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Federal Judge Approves 15$ Million Class Action Settlement Against NYPD

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posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 10:16 AM
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Long Fight Ends Over Arrests For Loitering

Nearly 30 years of court battles over illegal arrests for loitering in New York City came to an end this week as a federal judge approved a class-action settlement that will include a $15 million payment by the city and an unusual promise that officials will work to expunge thousands of convictions.

The settlement came after a federal judge held the city in contempt in 2010 for “obstinance and uncooperativeness,” as the police continued for years to make arrests under laws that had been declared unconstitutional. The laws had banned loitering to panhandle or to search for a sex partner, or while in a bus or train station.

Federal and state courts struck down those laws between 1983 and 1993 as violating First Amendment rights, but some 22,000 people were charged with the offenses from 1983 to 2012.

NYTimes.com

I actually had no idea those laws had been ruled unconstitutional as far back as 1983, which leaves me with the question of how were these arrests carried out? Did officers just arrest then release back at their precinct? That's confusing.


Katie Rosenfeld, one of the lawyers who filed the suit, said it had brought accountability. “All of the people who got charged under these statutes had not very much power: homeless people, gay people, marginalized people, vulnerable people,” she said.


It sounds more like over the course of 30 years 22,000 people were bullied by some of New York's not so Finest. That infuriates me and again makes me ask why do good cops do nothing or not enough regarding officers who bend and break rules? I know LEO's have this brotherhood code thing going on but come on, you are supposed to protect us not allow your co-workers to do harmful things. Well, I hope this law-suit changes this code of silence.

Lawyers involved in the case state that each person involved in the suit will be awarded 5,000 dollars and any unlawful arrests will be expunged from their records. It's nice to know that justice is still being served by some.




posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 10:19 AM
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city's and their police forces are there for one reason and one reason only, to make additional revenue. police do not prevent crime nor create safety for anyone, they generate revenue and make reports after crimes are committed.



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by LittleBlackEagle
city's and their police forces are there for one reason and one reason only, to make additional revenue. police do not prevent crime nor create safety for anyone, they generate revenue and make reports after crimes are committed.


Indeed. As far as I am concerned, private security groups, uh I mean city police, perpetuate far more unconstitutional acts than statistics will ever reveal.



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 06:18 PM
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Katie Rosenfeld, one of the lawyers who filed the suit, said it had brought accountability. “All of the people who got charged under these statutes had not very much power: homeless people, gay people, marginalized people, vulnerable people,” she said.


I love the type of crap people will allow others to say when they are working in their favor. Did anyone else notice that she put Gay people right down there with homeless people. If the mayor made a comment like that then people would be crying to get him thrown out of office.
edit on 9-2-2012 by JoshF because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 06:24 PM
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And was the settlement worth it??? The lawyers got their payday after all. Question is are the laws still on the books? More trouble from lawyers then anything. The supposed victims get to be screwed over again after the lawyers take their cut, anyone ever question how much lawyers get on cases like that? There is another protected group that makes it's living off the backs of others.



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by JoshF


Katie Rosenfeld, one of the lawyers who filed the suit, said it had brought accountability. “All of the people who got charged under these statutes had not very much power: homeless people, gay people, marginalized people, vulnerable people,” she said.


I love the type of crap people will allow others to say when they are working in their favor. Did anyone else notice that she put Gay people right down there with homeless people. If the mayor made a comment like that then people would be crying to get him thrown out of office.
edit on 9-2-2012 by JoshF because: (no reason given)


I do not understand your point. Gay folks were victimized. Homeless folks were victimized. How is mentioning that fact hurting gays?



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by hangedman13
 


In these types of cases I don't think that is really the point. The NYPD having to shell out 15$ million will have an impact on their policies and procedures, and most likely have much greater consequences for violations. I wouldn't complain about 5k anyway.



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


Except that money does not just come from no-where. It comes from taxes. The question that needs to be asked is have the laws been removed from the books? And I don't see how the money makes anything better for the "victims". Is it a universal salve now?



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 06:51 PM
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Cops are cowards.

If they were anything but, they'd be standing up to the ethically compromised colleagues of theirs. But, they don't, they turn a blind eye, this stuff continues for decades, and then they come on places like ATS and whine about the public not respecting them enough. If there was any threat of being held accountable by your colleagues, you wouldn't act this way. If you thought you'd lose your job for bending the rules of the constitution and illegally arresting people, you wouldn't.

It's the culture. If you're not changing it, you're a part of it, and keep it moving in the direction its been going for decades.
edit on 9-2-2012 by MysticPearl because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by hangedman13
 


I suppose then that us taxpayers should be holding our public officials, law enforcement and everything else our taxes pay for, to higher standards...shouldn't we?

