The city has agreed to pay nearly $600,000 to settle allegations that police wrongfully arrested a group of Occupy Wall Street protesters, marking the largest settlement to date in an Occupy-related civil rights lawsuit, the marchers’ lawyers said Tuesday.
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.”
“The police, led by supervising officers, stopped peaceful protesters on the sidewalk, surrounded them with a blue wall of police, told them to disperse, and then arrested them before they possibly could,” one of their lawyers, Wylie Stecklow, said in a statement. “This was an unacceptable violation of basic constitutional rights.”