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]