It’s been almost a year since the Occupy Wall Street Protests, but the New York Police Department (NYPD) is facing new claims of false arrest for officers’ conduct during the event. A federal lawsuit was filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) which challenges the NYPD’s use of sidewalk arrests during the first week of last year’s Occupy Wall Street movement.
The lawsuit challenges the NYPD’s practice of arresting individuals lawfully present on sidewalks based on their proximity or association with protesters. The Executive Director of the PCJF explained, “People in New York City are entitled to engage in dissent without having to fear that they will be subject to the NYPD’s illegal arrests and brutality.”
The PCJF is also challenging the use of police lines and orange netting to arrest groups of people, claiming such tactics are unconstitutional. The lawsuit is seeking punitive and compensatory damages against the officers for the false arrests, and one deputy in particular for pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators who had nowhere to go.
In order to detain or arrest someone police must have probable cause. When individuals are arrested without probable cause their civil rights are violated, and they may be entitled to compensation for the damages they suffer as a result.
If you feel you have been falsely arrested or unlawfully detained an attorney can provide advice about potential claims. An attorney will notify proper authorities, direct a complaint to bodies such as police internal affairs and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Source: Salem-News, “New Federal Lawsuit Against NYPD for Occupy Arrests,” September 21, 2012
To learn more about our practice please visit our New York City false arrest page.