The New York Civil Liberties Union has released documents showing the NYPD deliberately set out to quash protests at the 2004 Republican National convention in New York with a plan to arrest and jail protesters. More than 1800 people were arrested during the four-day convention. Since the NYPD was acting in tandem with federal law enforcement officials, such as Secret Service and FBI to name but two, this then raises the question whether the Bush Administration itself actually ordered the smack down,or knew about it in advance.
“The NYPD documents indicate that as early as May 2004, the Department planned to arrest protestors at the August convention as opposed to issuing summonses. The NYCLU says as a result people were jailed for as long as three days,” reports WNYC, the New York radio station. You got to a judge in New York faster during the convention than you would have had you robbed a bank.
The documents show the cops themselves agreed with the protestors in that 40 officers filed occupational health forms complaining about environmental conditions at the 57th Street pier, a former MTA bus depot, that served as a holding and processing facility. The officers said they were exposed to asbestos, carbon monoxide, sludge, oil, fumes and toxic materials.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is investigating the situation as is the Justice Department, but these have the earmarks of superficial pro forma paper shuffling exercises. The city says the makeshift jail was adequate.