Class Action Lawsuit Filed in Brooklyn Bridge Mass Arrest
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Files Federal Constitutional Rights
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 MPDs 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: www.JusticeOnline.org.
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.
National Lawyers Guild
132 Nassau Street #922
New York, NY 10038
212-679-5100, ext. 11www.nlg.org
Seamos realistas, hagamos lo imposible ~ che