New York City Agrees to Settlement with Occupy Wall Street...
The city has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to settle allegations that police wrongfully arrested a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters, marking what their lawyers Tuesday called the largest settlement to date in a single Occupy-related civil rights case.
The $583,000 pact involves 14 demonstrators who said police ordered them to leave but prevented them from doing so and arrested them in lower Manhattan early on New Year's Day 2012. The disorderly conduct cases got dismissed, according to the protesters' federal lawsuit, which argues they were arrested "for expressing their views."
"We were out there to send a message, and our rights were suppressed," one of the demonstrators, Garrett O'Connor, said Tuesday. The 34-year-old labor activist said police tackled him to the ground as he tried to follow their order to clear out.
City lawyers said settling "was in all parties' best interest."
"This involved a fast-evolving, complicated policing situation occurring over many hours," city attorney Andrew Lucas said in a statement.
The march unfurled after a restive New Year's Eve in Zuccotti Park, the lower Manhattan plaza where the anti-economic-inequality Occupy protesters had set up camp from the previous September until the city rousted them that November. Some 68 people were arrested there on that New Year's Eve when police said the protesters tore down barricades surrounding the park.