Just in time for May Day:
The City of New York, the New York Police Department, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and several large corporations including JPMorgan Chase have repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of Occupy Wall Street protesters, according to a wide-ranging federal lawsuit filed on Monday morning.
Occupy Wall Street victims of pepper-spray cop Anthony Bologna, September 24, 2011. The NYPD made false arrests and violated free- speech rights of protestors and journalists last year, according to a complaint filed today in a Manhattan federal court.
Four New York City Councilors – Letitia James, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams – filed the civil rights lawsuit alleging that city police used excessive force and violated free speech rights as part of its crackdown on protesters. Also joining the suit as plaintiffs are a local Democratic Party official, freelance journalists, and Occupy activists.
“This unlawful conduct has been undertaken with the intention of obstructing, chilling, deterring and retaliating against (the) plaintiffs for engaging in constitutionally protected protest activity,” the lawsuit alleges.
The City Council members are calling for an independent monitor to review all of the more than 2,000 OWS-related arrests and further explore the city’s decision to temporarily close Zuccotti Park and other public spaces during the protests. The suit also seeks unspecified damages.