REPORT: NYPD Used Force On Occupy Protests ‘Without Apparent Need Or Justification’ 130 Times

A new report documents the tens of dozens of incidents of alleged police force against Occupy Wall Street protesters between September 2011 and July 2012. The report, conducted by law school clinics, investigates the New York Police Department’s response to the largely peaceful Occupy protests that took place in New York City.

Among the report’s findings were 130 incidents that “warrant investigation by authorities.” “When considered together, a complex mapping of protest suppression emerges,” the authors write. They find 97 times police allegedly used bodily force like striking, punching, shoving, grabbing, kicking, or dragging, and 41 documented cases of alleged weapon use like batons, barricades, horses, pepper spray:

The police response has thus, in some individual cases and considered cumulatively, undermined basic assembly and expression freedoms. At times, it has itself also presented a threat to the safety of New Yorkers.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf singles out 14 of the most shocking allegations of NYPD abuse cited in the report.


Since the fall, there have been more than 2,000 arrests at Occupy Wall Street. Photographs of police using rubber bullets, pepper spray, and force at protests around the country gained widespread attention.