From:   Marina Sitrin <>
Sent time:   Tuesday, October 04, 2011 8:54:45 PM
Subject:   [september17discuss] Fwd: Bridge Lawsuit Press release

Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Brooklyn Bridge Mass Arrest

Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Files Federal Constitutional Rights

Class Action


Attorneys from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) filed

this afternoon a class action lawsuit against Mayor Bloomberg, Police

Commissioner Kelly and the City of New York, charging mass violations

of constitutional rights in the trap and detain mass arrest of

demonstrators on the Brooklyn Bridge this past Saturday October 1,



The lawsuit charges that "the NYPD engaged in a premeditated, planned,

scripted, and calculated effort to sweep the streets of protestors and

disrupt a growing protest movement in New York." The class action

lawsuit, Garcia v. Bloomberg, was filed in the United States District

Court for the Southern District of New York, Case No: 11 CIV 6957.


The PCJF's attorneys were the lead counsel in the groundbreaking mass

arrest lawsuits against the Washington, D.C. police when they engaged

in similar trap and detain actions, mass arresting over 1,000 persons

during demonstrations in 2000 and 2002. Those cases resulted in

sweeping changes in police practices in the nation's capital including

a ban on the trap and detain tactics that are now challenged in the

Brooklyn Bridge lawsuit, and also resulted in what is believed to be

the largest financial settlement of protest litigation in U.S.

history.  The PCJF brought the successful litigation challenging the

City of New York's efforts to ban mass assembly on the Great Lawn of

Central Park during the 2004 Republican National Convention.


"Police commanders led and escorted demonstrators onto the roadway of

the Brooklyn Bridge in an intentional entrapment," stated Mara

Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the PCJF and counsel on the

litigation. "The police conducted a charade - and duly videotaped it -

of speaking inaudibly into a bullhorn that could not be heard mere

feet away from the officer. The NYPD knew no audible communication was

given. The NYPD also knew that the Constitution requires that any

ostensible command must be heard by those who are expected to be bound

by it. Instead, the NYPD engaged in a performance, videotaped it, and

sprang their trap. They then set their PR machine into motion, widely

distributing their edited videos of events to spin a false narrative

to the public and the media," she continued.


"This lawsuit is brought on behalf of all New Yorkers," stated Carl

Messineo, Legal Director of the PCJF and counsel on the suit. "People

from all walks of life came down to the Wall Street area on Saturday

to participate in a peaceful demonstration and many others joined the

spirited march along the way. They had no intention of being arrested

nor could they have had knowledge that the NYPD was preparing to

entrap hundreds of them on the Brooklyn Bridge in an effort to stifle



"This lawsuit is being filed now to send a clear message to the NYPD

that this movement had the right to march on October 1 and has the

right to march on any day without fear," continued Carl Messineo.

"People have the right to speak out against Wall Street greed and

growing poverty without fear that the NYPD would seek to illegally

arrest them and suppress their mass assembly protest."


To read the complaint, click here.




The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) is a not-for-profit

legal and educational organization which, among other things, seeks to

ensure constitutional accountability within police practices and

government transparency in operations. It is counsel on the Barham and

Becker class action cases in which more than 1,000 persons were

falsely arrested during protests in Washington, D.C., resulting in

settlements totaling $22 million and major changes in police

practices. The PCJF previously brought the successful litigation in

New York challenging the 2004 ban on protests in the Great Lawn of

Central Park. It won a unanimous ruling at the D.C. Circuit Court of

Appeals finding the MPD’s unprecedented military-style police

checkpoint program unconstitutional. The PCJF previously uncovered and

disclosed that the D.C. police employed an unlawful domestic spying

and agent provocateur program in which officers were sent on long-term

assignments posing as political activists and infiltrated lawful and

peaceful groups. For more information go to:


On 10/4/2011 6:12 PM, Heidi Boghosian wrote:


I've copied Marina on this email, but she's at the park now and was

hoping I could print something and bring it to her.



Heidi Boghosian

Executive Director

National Lawyers Guild

132 Nassau Street #922

New York, NY 10038

212-679-5100, ext. 11







Seamos realistas, hagamos lo imposible ~ che