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Schiller et al. v. City of New York/Dinler et al. v. City of New York: The Plaintiffs

War Resisters League Demonstration, World Trade Center

War Resisters League Demonstration, World Trade Center

MICHAEL SCHILLER, of Brooklyn, was working on a documentary financed by Home Box Office (HBO) Films following the political decision-making process of Andre 3000, a member of the Grammy-award-winning musical group Outkast, as he attended the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in preparing to vote for the first time in a presidential election. Schiller was lawfully on a public sidewalk near the front of the march attempting to film the protesters moving toward him when he was surrounded by police netting and placed under arrest. Despite his pleas to the officers that he was a member of the press working on a documentary, he was not released. Rather, he was falsely arrested, held for over thirteen hours at Pier 57, unlawfully fingerprinted, and eventually released after spending 35 hours in police custody, having been charged with nothing more than three minor offenses.

FRANCESCA FIORENTINI is a 21-year-old undergraduate student at New York University. At the demonstration, after proceeding on the sidewalk as directed by the NYPD commanding officer, Fiorentini was surrounded, arrested, placed in overly tight handcuffs, and made to sit on the street for two hours without food or access to bathroom facilities, awaiting transportation to Pier 57. She then was held for 17 hours at Pier 57, where detainees were kept in overcrowded cells with inadequate sitting or sleeping space and where most had to sit or lie on a floor covered with black oily soot. After then being transported to the criminal courts, Fiorentini was illegally fingerprinted and suffered through more delays, spending another 15 hours at Central Booking. Finally, at 3:00 a.m. on the morning of September 1, after having spent 35 hours in police custody and being charged only with disorderly conduct, she was released.

ROBERT AND NEAL CURLEY The NYCLU can also connect interested parties by phone to Robert Curley, a union lawyer from Philadelphia, and his 17-year old son, Neal Curley. The Curleys, in New York for their annual visit, had planned to participate in the War Resisters League march until it reached Union Square, where they had tickets to see a play that evening. Like Schiller and Fiorentini, they were lawfully standing on the Fulton Street sidewalk when the police arrested everyone there. Curley and his son Neal were confined at Pier 57, unlawfully fingerprinted, and held for 16 hours before being released.

16th Street Demonstration, Union Square, August 31, 2004

HACER DINLER (pronounced HA-sedge), a personal fitness and dance instructor from Brooklyn who had no intention of attending or participating in the 16th Street demonstration, was confined by police as she walked down the 16thStreet sidewalk on her way to teach a dance class. After about two hours in confinement, during which time the NYPD ignored her repeated calls for help, Dinler fainted and experienced convulsions. She was eventually transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where she underwent testing and treatment until the following morning

ANN MAURER, of Astoria, Queens , is a legal assistant for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a lawful participant in the Union Square demonstration. Maurer and several friends walked with the group but made a conscious effort to avoid any problems with the police, going so far as to walk on a sidewalk opposite the main group. Nonetheless, after a line of police officers forced her and her friends to proceed down East 16th Street, she was arrested, handcuffed, and fingerprinted. Maurer spent almost a day in police custody before being released.

ASHLEY WATERS is a Harvard University law student who last summer worked for the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and has never participated in a public demonstration. On the evening of August 31 she was walking through Union Square when she saw a parade taking place and decided to follow behind out of curiosity. Though she was standing on a public sidewalk and not engaging in any unlawful activity, Waters was trapped by the NYPD mass arrest on East 16th Street, handcuffed, fingerprinted, and held for nearly a day in police custody.

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