Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 9th, 2007 6:50 am by HL
A federal judge yesterday rejected New York City’s efforts to prevent the release of nearly 2,000 pages of raw intelligence reports and other documents detailing the Police Department’s covert surveillance of protest groups and individual activists before the Republican National Convention in 2004.
In a 20-page ruling, Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV ordered the disclosure of hundreds of field intelligence reports by undercover investigators who infiltrated and compiled dossiers on protest groups in a huge operation that the police said was needed to head off violence and disruptions at the convention….
The order was the latest development in the long-running case, which posed thorny questions about the free speech rights of protesters and the means used by law enforcement officials to maintain public order.
It appeared that the plaintiffs, who had denounced the police for trampling on the civil liberties of protesters who were fingerprinted and detained at length for minor offenses, had largely won the day, while the city had achieved a more limited objective.
Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which represents the lead defendants in a barrage of more than 80 lawsuits, said of the judge’s ruling: “He’s given us everything we asked for. He has redacted the names of undercover agents and the particulars of surveillance techniques. We agreed to that. But he has said the city cannot withhold the information it gathered in these operations.”
The wheels of justice grind slowly, but I’m patient…