Journalist says NYPD beat and illegally arrested him during OWS march: suit

Chris Faraone says NYPD cops illegally arrested and beat him while he was covering the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street raid in Manhattan in 2012.New York Daily News – by DANIEL BEEKMAN

Queens-bred journalist Chris Faraone says NYPD cops illegally beat and arrested him while he was covering the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, according to a new lawsuit.

Faraone, who was writing for the Boston Phoenix, an alternative weekly, claims he was lawfully “photographing, observing and investigating” a demonstration at One Chase Manhattan Plaza on Sept. 17, 2012 when one police officer ordered additional cops to “stop, tackle, batter, search, arrest, detain and imprison” him, without probable cause.  

The 34-year-old, who filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city, the NYPD and 10 unnamed cops, says five or more officers “violently forced” him to the ground.

Faraone says one cop forced his right arm behind his back for no reason.

Faraone claims he “repeatedly identified himself as a journalist and offered his professional credentials and identification” during the arrest.

But he says the cops responded with “explicit and derogatory comments and ridicule.”

His suit claims he was denied access to a lawyer and “directed and/or threatened by the defendants to cease his journalism/reporting activities in the city.”

The 14-page Manhattan Federal Court suit says the incident was unconstitutional due to excessive force, illegal search, false arrests and unlawful detention, malicious prosecution, deprivation of due process and freedom of the press.

Participants in an OWS march in Lower Manahattan.


Participants in an OWS march in Lower Manahattan.

The suit also includes battery and negligence claims and it seeks unspecified damages.

His disorderly conduct charge was ultimately dismissed for failure to prosecute.

“We will review the allegations in the complaint upon receipt,” a spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department said.

Faraone declined to comment.

Faraone had spent the better part of a year covering the Occupy movement in Boston, New York and elsewhere, and he published a book last year titled, “99 Nights with the 99 Percent: Dispatches from the First Three Months of the Occupy Revolution.”

In a Boston Phoenix blog post about his arrest, Faraone wrote, “I stayed on the sidewalk, obeying orders … I was pushed, grabbed and tackled while standing alone, with no one nearby to cushion the blow.”

He also wrote, “I hardly planned for this; if I had, I would have left my weed at my motel.”

In a playful piece for Esquire in September, Faraone suggested the cops might have targeted him due to his beard.

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One thought on “Journalist says NYPD beat and illegally arrested him during OWS march: suit

  1. What’s important to note here is that this is NOT an isolated incident. The cops do this all the time but it’s seldom reported, and lawsuits are seldom filed, because most people they beat up know that any legal action will be futile, and they probably can’t get the time off of work for court proceedings anyway.

    This is the way it will be, and you’ll see much worse, until the American people fight back.

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