Bus drivers in New York City have been telling the NYPD that they don’t have to give free rides to jail for Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, despite what the Police Department seems to think. Now they are taking the issue to court.
Transport Workers Union Local 100 brought the matter to the New York State Supreme Court on Monday, where they asked for an injunction to keep the NYPD from forcing city bus drivers into giving protesters lifts to the big house. During Saturday’s mass arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge, bus drivers in New York City say that police officers commandeered their vehicles and insisted they move the 700 detainees to jail to be processed.
TWU spokesman Jim Gannon issued a statement on Monday to the media in which he revealed that in at least one incident over the weekend, passengers were ejected from a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus and told to wait for another so that police could make room for detainees.
John Samuelsen, president of Local 100, added at the conference that the Department’s actions over the weekend were over-the-top.
"The government may only compel a citizen to assist in law enforcement when there is imminent danger. There was no imminent danger here, and therefore the Operator's Fourth Amendment rights were violated,” said Samuelsen. “Just the opposite, the protesters this weekend appeared to be marching peacefully as is their right. Mayor Bloomberg is elevating the tension on Wall Street by these actions, when he should be calmly embracing New Yorkers' rights to free speech." more