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New York Times

Why this NYPD detective is suing protesters

New York — I regret last summer as police struck protesters with highly aggressive and sometimes violent tactics when protests against police racism and atrocities filled the streets of New York. Mayor Bill de Blasio later announced a public apology. However, a year after George Floyd was killed, police officers across the country said they felt accused of being abused and insulted during the demonstration. Currently, a New York Police Department union is testing a rare new tactic to counterattack protesters. That is to sue them. Last week, de Blasio released new guidelines on how police respond to protests. New York Police Department detective Vincent Cheung has announced that he is suing racists throwing videos and protesters involved in anti-Asian insults. To him during the March protest. They may sign up for morning newsletters from New York and the New York Times police across the country and file proceedings against those who physically attack and injure them. However, proceedings from officers over the words used in the protest raise a nasty question about freedom of speech, even if they are hateful words. A lawyer who is closely observing police behavior said he could not remember this type of proceeding and sought monetary damages from protesters in the language used in the demonstration. He added that even if the proceedings failed altogether, it could represent a new way. Police confronting protesters. A lawyer representing Mr. Chung said police believed that the civil court was “the only remedy left for them.” “Many police officers look for remedies as a deterrent to such uncivilized and dangerous behavior, rather than anticipating a financial plunge,” said lawyer James M. Moshera. He said he would not hesitate. ” In a video of the conflict released by police, protester Terrell Harper interrupted his comment with a racist stereotype that ridiculed Chinese-American Chung and cursed him when Chung’s I was just a few feet from my face. At this time, Chan has not made any move to arrest the black Harper. Protests continued on a chilly March night in downtown Manhattan. Harper said he returned to Asbury Park, New Jersey after the protests. This was a weekly demonstration of transgender rights, “in solidarity with the hatred of Asia.” Five days later, a shooting in Atlanta killed eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent, raising concerns about anti-Asian hatred. A week later, police released a video of Harper. At a press conference last week, at the detective endowment association, the headquarters of his union, Chan said he had often encountered verbal abuse before, but Harper took his actions during a demonstration of racial justice and equality. I was surprised to continue. Called “anti-Asian abuse for more than 15 minutes.” “Such hatred towards me as an Asian-American is just disgusting,” he said. The proceedings stated that Chan suffered severe mental distress and was permanently and seriously injured by Harper’s actions. It incapacitated him from his normal duties and demanded that he seek medical treatment. The court urged Harper to pay unspecified monetary damages. In an interview, Harper, 39, apologized for admitting that it was a racist comment. He usually makes racist remarks as part of a broader descriptive confession to show how the video is out of context and how racism looks and feels. I said I’m using it. “I have to change my way, and I came out and apologized for it,” he said. He organized demonstrations all year round, saying the proceedings specifically targeted him and showed how police could create tensions between the Asian and black communities in New York. Korean-American organizer Megan Watson, who participated in several marches with Harper, said he would organize a February march in solidarity with an Asian-American community opposed to police atrocities. Said that he cooperated with. She agreed that the proceedings were a way to scapegoat protest leaders and deepen long-standing tensions among the communities. She compared Harper’s solitude she observed with comedy roast, but said she had never heard him use an anti-Asian language before. But she said she was talking to him about the video. “He understands how it happens. He understands what he has to do,” she said. The criminal proceeding also said Harper spit on his face. Harper emphasized and denied that he believed he would have been arrested by the police if he had done so. Asked why he didn’t arrest or engage Harper, Chan said, “It wasn’t the right moment.” Moshera argued that Harper’s insults would cause more violence against Asians and Asian Americans in New York. “There is a direct link between hate speech and violence caused by racial and ethnic groups in the city,” he said. “Words are important.” Eugene O’Donnell, a professor and former police officer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, predicted more lawsuits like Chan, and police spoke to them in the language. He said he was dissatisfied with the racial and gender-targeted rhetoric of protesters, especially police officers. .. He added that the proceedings showed “a tremendous amount of potential for the police union,” even if the judge ruled against the detective. In recent months, city and state leaders have criticized police response to protests following the killing of Floyd. According to a city report released in December, the department “wrongly mishandled” these demonstrations. In January, the agency was sued by the Attorney General of New York. The Attorney General called for observers to monitor police protests. Richard Aborn, chairman of the New York City Civil Crimes Commission, a non-profit organization working to improve criminal justice practices, said Mr Chan’s proceedings speak to the political isolation felt by police. He said it could represent a new way to make demonstrators accountable. “Under the right circumstances, it may be an appropriate response to unnecessary harassment of police officers,” he said. A lawyer studying civil liberties said the proceedings could have a chilling effect on speech and protests. Professor Alexander A. Reinert of Benjamin N. Cardoso School of Law said Harper’s speech was “blamed”, but even exorbitant, hateful and discriminatory speeches are not always feasible. He added that. He noted in a 2011 Supreme Court proceeding that hate speech was protected if it involved what was called a “public concern.” But he said that even if Harper used it or other defenses in court, or if the criminal proceedings failed, the proceedings could have a chilling effect on people’s speech in the opposition. The proceedings. Police in New York and throughout the country have long been given widespread protection from proceedings under a legal doctrine known as limited immunity. But at least in New York City, that may change soon. On Sunday, a law passed by the New York City Council made it easier to sue police officers. The next day, Chan’s union posted a video on Twitter where another detective approached a 25-year-old man and hit his head with a long white stick. The man was charged with assault and criminal possession of weapons by police. The union said it was considering whether to file a proceeding. This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company