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Ear to the Ground

NYPD vs. Occupy: Cops Out of Control

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Posted on Jul 26, 2012
Palinopsia_Films (CC BY 2.0)

An Occupy protester is arrested in New York City in November.

After eight months of study, legal researchers at NYU and Fordham University this week turned out a damning review of the NYPD’s behavior in policing the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The study, led by NYU law professor Sarah Knuckey, accuses the New York Police Department of using unnecessarily aggressive force, interfering with journalists and making arbitrary and baseless arrests while being opaque about the policies that guided officers’ behavior.

Researchers conclude that there “is a systematic effort by authorities to suppress protests, even when these are lawful and pose no threat to the public,” The Guardian reports.

The review is the first of a number of studies of police responses to the Occupy protest around the country to be released over the coming months.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The report argues that the lack of transparency and accountability is especially troubling because the public does not know whether police actions are guided by specific written policies, or whether they are random or ad hoc.

The NYPD turned down multiple requests to meet the researchers, who say they were keen [to] include the police’s point of view in the report. The other four police departments examined for the project all sent representatives to meet researchers. The NYPD did not provide a comment to the Guardian by the time of publication of this article.

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