Activist sues city for violation of free-speech rights

Activist sues city for violation of free-speech rightsNew York Post – by Rich Calder

A Harlem activist — once dubbed a “professional agitator” by the NYPD for filming cops conducting stop-and-frisks — slapped the city with a lawsuit Wednesday claiming police officers have repeatedly violated her free-speech rights by taking her into custody for filming them at public protests.

Christina Gonzalez, who lost a bid last year for an Upper Manhattan City Council seat as a Green Party candidate, filed the Manhattan federal court lawsuit against the city, NYPD and unnamed cops over three incidents from September 2011 to July 2012 in which she was arrested and restrained while filming cops’ actions at protests. In each of three Manhattan incidents, she claims her First Amendment rights were violated to prevent her from legally protesting against authorities.  

Gonzalez, 28, and her partner Matthew Swaye made headlines in 2012 when they were featured in NYPD “Wanted” posters calling them “professional agitators.” The flyers, which featured their mug shots, warned cops to be on guard against them.

Gonzalez’s lawyer Paul Mills said the posters were not mentioned in the suit because the first incident predated their circulation. However, he said the posters could be used as evidence if the case goes to trial.

A two-minute video of Gonzalez during a September, 24 2011 confrontation with cops at an Occupy Wall Street protest was filed as an attachment to her lawsuit. It shows her being chased down by a cop who clutches the back of her black sports bra to stop her from getting away. She is subdued shortly after when another officer sticks out his foot to trip her as other cops push her forward.

The city says it will “review” the lawsuit.

One thought on “Activist sues city for violation of free-speech rights

  1. I wonder if the NYPD also has wanted posters of the real “professional agitators” such as Sharpton, Obama, Holder, Jackson and most other liberal loons?

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