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August 31, 2015 5:43 pm

Legal group alleges NYPD violated rights of Occupy Wall Street protesters

The Global Justice Clinic at New York University yesterday issued a statement promising to produce  a series of reports regarding the response and actions by officers from the New York City Police Department when confronted by the Occupy Wall Street protesters. 

The overall report is titled “Suppressing Protest.” 
According to the Global Justice Clinic, “the report raises policy concerns and alleges violations of the rights of protesters. ‘Suppressing Protest’ is the culmination of an eight-month-long study of the response in New York, along with comparative data from other U.S. cities.”
“The methodology used by the group of academics and self-anointed legal scholars was the review of video footage taken by protesters and their supporters, news reports written by biased left-wing journalists, and ‘witness’ interviews — witnesses who themselves were protesting,” claims former NYPD sergeant Timothy Burgrander, who said he witnessed the Wall Street Occupiers in action. 
The researchers chronicle what they claim was aggressive, unnecessary and excessive police force against peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers, and journalists; violent late-night raids on peaceful encampments; arbitrary and selective rule enforcement and baseless arrests; and pervasive surveillance of peaceful political activity.
However, the Law Enforcement Examiner witnessed first-hand an enormous amount of restraint by police officers who endured being spat upon and struck with projectiles thrown by the protesters. The verbal abuse and vulgarity uttered cannot be repeated herein.
According to a Global Justice Clinic statement, an adjunct professor, Sarah Knuckey, who is listed as one of the report’s principle authors, claims she saw an officer kick a protester in the face and then flee. In another incident, she claims police officers broke the collarbone of a protester, although she didn’t report how she knew it was broken.
“These are just two of hundreds of examples we document in our report, demonstrating a pattern of abusive and unaccountable protest policing by the NYPD,” said Knuckey.
“Unfortunately, the Clinic didn’t report on the rapes, the substance abuse and the thefts that occurred in the Occupy Wall Street encampments. Nor is there mention of unsanitary conditions and a total disrespect for private property,” said New York police officer Iris Aquino. “In just one day, seven cops were injured and needed medical attention.”  
In fact, the head of the NYPD union — the Police Benevolent Association — threatened to pursue legal action against any Occupy Wall Street protester who injured any of its member officers. He was responding to news that a police officer was slashed with a razor by one of the protesters.

Peace-loving protesters burning the American flag.

The report urges independent, official review of these abuse allegations, investigation and prosecution of responsible officers, and the creation of new New York Police Department policing guidelines to protect against rights violations, according to the group.
On July 25, Knuckey joined other legal experts to file a complaint with New York City authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the United Nations over the alleged abusive policing of Occupy Wall Street protesters.

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