Once again, we have a story of how the police department of a major city discriminated against those protesting administration polity.
NEW YORK - Hundreds of protesters arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention were held for up to six times longer than those arrested on charges unrelated to the convention, according to city documents made public Thursday.
…Christopher Dunn, associate legal director at the NYCLU, said the documents "reveal that the long detentions of the thousands of protesters arrested for minor offenses at the convention were the result of deliberate policy decisions by the NYPD."
"During the convention, you got to a judge much faster if you were a bank robber than if you were charged with parading without a permit," he said.
Instead of issuing summonses — similar to traffic tickets — police held everyone who was arrested for later court appearances. The concern, according to police Chief John J. Colgan, was the need to positively identify everyone arrested.
Records show that arrested protesters on Aug. 31, 2004, were held an average of 32 hours before appearing in court, while those arrested on other offenses were held less than five hours.
"By refusing to release demonstrators with summonses and instead holding them to be illegally fingerprinted, the department all but guaranteed that protesters would be held for extended periods of time," Dunn said.
This story seems to have been repeated over and over and over again at almost every anti-administration protest I can recall, going all the way back to those against the Vietnam War. In those days, the police tended to be the most pro-administration people around, but I rather doubt that's the case these days, particularly in New York. Yes, the mayor is nominally a Republican, but only nominally so. So, why does this occur? Does the Federal government somehow instigate this stuff? Is it really just local? I don't get it.