Back to All Press Release

NYCLU Sues For Unlawful Arrest And Detention Of “Hummer” Protester

A woman who was arrested for a lawful, solo protest during the Republican National Convention last summer while dressed in a make-shift costume as a Hummer vehicle is challenging her arrest and the NYPD’s unconstitutional, zero tolerance approach to protest during the RNC. The New York Civil Liberties Union today filed suit in federal court against the City on behalf of Georgianna Page, charging that her civil rights were violated.

“The arrest of Ms. Page demonstrated the NYPD’s illegal zero-tolerance approach to political protest during the RNC,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “This policy denied the free speech rights of individuals and the end result is that many people will question their participation in future demonstrations. We all lose when government actions prevent people from full participation in the political process.”

Georgianna Page is a New York-based Web producer and freelance writer who was arrested on a day that the NYPD arrested 1100 other individuals, most of whom have since had their cases dismissed. Most prominent was the Manhattan District Attorney’s dismissal of all 227 cases against peaceful protesters arrested near the World Trade Center site.

Page heard there would be a peaceful, organized protest in front of a Hummer dealership on August 31st, and she showed up in her self-designed “Hummer” costume late that afternoon, only to be met by some 20 members of the press—and no other protesters.

Page was on the curb in front of the dealership when she was approached by an unidentified Captain of the NYPD who was surrounded by 10 other police officers. She was informed that she was obstructing traffic and was told if she did not leave immediately, she would be arrested.

After Page pointed out that she was not obstructing traffic, the Captain directed another officer to arrest her and she was handcuffed, her costume ripped from her in the process.

Page was taken to Pier 57 where she was detained for over 2 hours. When she was told she was free to go, Page was offered no explanation for her arrest or release. She was left with no documentation of any of the events that had taken place, save a property voucher.

Said Christopher Dunn, Associate Legal Director of the NYCLU: “The NYPD’s arrest of Ms. Page and hundreds of other lawful protesters not only threatens to silence protest activity but leaves us deeply concerned about information captured in police files and databases.”

Said Georgianna Page: “I believe in civil rights, but the police do not. The NYPD made me feel violated and disrespected. Their interest is in protecting their administration’s agenda even if it’s corrupt, and they should not get away with that. They need to learn to believe again.”

The NYCLU suit was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York and seeks relief and damages for Page’s unlawful arrest and detention. The suit names the City along with the unidentified NYPD Captain who gave the order to arrest Page as defendants. Page has not been able to recover her Hummer costume.

NYCLU attorney Palyn Hung is assisting on this lawsuit

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