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Political Arrestees Singled Out for NYPD Detention

Political Arrestees Singled Out for Punitive Detention By NYPD

People's Law Collective

Contact: Lesley Wood 212-749-0504

Tuesday, February 5, 2002: For Immediate Release

Political Arrestees Singled Out for Punitive Detention by NYPD; Civil Liberties Attorneys to Hold Press Conference on Steps of 100 Centre Street 11 am Tuesday.

Number of arrestees: approx. 200

How long in jail: Some still in custody will have been there for 44 hrs, when 4-6 hrs is typical for these types of charges.

Charges: violations such as parading without a permit or obstruction of pedestrian traffic, fewer than 10 felonies.

Note about length in jail: There’s currently a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union pending on the issue of people being put through the system for low level violations and misdemeanors. In response to the lawsuit, the New York Police Department officially announced (a) that they had changed their policy of putting people through the system and (b) that they would start issuing Desk Appearance tickets and releasing political arrestees in four to six hours. NYPD attorneys' stated policy doesn’t appear to be holding true for Global Justice Movement or "anti-globalization" protesters. Even in the event that people are put through the system, they’re usually out within 24 hrs. Procedures this weekend have been glaringly illegal. Legal Aid Society is filing a Writ of Habeas Corpus to get a judge's order. The order will command NYPD to bring these activists before a judge to be released.

Arrestees have been extensively questioned about their politics while in custody and women have been singled out for particularly harsh treatment. Others were held on a bus for up to 9 hours or more, apparently without access to water, bathrooms, food, attorneys or medical treatment. Specifics will be available at the conference.

Why have they been held so long? Sarah Coffey, a member of the Midnight Special Law Collective and the National Lawyers Guild, who’s been working with the People’s Law Collective, the group responsible for organizing legal support for the action said, “There is absolutely no reason why it should take so long to process these activists. At this point the detention is strictly punitive as opposed to administrative and illustrates the state’s attitude toward dissent in the post 9-11 climate.”


Leslie Brody, Attorney with National Lawyer’s Guild Beverly Thompson, People’s Law Collective Lailah Bragin, Defendant

Where: 100 Centre Street nr. Worth – Central Booking When: 11 am Tuesday February 5


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