portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

actions & protests | government | human & civil rights dnc & rnc actions

RNC convictions vs arrests

Stats on the number of convictions coming out of RNC vs the number of people arrested (from NYC indymedia).
At the end of an article about a 16 year old who was arrested in the RNC for taking photos of the ACT UP demonstrators (the cops thought he was one of them apparently), the writer throws out these statistics:

"Statistics kept by the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, show that 12 people were acquitted, at least 34 people were held by police but never told what they were charged with, five more were released and told they were not charged, about 273 people had their cases dismissed and 793 were given "adjournments in contemplation of dismissal" -- meaning the charges will be dropped as long as they don't get arrested again in the next six months, said Robert Davis, who is keeping track of the cases for the guild.

Five were found guilty, and 70 pleaded their charges down to violations, which are less severe than misdemeanors, Davis said. The guild has lost track of about 188 cases, he said.

Many of the protesters were held at a detention center for more than two days.

"So what we have is 75 convictions out of about 1,800 arrests," said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who was also counting the protesters whose cases have not been decided yet. "That's a horrible record. Hundreds of people were punished for doing nothing wrong, for exercising their First Amendment right." "

As horrific as this seems 75 out of 1800 - keep in mind those 70 who pled down to violations did so because they did not have the time or money to keep going back to court to fight their cases. And a violation is about as serious as a parking ticket. So out of 1800 people, only 5 have been convicted of anything more than some minor infraction.

Is it fascism yet?

 http://nyc.indymedia.org/newswire/display/135507/index.php

 link to www.newsday.com