The laws were ruled unconstitutional 30 years ago as said in the OP, so no, they aren't on the books.
edit on 9-2-2012 by Kali74 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by groingrinder

Originally posted by JoshF


Katie Rosenfeld, one of the lawyers who filed the suit, said it had brought accountability. “All of the people who got charged under these statutes had not very much power: homeless people, gay people, marginalized people, vulnerable people,” she said.


I love the type of crap people will allow others to say when they are working in their favor. Did anyone else notice that she put Gay people right down there with homeless people. If the mayor made a comment like that then people would be crying to get him thrown out of office.
edit on 9-2-2012 by JoshF because: (no reason given)


I do not understand your point. Gay folks were victimized. Homeless folks were victimized. How is mentioning that fact hurting gays?


She was saying that those people did not have "much power" like somehow a gay man has less "power" than a straight man.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 06:16 AM
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reply to post by JoshF
 


It is true in a lot of situations today still but, we're also talking about going back as far as 30 years ago. I'm not sure how old you are but I was a little kid in 1983 and things were much, much different for gay people back then.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 06:43 AM
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I hate stories like this.

The taxpayer is the one screwed regardless of the outcome.

Taxes fund the cops.

Taxes fund the arrests and imprisonment.

Taxes fund the investigation(s).

Taxes fund the trial. In this case both prosecution and defense.

Taxes will pay the eventual settlement.

Just being a NY or even a federal taxpayer here gets you screwed regardless of the outcome.

American justice. Everyone suffers.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


I understand what you're saying and it's a very valid point but it brings me back to a post I made earlier in the thread...it's our tax dollars, isn't it about time we stop handing them over to a bunch of morons? It feels like everything tax funded in this country is rigged to be broken so that we have to keep pouring more taxes into them, except they never get fixed and the only ones making out in all of it are the ones at the top. Now when we get into programs like law enforcement it feels more like we are paying to have psychological warfare waged on us or well at least on the lower class or the most vulnerable.

It also bothers me that no one seems outraged about this beyond the tax dollar issue. Thirty years ago the applicable (to this thread) laws were ruled unconstitutional, so for 30 years the NYPD and probably a lot more police departments nationwide have on a somewhat regular basis, violated citizens Constitutional rights.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 07:27 AM
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Only $15 million??

Should be way more than that.

And it should be the police officers THEMSELVES who pay, not the taxpayers.

And they should just PAY... they should be FIRED AND PROSECUTED.

A bunch of them should go to JAIL.

It's not about MONEY... it's about JUSTICE.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by Kali74
It also bothers me that no one seems outraged about this beyond the tax dollar issue. Thirty years ago the applicable (to this thread) laws were ruled unconstitutional, so for 30 years the NYPD and probably a lot more police departments nationwide have on a somewhat regular basis, violated citizens Constitutional rights.


That too comes back to taxes.

There'd be no mafia in blue to abuse citizens without the extorted property to fund them.

That 30 years of abuses falls squarely on our heads. We're the ones who pay for them. We're the ones who accepted them as a "necessary evil."



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 07:55 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


Yes.
So it seems prudent that we stop accepting the status quo. It's ridiculous now, so much is laid bare before our eyes now...naked corruption, and we as a nation even as citizens of the world kind of just say oh this is terrible as we shrug our shoulders. Civil unrest is on the rise but we demonize those participating. At some point we have to say no to TPTB we don't accept this anymore, do your job effectively or GTFO.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 07:58 AM
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reply to post by Vitchilo
 


I agree 100% about firing and prosecuting those guilty but I don't see it happening. I see this as a victory still though. I think this will affect policy now, I really hope so anyway.



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 08:11 AM
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My mom was once "handled" by the cops which left her in a hospital under police supervised isolation. We were not even allowed to speak to her. Eventually after she had healed she attempted to file a complaint and was totally given the run around. No lawyer would take her case. Years go by. My mom passes. A lawyer contacts multile members of my family, including myself ( i was overseas at the time). He goes on to tell us that there is a misconduct lawsuit being filed against our city's police department. Somehow he had gotten ahold of my mom's story (really another cop told him). Now it's been about 2 years and I haven't heard anything again. It's about time someone wins their battle. A partial win is in some cases, as good as a total win...



posted on Feb, 10 2012 @ 04:46 PM
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reply to post by DivineFem
 


I'm sorry about your Mother. I agree that a small victory can do a lot, which is why I posted the story. I hope that it's true in this case.



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