Legal Aid Society


LAS Condemns NYPD Over Unlawful Actions at Student Protests

The Legal Aid Society condemned the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for its unlawful actions during the ongoing student protests at local colleges and universities.

The police department is detaining and processing demonstrators who were ultimately charged on low-level offenses and who should have received an appearance ticket. Also, many protesters have now languished in custody for more than 24-hours despite a long-standing court ruling Legal Aid secured in Roundtree v. Brown, which set a 24-hour standard from arrest to arraignment.

Lawyers from various public defender offices and other organizations were present in court last night and ready to quickly arraign everyone but many protesters were not produced.

“Many protesters who were arrested earlier this week and arraigned last night were ultimately charged with criminal trespass, a low-level offense, and at that point, they should have been immediately released from custody,” said Tina Luongo, Chief Attorney of Legal Aid’s Criminal Defense Practice. “Existing law requires this, but that unfortunately did not occur, and Legal Aid has been litigating this very issue against the City and the NYPD to force them into compliance.”

“This is yet another egregious breach of New Yorkers’ rights,” Luongo continued. “The Legal Aid Society calls on the NYPD and District Attorney Alvin Bragg to review the cases of everyone in custody and to release them pursuant to applicable law.”