They’re Only Allegations!


Anyone remember that time during the 2003 FTAA meeting in Miami when Police Chief John Timoney got in an elevator and Ice T started rapping “ca-ca-ca-colors” and then Sean Penn busted some protestor’s head?

Ok, maybe I got things a little confused, but the 11th Circuit just sustained for the most part Judge Martinez’ denial of qualified immunity as to the protestors’ First Amendment claims, at least at the motion to dismiss stage.

Here’s what they allege happened:

In the Protesters’ first amended complaint, they allege that while peacefully demonstrating outside the FTAA meeting on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, a police line appeared and engaged the demonstrators, including the Protesters. D.E. 45 at 20–22. The Protesters allege that law enforcement officers began “herding” the demonstrators, using their batons to beat unarmed demonstrators, spraying pepper spray up and down the police line, and discharging bean bags, pepper spray balls, tear gas, and other projectiles. Id. at 21–24. The Protesters allege that they were injured as a result of the law enforcement conduct. Id. at 26–29. The skirmish line continued with the “herding” of demonstrators and the Protesters by pushing them northward out of the area. Id. at 23–24. The Protesters further allege that the unconstitutional acts, including “herding,” encirclement, and use of excessive force, were witnessed, condoned, and directed by, inter alia, Timoney, Fernandez, and Cannon in their supervisory capacities. Id. at 42–44. The Protesters also allege that Timoney, Fernandez, Cannon, and Burden, in their supervisory capacities, could have intervened at any time to prevent the continued constitutional violations against the Protesters, but they failed to do so. Id. at 59–61.

And?

We’re talking bean bags, people!

I’ve seen worse in the bounce house at Chucky Cheese.