City Cannot Keep Materials from Republican National Convention Secret, Federal Court Rules

 
In a sweeping decision, federal judge James C. Francis IV ruled that the
NYCLU is free to make public extensive NYPD documents, deposition
testimony, and videotapes about all aspects of the Convention, including
mass arrests, conditions at Pier 57, and various policies deployed by
the Department during the Convention.

City Cannot Keep Materials from Republican National Convention Secret,
Federal Court Rules

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Maggie Gram, 212.607.3344 / 845.553.0349 / mgram at nyclu.org
Chris Dunn, 212.607.3326

January 22, 2007 -- In litigation filed by the New York Civil Liberties
Union challenging the mass arrests and detentions during the 2004
Republican National Convention, a federal judge today rejected New York
City's effort to shield from public view voluminous materials about the
NYPD's policing of the Convention.

In a sweeping decision, federal judge James C. Francis IV ruled that the
NYCLU is free to make public extensive NYPD documents, deposition
testimony, and videotapes about all aspects of the Convention, including
mass arrests, conditions at Pier 57, and various policies deployed by
the Department during the Convention.

"The public has an important interest in knowing what was behind the
NYPD's mass arrest and detention of protesters during the Convention,"
said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn, who is lead
counsel on the NYCLU's Convention cases. "Now that the federal court has
rightly recognized that the NYPD's Convention actions cannot be kept
secret, we look forward to sharing these materials with the public."

The NYCLU filed two lawsuits in October 2004 challenging mass arrest,
prolonged detention, and fingerprinting of Convention protesters. In
pre-trial discovery, it has collected thousands of pages of city
documents, has taken sworn testimony of many high-level Department
officials, and has obtained many NYPD videotapes taken of protest
activity. When the City attempted to prevent the NYCLU from making this
material public, the NYCLU challenged that. That challenged led to
today's ruling.

"It's been said that democracy dies behind closed doors," said NYCLU
Executive Director Donna Lieberman. "We intend to keep it alive. We will
continue to fight efforts by the government to hide its actions from
pubic view."

The NYCLU intends to make public the Convention materials covered by
today's ruling as soon as possible.

homepage:: http://nyc.indymedia.org/

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