police Lt. Eric Adams, of the group 100 Blacks in Law
      Enforcement Who Care, called the policy an "outdated,
      old-fashioned intimidation tactic."

      Lieberman said the NYCLU has won 23 of the 29 First
      Amendment lawsuits it has brought against the city during
      Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's tenure.

      --
      Dan Clore
      mailto:clore@...

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