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MANHATTAN (CN) - New York City police illegally arrested and beat a journalist covering the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, maliciously prosecuted him on a bogus charge of disorderly conduct, and warned him to stop reporting in New York, the man claims in court.
Christopher Faraone sued New York City, its Police Department and 10 Doe officers, in Federal Court.
He claims police tackled and battered him at about 1:40 p.m. on Sept. 17, 2012, while he stood on a public sidewalk photographing a demonstration at One Chase Manhattan Plaza.
John Doe 1 pointed at him and ordered "five or more" other officers "to stop, tackle, batter, search, arrest, detain and imprison him," which they did, Faraone says in the lawsuit. He says there was no reason for any of this, but the five or more officers "violently forced" him to the ground.
They arrested and searched him with no probably cause, Faraone says, then maliciously charged him with disorderly conduct, which was dismissed for failure to prosecute.
Faraone claims that he "repeatedly identified himself as a journalist and offered his professional credentials and identification" while he was being manhandled and arrested, to which "the defendants answered with explicit and derogatory comments and ridicule."
After denying his repeated requests to speak with an attorney, he claims, he "was directed and/or threatened by the defendants to cease his journalism/reporting activities in the City of New York."
All of it was unconstitutional, Faraone says, as he was in a public space reporting on a matter of public interest.
He seeks damages and punitive for excessive force, illegal search, false arrest, unlawful detention, unlawful imprisonment, battery, negligence, malicious prosecution, denial of due process and the right to counsel, pain and suffering, emotional distress, humiliation, injury to reputation, financial injury and constitutional injury.
He is represented by Machael Catalinotto Jr., with Maynard, O'Connor, Smith & Catalinotto, of Saugerties.