Panhandle With Care
More than 270 people have been handcuffed as of Sunday, compared with just 90 in the same period in 2013. Read More
I Fought the Law and
It’s the day of his first budget announcement, but much of the spotlight today will instead be focused on Bill de Blasio’s controversial decision to reach out to the NYPD following a friend’s arrest.
The city’s new mayor suddenly finds himself under fire from multiple corners following yesterday’s Wall Street Journal report revealing he personally made a call to inquire about Bishop Orlando Findlayter after the pastor was arrested Monday for outstanding warrants. A local police official subsequently–and suspiciously, some say–released Mr. Findlayter.
Police arrested New York Congressman Charles Rangel and 29 others, including City Councilmen Richie Torres and Antonio Reynoso, at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day-themed labor protest at LaGuardia Airport this afternoon.
The representatives had joined airport workers from the building workers’ union SEIU 32BJ as they gathered outside the airport to demand greater protections, including increased wages, health benefits, paid sick days, and the right to a paid holiday on Martin Luther King Day. In an act of intentional civil disobedience, the protesters staged a sit-in across the 94th Street bridge to LaGuardia, blocking traffic to and from the airport.
I Fought the Law and
Mayor Bill de Blasio is pleased that his new law department has agreed to pay out $18 million to settle various lawsuits stemming from the 2004 Republican National Convention, where many alleged they were illegally arrested by the NYPD.
“I’ll simply say I’m glad the case is settled,” Mr. de Blasio told reporters this afternoon, speaking at a press conference outlining his plan to reduce traffic fatalities. “I have spoken before about my concerns about how that situation was handled at the time and I’m glad we’re moving forward.”
New York Congressmen Charlie Rangel and Joe Crowley were among eight federal lawmakers reportedly arrested at an immigration reform rally in Washington D.C. earlier this evening.
Stephen Baldwin was arrested on Thursday for alleged repeated failures to file his New York state personal income tax. Mr. Baldwin, an actor, conservative Christian and younger brother to 30 Rock star Alec Baldwin, allegedly failed to file taxes for three years–2008 through 2010–and he may owe the state over $350,000.
CBS New York quoted a statement from Rockland County, N.Y., D.A. Thomas Zugibe, who said Mr. Baldwin’s “repetitive failure to file returns and pay taxes over a period of several years” was just another element contributing to “the sweeping cutbacks and closures in local government and schools.”
Occupy Wall Street
Three men who allegedly planned attacks on President Obama’s Chicago headquarters and the mayor’s residence have been arrested by Chicago police. Reuters reports anti-N.A.T.O. and Occupy Chicago-associated protesters Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly were charged Friday with “conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism, and possession of an explosive incendiary device.” In a report published Saturday afternoon the Associated Press said prosecutors allege the men also planned attacks on police vehicles and substations.
Occupy Wall Street
While there is a great deal of dispute over the content of the video showing the arrest of 23-year-old Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan Saturday night, the N.Y.P.D. has no doubt as to who was in the wrong. The Daily News, in an article about an investigation into online death threats made against the police on Twitter as well as comments in a UStream chat, reports that Ms. McMillan was “seen elbowing her arresting officer in the face” as she was being led out of Zuccotti Park.
The officer who arrested the activist was reportedly injured as well:
Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street activist once profiled in Rolling Stone, suffered a seizure Saturday night during protest action near Zuccotti Park. Many on-scene reported Ms. McMillan had trouble breathing after she was tackled and handcuffed by law enforcement.
A video uploaded to Youtube late Saturday night purports to show the attack. Two women can be heard commenting, “There’s Cecily,” then there is confusion as the police clearly perform a violent take-down on someone in the crowd.
According to Jeff Sharlet’s November, 2011 article about the Occupy Movement, this may be Ms. McMillan’s second violent encounter with police. She is an organizer for the Northeast region of youths involved in the Democratic Socialists of America, which Mr. Sharlet reports is “the largest socialist organization in the United States.” Ms. McMillan, however, once led a more conventional life:
Five staffers of News Corp’s U.K. tabloid The Sun were arrested early today in what the A.P. termed an “early morning swoop.” Surprisingly they–and 3 others–were not nabbed for trying to convince the public woolly mammoths have returned to Siberia, but for allegedly bribing police and defense officials.