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NYCLU Supports Council Hearing On Police Practices During The RNC

The New York Civil Liberties Union supports the efforts by the New York City Council to investigate police practices and poor treatment of protesters during the Republican National Convention. While the NYCLU overall believes the NYPD did a fine job in respecting the rights of protesters, there were some questionable police tactics that stifled dissent and political debate.

“The NYCLU welcomes this inquiry by the City Council that also will address the issues of indiscriminate and pre-emptive arrests of protesters during the RNC,” said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. “While the Council is taking this important first step, the NYCLU will also pursue litigation to challenge these policies in order to compensate those individuals hurt by these disturbing tactics.”

The Government Operations Committee, chaired by Deputy Majority Leader William Perkins, has scheduled an all-day hearing on this matter on Wednesday, September 14th. The hearing will feature:


  • Testimony on wrongful and indiscriminate arrests of protesters.
  • The use of pens and barricades and orange netting that often engulfed uninvolved bystanders.
  • The dangerous police tactics involving the use of scooters as a form of crowd control.
  • The disturbing conditions of confinement at Pier 57 which appeared to be contaminated with harmful chemicals.
  • The excessive delays in processing arrestees which angered a state judge who threatened the City with huge fines.
  • And pervasive police surveillance to record lawful activity which may result in political dossiers or files of critics of the government.

In addition, the NYCLU will provide footage at the hearing of many of these incidents and issues in an 8-minute videotape, some of which was produced by Michael Schiller who was part of a mass arrest of protesters August 31st. Schiller was shooting a documentary for Andre Benjamin, also known as Andre 3000 of Outkast.

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