City Pays $18 Million to Wrongly Arrested RNC Protesters

January 16, 2014 | Andy Cush

Ten years later, some justice for the hundreds and hundreds of people who were unlawfully arrested during protests of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. In a settlement announced yesterday, the city will pay out $18 million to some 1,800 protesters, journalists, and bystanders.

“No lawful protester should ever be treated like a criminal in New York City, or anywhere else in the United States,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. The NYCLU filed two lawsuits against the city after the arrests. “This historic settlement must serve as a reminder to New York City and government across the country that the right to protest is a fundamental pillar of a fair and functioning democracy. And it is the role of government and law enforcement to not only tolerate protest, but protect and defend it,” she added.

The NYCLU’s release details the gruesome conditions some the plaintiffs faced.

In the East 16th Street case, plaintiffs included Hacer Dinler and Ann Maurer. Dinler was a fitness and dance instructor from Brooklyn who was confined by police en route to dance class; she was not involved in the protest. After about two hours in confinement, despite repeated pleas for help, Dinler fainted and experienced convulsions. She was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Hospital, where she remained overnight for testing and treatment.

(Photo: Mike Hudack/Flickr)