NEW YORK, June 7 A lawsuit filed against New
York City police officers involved in arresting some 700 Occupy
Wall Street protesters during a march over Brooklyn Bridge last
fall can go forward, a Manhattan federal judge ruled on
A separate claim against New York City Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the city was thrown
Last Oct. 1, as thousands of demonstrators marched from
their encampment at Zuccotti Park to the Brooklyn Bridge,
hundreds were rounded up in police netting and arrested.
In a lawsuit filed on Oct. 4, many of those protesters
contended they were unlawfully arrested. They said police had
effectively tricked them into believing their march was being
accommodated and they could lawfully be on the bridge roadway.
"While initially, the police officers congregated at the
entrance to the bridge's vehicular roadway, thus effectively
blocking the demonstrators from proceeding further, the officers
then turned and started walking away from the demonstrators and
onto the roadway - an implicit invitation to follow," U.S.
District Judge Jed Rakoff said in a 30-page ruling.
"We think this is a significant victory and a vindication
for the protesters who were illegally arrested on the Brooklyn
Bridge," said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a lawyer representing the
But while the protesters' claims against the arresting
officers can move forward, the larger claims suggesting a
city-wide conspiracy against the Occupy Wall Street protesters
were thrown out.
"The plaintiffs cannot bridge the gap between the broad,
conspiratorial policy they attribute to the city and the
violations that they have plausibly alleged in this case,"
Arthur Larkin, senior counsel at the city law department's
special federal litigation division said the city is "pleased
the Court found that neither the mayor nor the police
commissioner is liable."
"We are considering all legal options, including appeal,
concerning the remainder of the decision," Larkin said.
(Reporting By Edith Honan; editing by Todd Eastham)