City Pays $583,024 to Occupy Wall Street Protestors

Categories: Occupy

ows-settlement.jpg
Tessa Stuart
Jennifer Peat, one of 14 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, flanked by her lawyers and co-plaintiffs
The city of New York has agreed to pay more than half a million dollars ($583,024 to be exact) in damages and attorney fees after falsely arresting 14 Occupy Wall Street protestors on January 1, 2012. It's the largest Occupy settlement to date, but the lion-share of the money will go to the protestors' lawyers. Each plaintiff has received between $5,000 and $20,000, but the city will pay Stecklow, Cohen & Thompson $333,000 in attorney fees and litigation costs.

The demonstrators were arrested after marching from Zucotti Park to Second Avenue and 13th Street at 12:30am on New Years Ever. At 13th Street, officers surrounded the marchers, and ordered them to disperse. When they didn't disperse--because they couldn't, with the officers blocking their paths--about 34 marchers were arrested.

"As the video clearly indicates, the march was no yet blocking the sidewalk and just minutes before the dispersal order, the police had ordered the marchers to keep walking," Wylie Stecklow of the plaintiff's law firm, Stecklow, Cohen & Thompson, said on Tuesday. "In the period after that dispersal order was made the NYPD committed a second violation of the plaintiffs' rights by failing to grant a reasonable opportunity and path to disperse."

See for yourself:

The 14 plaintiffs--five women and nine men, from all over the country--as well as 20 other marchers, were arrested and held for 5 hours before being released with a ticket. The District Attorney ultimately declined to prosecute almost all of those cases.

Jennifer Peat, lead plaintiff in the case said on Tuesday she was pleased with the settlement. "Public speech, the right to dissent--these are core values that are important to our democracy and I hope that this settlement will lead those in power and the NYPD to better respect our first amendment rights," she said.

David Thompson, attorney for the plaintiffs, struck a similar note, adding: "Arresting nonviolent protestors helps to protect the true wrong doers who were the people, politicians and institutions that have corrupted our economic and political life."

Read the full complaint...


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8 comments
Mike
Mike

It is disappointing Occupy Wall Street Movement no longer exists. The Police State in NYC has to end

frank124c
frank124c topcommenter

We all know that the money is going to be taken out of the tax money paid by the citizens of NYC but instead of doing that and letting the police get off scot free why not take the money from the salaries of the police officers who in fact commited this crime against peaceful demonstrators? If I get a fine for spitting on the sidewalk, I have to pay out of my own pocket. Let the police officers themselves and the politicians who ordered them to do this pay out of their own pockets!

cformusic
cformusic topcommenter

where is the occupy movement now? mission accomplised??

Chris Sinclair
Chris Sinclair

so they protest against greed then when they see an opportunity for $$$ they take legal action...

JPMcMahon
JPMcMahon

@frank124c The police officers have a union, the people that make their contract with the city, to prevent exactly the kind of thing you are talking about from happening.

Charlie
Charlie

No one cost the city this money except the city's own employees(officers).  Their actions led to the settlement and they have no one but themselves to blame

JPMcMahon
JPMcMahon

@frank124c @JPMcMahon Of course not. If they had broken the law then someone could have pressed charges against them. But that would probably be pretty pointless because those lawyers that won this case disappear when there is no more money to be made, and i doubt that prosecutors would want to clog up the docket with an iffy case where they would be fighting the union's attorneys

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