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NYPD’s Occupy Wall Street Raid Costs City $366,000

Occupy Wall Street Raid Settlement

New York, NY — The NYPD’s raid on Occupy Wall Street in 2011 will cost the city $366,700. The raid was launched on November 15, 2011 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the police to evict protesters at Zuccotti Park.

The park, in New York’s financial district, had been home to some of the protesters for almost two months.

During the destructive raid, the NYPD threw away 5,554 books from the Occupy library and destroyed media equipment. They also removed tents, tarps, and other belongings.

The People’s library was the biggest part of the lawsuit. The 5,554 books were publicly donated over a two-month period. Immediately following the raid Mayor Bloomberg claimed the library was still intact. However, he was eventually forced to admit that he had a hand in its destruction.

The destruction of the library was used by Occupy activists to prove that the government wants to suppress criticism and a free exchange of ideas. They also compared Bloomberg to book-burning Nazi Germany and other instances of censorship.

Of the $366,700 the city will pay, $47,000 will go toward the plaintiffs in the case. The city will also have to pay $186,350 in legal fees and costs to Occupy Wall Street’s lawyers. New York will pay $75,000 for destroying the media property owned by Global Revolutions TV, $49850 more in court lawyer fees, and $8,500 to Times Up New York.

Norman Seigel, an attorney for the protester movement, expressed his clients’ pleasure at the outcome of the case. He added of the $47,000 settlement (what the protesters asked for, “More important – we would have not settled without this – is the language in the settlement. This was not just about money, it was about Constitutional rights and the destruction of books.”

After the lawsuit against the NYPD and New York began, attorneys for the city tried to enlist Brookfield Properties, who owns Zuccotti Park, as a co-defendant. Despite the fact that NYPD workers and sanitation department workers were the ones to clean the park up, the city claimed that Brookfield was ultimately liable for the raid’s destructive results. Brookfield will pay the city $15,666.67, per the court settlement.

[Image via Debra M. Gaines]

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4 Responses to “NYPD’s Occupy Wall Street Raid Costs City $366,000”

  1. Dan Kleinman

    Yes, books were damaged or lost, as written in the settlement. Yes, concomitant furnishings were damaged or lost. Yes, due care should be taken when personal property is removed and procedures must be followed.

    But that is irrelevant because that is not the issue. The issue is that the "librarians" ADANDONED the material. Here is evidence: "The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows in Manhattan," by Christian Zabriskie, American Libraries, 16 November 2011: "He was also quick to point out that, while he had helped to build and maintain the collection knowing full well that the park would probably be cleared eventually, the manner in which it was done hit him hard."

    That's an admission against interest. That statement means no harm was done as they knew the "library" would be cleared. And when they were given notice to clear the "library," they did not.

    It was no longer their personal property because they relinquished their ownership of that material. Besides, if it’s the “people’s” “library,” then there essentially is no ownership anyway, but that’s an aside.

    The point is the "librarians" abandoned the material so it was no longer their personal property. Admitting that personal property should be treated with due care is nice, but it was no longer their personal property.

    And had the case gone to trial, that would have been their big hurdle they would not have been able to surmount.

    Frankly, this is a win for the City and the taxpayers, getting out of this nuisance suit so cheaply.

    Now they will go on and bully people into thinking this is a big win for them and for civil rights and sets some kind of legal precedent despite the language of the settlement, but in reality, they lost and they never were going to win when they abandoned the books. They settled to save face because they had no case.

    As OJ's attorney would say, if you have no case, you must save face.