Skip to main content

Good news today for the First Amendment  in New York City: the city has agreed to pay out $583,000 to fourteen people whose constitutional rights to peaceably assemble, guaranteed under the First Amendment to our Constitution, were trampled by police officers who arrested them on trumped up charges during the Occupy Wall Street protests at the end of 2011.

That's important and welcome news indeed.  But I'm wondering: what will happen to the NYPD cops who made the illegal arrests?   What will happen to the supervisors, to then Police Commissioner Kelly, and then Mayor Bloomberg?

The answer: nothing.  And that's why these violations of the First Amendment continue.   Violating the Constitution should be a pretty serious crime - after all, it's the Supreme Law of the Land.  And yet, pepper-spraying officers in California, officers in New York who claim demonstrators are blocking when traffic when they are not, continue to act if they're illiterate or other can't understand what the right to peaceably assemble means.

Fortunately, in our age of omni-present video, it's more difficult than it was in the past for police to get away with these crimes.   Tim Pool's video, for example, got Alexander Arbuckle acquitted a few years ago, when he was arrested on bogus charges in New York City during an OWS demonstration. Video also played a role in the city's decision to compensate the 14 people wrongfully arrested with almost $600,000, after the DA wisely decided not to prosecute the nonsense charges.

But what can be done to stop this police and Mayoral abuse in the future?   Putting the culprits behind bars, including the former Mayor, would be a good way to start.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site