In the wake of Saturday’s mass arrest, D.C.’s Partnership for Civil Justice Fund has filed a federal class action lawsuit against New York City, Mayor Bloomberg, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly and a rack of cops.
PCJ filed the 20-page case, known as Garcia v. Bloomberg, on the behalf of five demonstrators who claim that the NYPD led them and the rest of the 700 club across the Brooklyn Bridge, trapped them and “falsely” arrested them. All of the above are violations of the Fourth Amendment, and the PCJ doesn’t plan on letting them slide.
The PCJ claims that the actions of the defendants were “premeditated,” and support their argument with the fact that the cops who led the crowd were allegedly command officers. Furthermore, PCJ insists that police intentionally spoke “inaudibly” into their bullhorns so protesters wouldn’t be able to hear them in the midst of the commotion. They maintain the bullhorns were just used to validate arrests without providing fair warning to protesters, which is a Constitutional obligation. The NYPD has a “policy” that enables them to arrest people en masse without probable cause.
It doesn’t end there. PCJ also claims that the mass arrest violated several First Amendment rights. One of the plaintiffs claims an NYPD officer told them the mass arrest was done to put an end to the demonstration, while another plaintiff was allegedly told “next time you’ll think twice about going out to protest.”
The five plaintiffs want monetary compensation for the fuckery they experienced, as well as arrest nullification, expungement of their records and injunction preventing similar mass arrests in the future. Considering the PCJ’s record, they just might get what they want. On the other hand, the NYPD just gets more bad press. What else is new?
You can read the case here.