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Judge: OWS Protesters Can’t Sue Zuccotti Park Owners Over Police Sweep

Judge Says NYPD, Not Park Owners, Made Decisions About Arrests
Zuccotti Park on November 4, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Zuccotti Park on November 4, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal judge said this week that people upset over the police crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street encampment in 2011 cannot sue the company that owns the Financial District plaza where the raid took place.

In a decision signed Thursday, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said Zuccotti Park owner Brookfield Office Properties can’t be held liable for any civil rights violations that occurred during the police action.

She said the NYPD, not the company, was making decisions about who to arrest and detain.

Police swept protesters and many bystanders out of the privately owned park two months into the occupation.

Some protesters, journalists and elected officials later sued, including a city councilman arrested as he tried to visit the scene.

The city and police officials remain as defendants in the suit.

The Occupy Wall Street effort began Sept. 17, 2011 as an occupation of Foley Square near the New York Stock Exchange to protest against the richest 1 percent of America. It targeted mostly banks and financial institutions with activists fighting for the other 99 percent.

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