Back to All Press Release

NYCLU To Ask Judge Not To Lift Prohibition Against Routine Videotaping Of Lawful Protesters By NYPD

The New York Civil Liberties Union returned to court today to ask a judge to stand firm in his decision to prohibit the New York City Police Department from routinely videotaping individuals engaged in lawful political protest.

The argument came as the latest round of the decades-old federal case Handschu v. Special Services Division, which has resulted in a series of court orders regulating police surveillance of political demonstrations and activities. The argument was scheduled after the NYPD asked Judge Charles S. Haight reconsider his February 15th ruling that the NYPD may not videotape of public gatherings unless a bona fide criminal investigation is warranted.

“The NYPD had transformed the atmosphere for political dissent in New York City with its omnipresent videotaping of demonstrations, regardless of the likelihood or suspicion of criminal activity,” said Donna Lieberman, NYCLU Executive Director. “Judge Haight’s February decision restored the expectation that New Yorkers can participate in lawful demonstrations without fear of being placed in political dossiers.”

The civil rights class is represented by Arthur Eisenberg, Legal Director of the NYCLU; Jethro M. Eisenstein; Paul G. Chevigny of NYU Law School; Martin R. Stolar; and Franklin Siegel. The police department is represented by Gail Donoghue, Special Assistant to the New York City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo.

The February decision is available on this website at

Papers filed with the court by the Handschu attorneys are available below.

* Defendants’ Memo of Law in Support of reargument — March 5, 2007 (PDF)

* Plaintiffs’ Memo in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion — March 22, 2007 (PDF)

* Defendants’ REPLY Memo in support of their motion to vacate, etc. — March 29, 2007 (PDF)

As bold as the spirit of New York, we are the NYCLU.
© 2024 New York
Civil Liberties Union