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Bicyclists sue Police
by BCLU
Monday Jun 3rd, 2002 8:54 PM
The Sacramento Police Department is being sued for $11 Million in damages by bicyclists whose civil rights were repeatedly violated when they tried to participate in the Sacramento Critical Mass bicycle demonstrations.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 4, 2002

$11 MILLION SUIT v. Sacramento Police Department
Press conference Tuesday, June 4, 2002 with supporters and victims present
Noon, in front of Federal Courthouse (5th and I Sts.) following filing.
Quality Hi-8 Footage Available

The Sacramento Police Department is being sued for $11 Million in damages by bicyclists whose civil rights were repeatedly violated when they tried to participate in the Sacramento Critical Mass bicycle demonstrations.

The lawsuit, organized on behalf of plaintiffs by Bicycle Civil Liberties Union (BCLU) activists and attorneys, targets the rampant pattern and practice of civil rights abuses committed by the Sacramento Police Department over the past decade, specifically with regards to abuses against Critical Mass bicycle demonstrations which began May 4th of 2001. Heavy-handed police response made it clear they intended to crush the right to demonstrate on two wheels in California’s capitol city. This was at least the third time community members attempted to organize an ongoing monthly ride.

“There’s no telling how much Sacramento has been set back over the past decade by the repression the Sacramento Police Department has channeled against these bicycle demonstrations,” said BCLU Director and Jason Meggs. “Participants have been intimidated and harassed into forsaking their fundamental rights under our Constitution. There is a clear pattern and practice of abuse.”

“A preponderance of evidence indicts the Sacramento Police Department for knowingly and repeatedly violating the First Amendment rights of the cycling citizens of Sacramento to demonstrate,” said BCLU attorney Lawrence Hildes.

“We tried to work with the City reasonably, appealing to the City Council, the Office of the City Manager, the Office of Police Accountability and more. We were promised that the police would not abuse the demonstrators’ rights – but they continued,” said Jason Meggs. After suffering ten years of preventing legitimate first amendment activity for clean air, safer streets and sustainable cities, plaintiffs feel they have no choice but to follow through with this action at this time.”

Photos, video and specifics of police abuses can be found at the BCLU website, specifically under http://www.bclu.org/sactocm/. Quality hi-8 footage is available. The press conference will occur shortly after the suit is filed Tuesday morning. Supporters with signs and banners will be present.
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excellent newswobblyFriday Jun 7th, 2002 2:38 PM
This is going to be one well funded Bike organization!yesThursday Jun 6th, 2002 1:35 PM
It's About TimeBiker-XMonday Jun 3rd, 2002 10:23 PM
take Amtrak from SF!JasonMonday Jun 3rd, 2002 8:58 PM
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