New York Times:
Why is this NYPD detective complaining about the complainant?
NEW YORK – New York City last summer, when the streets were filled with protests against police brutality and racism against the police confronted the protesters as aggressive and sometimes violent tactics which repentant Mayor Bill de Blazion later publicly apologized. But a year after George W. Floyd was assassinated, police across the country say they were ridiculed and insulted during the protests, which made them feel bad. Now a New York police union is testing an unusual new tactic to hit protesters by suing them. Last week, on the same day, de Blasio released new guidelines on how police would respond to complaints, with New York City police investigator Vincent Cheung announcing that he was suing a protester who was filmed in a video of racist, anti-Asian insults. during a protest rally in March. Subscribe to The Morning Newsletter of The New York Times Police, sometimes sued for assaulting or physically assaulting them. But the officer’s lawsuit over the words used in the protest, even hate speech, raises thorny questions about free speech, which is often defended even at its most compelling level. Lawyers who have closely followed the police actions, saying that he could not recall this kind of trial, seeking monetary compensation used by the complainant at the demonstration, and added that even if the claim is unsuccessful, it will be a new version of the police and demonstrators. to face. Cheung’s lawyer said police believed the civil court was “the only way for them to stay.” “Many officers have said they will not hesitate to seek that remedy, not with unexpected financial expectation, but with the hope of preventing such civilized, dangerous behavior,” said attorney James Ames M. Moshela. In the video of the confrontation released by the police, the protester Terel Harper was away from Cheung’s face when he cursed him, punctuating his comments with racist stereotypes, mocking Cheung, who is an American Chinese. At this point, Cheung did not take any action to arrest Harper, who is SJ. The protest continued in the cold March evening in downtown Manhattan. Harper said he returned home after the protest to Asburgh Park in New Jersey, which he said was a weekly protest for transgender rights “in solidarity with the hatred of the Asian end.” Five days later, eight people were killed in a shooting in Atlanta, six of them of Asian descent, fueling growing anti-Asian hatred. One week later, police released a video of Harper. Speaking at a news conference last week at his Detective Foundation, the center of his union, Cheung said he had been the victim of verbal violence in the past, but that he was surprised that Harper had achieved his goal during a rally for racial justice. It is called “more than 15 minutes of anti-Asian mourning”. “The kind of hatred that is directed at me as an Asian American is simply disgusting,” he said. The lawsuit alleges that Cheung suffered from severe emotional exhaustion and was “permanently injured” by Harper’s behavior, which he said was incapable of performing his normal duties and required him to see a doctor. It asked the court to force Harper to pay unspecified monetary damages. In an interview, Harper, 39, apologized for admitting racist comments. He said the video was taken out of context, that he usually uses racist expressions as part of a broader explanatory monologue to show how racism feels. “I have to change my method, I came out, I apologized for that,” he said. He said he had been protesting all year that the trial, particularly his targeting, was a way for police to create tensions between New York’s Asian communities. Megan Watson, a Korean-American organizer who has participated in several rallies with Harper, said she worked with him to organize a February rally in defense of police brutality against the Asian American community. He agreed that the trial was a way to turn the protest leader into a scapegoat for the “long-standing” tensions between the communities. He compared Harper’s monologues he had seen to comedy fries, but said he had never heard of him using anti-Asian language. He did, however, talk to her about the video, he said. “It simply came to our notice then. “He understands that there is work to be done,” he said. The detective’s lawsuit alleges that Harper spat in his face. Harper categorically denied this, saying that he believed that the police would arrest him if he did. Asked why he was not arrested or otherwise engaged to Harper, Chung said “this was not the time.” Moschella argued that Harper’s insults would lead to more violence against Asian-American Americans in New York. “There is a direct link between hate speech and ‘violence’ caused by racial-ethnic groups in this city,” he said. “Words matter.” Former police officer Eugene O’Donnell, a professor of criminal justice at John Onyey College, predicted that there would be more lawsuits like Cheung’s, saying police were frustrated with the language of the protesters, particularly the rhetoric about the officers’ racial gender. He added that even if the judge ruled against the wanted man, the trial showed “enormous potential for police unions”. In recent months, city and state officials have criticized the police department for responding to complaints following Floyd’s assassination. A city report released in December found that the agency had “acted badly” in the protests. In January, the department was sued by the New York Attorney General, who called for a monitor to monitor the investigation of the complaints by the police. Richard Aborn, chairman of the New York Citizens’ Crime Commission, a non-profit group working to improve criminal justice practices, says Cheung’s lawsuit speaks to a sense of political isolation felt by the police. He said it could be a new way to hold protesters accountable. “Circumstances in real conditions can be a proper response to unnecessary harassment by a police officer,” he said. Lawyers studying civil liberties have said the lawsuit could have a devastating effect on word of mouth. Alexander A. Rainert, Benjamin N. A professor at Cardozo Law School said Harper’s speech was “condemnable”, but added that even outrageous, hate speech could not always be practical. He pointed out the 2011 decision of the Supreme Court. A case in which hate speech is protected if it includes what the court calls “public concerns.” But he said that even if Harper used these or other remedies in court, or the investigator’s lawsuit was otherwise unsuccessful, the lawsuit could have a shocking effect on people’s speech during the protests. Their police, in New York and throughout the country, have long been given extensive protection against lawsuits known as quality immunity. But at least in New York City, that may soon change. A law passed by the New York City Council on Sunday made it easier for officers to sue. A day later, Chung’s union posted a video on Twitter of a 25-year-old man approaching another investigator and tearing his head off with a long, white stick. Police have charged the man with assault and possession of a firearm. The union said it was considering filing a lawsuit. This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 New York Times Company: