Nov 23, 2009 Justice comes late but large for D.C.’s violations of arrestees during 2000 IMF/World Bank protestors
Three years ago, I blogged about my criminal court defense of numerous IMF/World Bank protestors during the April 16, 2000, weekend demonstrations, and my revulsion over seeing my nation’s capital reduced to looking like a martial law government awaiting a possible repeat of the previous rioting in Seattle against that city’s economic globalization meeting.
Police and prosecutors over-arrested and over-prosecuted (including seeking unconstitutionally overbroad orders to stay away from the sites of First Amendment-protected demonstrations, merely because the demonstrations were near the IMF and World Bank buildings) that weekend. Included among my clients was a man caught in a dragnet arrest who was not even a demonstrator. I also defended a man charged with possessing a lockbox, and, along with the co-defense attorneys, ultimately got the prosecution dismissed for the absence of any District of Columbia laws outlawing their possession. Additionally, I defended a man caught in a house being renovated for squatters, which many feel is an act of economic and social justice.
Congratulations to the lawyers and their clients who this week obtained a multimillion-dollar settlement against the District of Columbia over the arrests of 680 people from the April 16, 2000, weekend, and for reminding governmental authorities that police misdeeds will continue to get the light of day and lawsuits thrown at them.