Privacy SOS

“Your First Amendment rights can be terminated”

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The Chicago police officer in the video above sounds he is moonlighting for the NYPD at #OWS when he says "I don't care about no damn lawsuit" before cuffing NBC journalists for standing on a public street and filming.

The NYPD has apparently decided that mass arrests at demonstrations are a great way of clearing the streets of noisy 'undesirables', even if the department has no plans to follow up to pursue convictions. As former NYCLU legal director Norman Siegel said:

Mass arrests were being used as a tactic, as a weapon to stop the expressive activity and to chill people from participating in OWS. You deal with the protest at that moment and you limit future activity. Even if the city arrests people and there's no conviction, so what?

That approach seems to have contaminated the way some police deal with journalists, and has migrated from NYC to Chicago. The journalists arrested in the above video were never charged.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.