CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS
49. The proposed class is: All persons who were arrested on or at the Brooklyn Bridge in the mass arrest conducted on October 1, 2011.
50. The proposed class and their claims satisfy the requirements of Rule 23(b)(3) and, alternately, Rule 23(b)(2).
51. The proposed class of persons, which is composed of approximately 700+ persons, is too numerous for joinder.
52. The defendants conducted a mass arrest of the class, as a group, and in so doing acted on grounds that apply generally to the class. The decision to arrest the class is based on facts and circumstances common to the class. The decision, per se, pertained to the class.
53. The class claims that the members’ Fourth Amendment rights against false arrest and false imprisonment were violated raise common questions of law and fact that predominate over any questions affecting only individual members. The existence or absence of probable cause is a common issue relevant to liability.
54. The class claims that the mass group arrest violated the class’ and members’ First Amendment rights to engage in, observe or associate with free speech and assembly activities (i.e., through physical proximity), raise common questions of law and fact that predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.
55. The class claims that the mass group arrest violated the class’ and members’ Due Process rights, by permitting and leading a protest march onto the Brooklyn Bridge whereupon police arrested the class for being present upon the bridge roadway which police had just permitted access to and led them upon, raise common questions of law and fact that predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.
56. The class claims that the mass group arrest constituted false arrest under New York law raise common questions of law and fact that predominate over any questions affecting only individual members. The state law false arrest claim is based on the same decision to mass arrest the plaintiff class, and the same underlying probable cause determination, as is the federal section 1983 claim. A section 1983 claim for false arrest, resting on the Fourth Amendment right of an individual to be free from unreasonable seizures including arrest without probable cause, is substantially the same as a claim for false arrest under New York law. Consideration of the New York law false arrest claim and related state law claims under pendant jurisdiction will not substantially affect the efficacy of the class action.
57. The class claims that the mass group arrest was a calculated and deliberate course of false arrest, put into effect in order to retaliate against all those who would engage in the mass protest from Wall Street or associate with said protest, raise common questions of law and fact.
58. The claims of the named plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the class, as each was engaged in or associating with peaceable and lawful free speech and assembly activity when each was subjected to false arrest on October 1, 2011 as part of the same police sweep against the class as a group.
59. The named plaintiffs have a strong interest in the outcome of this action, have no conflicts of interest with the plaintiff class, and will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
60. The named plaintiffs are represented by the undersigned counsel and with the attorneys of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. Undersigned counsel has successfully litigated a wide range of complex federal court constitutional rights matters, a substantial part of which focus on the rights of protesters to engage in free speech and dissent. Undersigned counsel was lead counsel in Becker, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al., Civil Action No. 01 – 00811 (PLF), United States District Court for the District of Columbia (trap and detain tactic used in mass false arrest of approximately 700 persons engaged in or in proximity to protest march) and Barham v. Ramsey, Civil Action No. 02-2283 (EGS), United States District Court for the District of Columbia (trap and detain tactic used in mass false arrest of nearly 400 marchers, protesters and others in Pershing Park, Washington, D.C.). See Barham v. Ramsey, 434 F.3d 565 (D.C. Cir. 2006). These two class actions, as well as multiple additional lawsuits stemming from protest activity that counsel has litigated, have resulted in sweeping equitable relief and reform through settlement terms and resultant statutory reforms, establishing in the nation’s capital an unprecedented bulwark against police misconduct in the context of mass demonstrations. These protections include a ban on the trap and detain tactics challenged here. The Becker case also resulted in what is believed to be the largest financial settlement of a protest case in U.S. history. Counsel for the plaintiffs were lead counsel on the successful lawsuit challenging the City of New York’s efforts to ban mass assembly on the Great Lawn of Central Park during the Republican National Convention of 2004, National Council of Arab Americans, et al. v City of New York, et al., Civil Action No. 04 CV 6602 (WHP), United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs’ counsel is also currently counsel on the class action lawsuit challenging the trap and detain tactic used to mass arrest persons demonstrating over the killing of Oscar Grant in Oakland, CA, Spalding, et al. v. City of Oakland, et al., Civil Action No. 11-CV-02867 (TEH), United
States District Court for the Northern District of California. Counsel for the plaintiffs has the resources, expertise and experience to prosecute this action. Counsel for the plaintiffs knows of no conflicts among members of the class or between the attorneys and members of the class.
61. A class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy. The class is readily defined and prosecution of a class action will eliminate the need of repetitious litigation.
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