A New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) Observer was arrested this week in the recent OWS march in front of the MTA building. The Observer who was clearly not violating the law was reportedly confronted by Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona — the officer made infamous by punching protester Felix Rivera-Pitre. A video shows that officer Cardona allegedly grabbed OWS coordinator, Katherine Bromberg and pulled her into the street before putting her under arrest. The charges were later dropped. The site identified the officer as Cardona, though regardless of his identity, the arrest appears without a legal basis or cause. Once again, while the charges were dropped, there is no indication that the officer would be investigated for such an arrest of an observer in the course of a protected activity.
Just for the record, I am still co-lead counsel with Dan Schwartz of Bryan Cave in the World Bank case (Chang v. United States) where journalists and legal observers were arrested in a mass arrest by the District of Columbia and federal government near the White House.
The march was part of a training session for Occupy Wall Street and ended up in front of 2 Broadway, the MTA’s Materiel Division and Solicitation Management Unit.
This was one of the prior videos that made Cardona so well-known nationally:
Once again, regardless if this proves to be Cardona, the arrest is a continuation of the pattern in Washington and New York regarding journalists and observers at these marches. The video linked above shows Bromberg talking calmly with the officer before being pulled into the street for an arrest. At a minimum, the NYPD should confirm the charges sworn out by the officer.
We will be following the story as it unfolds.
Kudos: Kimberly Wilder