Michael Tracey on the NYPD's War Against the First Amendment


Last fall, during the Occupy Wall Street movement's putative heydey, media attention tended to focus on a select few instances of especially gratuitous police violence. NYPD Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona made news when he sucker-punched a guy in the face; Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was captured on video dousing young women at random with pepper-spray—an act from which he appeared to derive some kind of sadistic enjoyment.  

While those incidents garnered most of the attention, writes Michael Tracey, a report filed last week by human rights lawyers affiliated with the NYU School of Law and Fordham Law School says they were just two among many. The attorneys collected testimony about NYPD misconduct from hundreds of eyewitnesses. Their report, filed last week with local New York authorities, the Department of Justice, and the United Nations, asserts that the NYPD committed widespread human rights abuses, and are therefore in violation of international law.