NYPD Engaging in ‘Proactive’ Protester Arrests
Posted on Mar 17, 2006
The N.Y. Times examines internal police reports in which NYPD commanders discuss their use of “proactive arrests,” covert surveillance and psychological tactics at antiwar rallies in 2002.
The country that wages preemptive war now has a city police force making “proactive” arrests.
In five internal reports made public yesterday as part of a lawsuit, New York City police commanders candidly discuss how they had successfully used “proactive arrests,” covert surveillance and psychological tactics at political demonstrations in 2002, and recommend that those approaches be employed at future gatherings.
Among the most effective strategies, one police captain wrote, was the seizure of demonstrators on Fifth Avenue who were described as “obviously potential rioters.”
The reports provide a rare glimpse of internal police evaluations and strategies on security and free speech issues that have provoked sharp debate between city officials and political demonstrators since the Sept. 11 attack.
Horse-mounted NYPD officers exercise crowd control maneuvers during a 2003 antiwar rally in New York City.