40 minutes ago
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
From WashPost. The D.C. Police department has settled a wrongful arrest lawsuit relating to the World Bank/IMF protests in 2002. The vulnerability in the District’s defense seems to have been that a crowd of protesters was not ordered to disperse before the police began arresting individuals. For 24 hours of inconvenience, each plaintiff will be paid approx $50,000. Fine, whatever. The bad part is that the District has agreed, as part of the settlement, that protesting without a permit is no longer grounds for arrest. Clearly this is one of the only law-enforcement tools available to cities living through the assault and disruption of major protests. Conceding this point strikes me as a serious error.