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Tish James Joins Lawsuit Against NYPD Handling of OWS Protestors

The suit claims that the NYPD has violated free speech rights and used excessive force; wants to see a independent police monitor.

Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Brooklyn, has filed a lawsuit against the NYPD for their handling of Occupy Wall Street protestors, says the Associated Press (re-printed on the Huffington Post).

The suit alleges that the city and police violated demonstrators' free speech rights, used excessive force, arrested protesters on false charges and interfered with the work of journalists and council members at the protest, according to the article.

The suit, which James filed with Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito, D-Manhattan, Ydanis Rodriguez, D-Manhattan, and Jumaane Williams, D-Brooklyn, was filed on April 30, the day before a planned “May Day” protest, says the AP.

According to the article, the elected officials want a court-appointed monitor to oversee the police handling of further Occupy protests, as well as a review of the more than 2,000 protest-related arrests and the closures of Zuccotti Park and other public spaces.

Brandt Hardin April 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM
When will we start holding officers accountable for their brutality and excessive use of force? The handling of protesters is Unconstitutional and endangers the basic rights of EVERY last American. Is this the country we were raised in, were men and women are beaten, gassed, pepper-sprayed and arrested for their disapproval of the government? We have to be careful to protect our Constitutional Rights! Raise awareness and do your part with these free posters I designed for the movement on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/11/propaganda-for-occupy-movement.html
Jenny May 01, 2012 at 12:09 PM
this continues to be a problem i fear. here and everywhere.
Joe Gonzalez May 01, 2012 at 03:03 PM
City Councilmembers Tish James, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriquez & Jumaane Williams all have blood on their hands. I find it laughable that they would whine about police misconduct. All four of these politicans voted for Christine Quinn to be City Council Speaker. Quinn in turn has spent most of her waking hours publicly supporting Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Quinn has publicly stated if elected mayor, she will retain Kelly as her Police Commissioner. So clearly these above named Councilmembers have only themselves to blame for the police misconduct. I have personally spoke several times each to James, Rodriquez & Williams about making a law to create the NYPD Police Commissioner's post as an independently elected public office. All three of them told me they do not support such a law. As a result NYC residents cannot vote for the Police commissioner who responds to the needs of the community. People are stuck with whoever the Mayor throws at us. All over the USA, American citizens indeed & in fact elect their police officials. Its time NYC folks have the same right to elect their police commissioner.
Charles E. May 01, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Although in most counties in the U.S. the Sheriff is an elected official, police chiefs/commissioners are not they are usually appointed. However, the person/people (e.g. the Mayor/City Council) who appoints them/approves the appointment are elected. Whatever the issue is, it is prudent to carefully examine the positions of elected officials and not vote for them if the positions they take regarding matters that we deem important are not in keeping with the individual voter's or the communities' interests. Education on the issues and voting, I think, are the answers.
Ekayani Chamberlin May 03, 2012 at 05:19 PM
wow! @ Joe Gonzalez I had no idea! Thank you for being so informative regarding the appointment of police commissioners. Why don't we learn this in school? I was born and raised in New York City and you are the only person who has ever elucidated this for me. The scary thing is that there is talk of Kelly running for Mayor.

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