[UPDATE] In my initial excitement I misunderstood exactly what this ruling said. We won't be suing the NYPD, we will be suing the individual officers who misled us into thinking we could go on the bridge. This includes the infamous White Shirt Officer Winski. Hated by many OWSers he may finally get his due.
US District Judge Jed Rakoff has ruled that a class action suit can proceed against those of us who were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last October. I only have time for a brief diary but I have to say that I find this to be a very appropriate ruling. As someone who was present, and who was arrested, I can say that the police at the scene gave the overwhelming impression that we were allowed to march across the bridge. I have done plenty of protesting and the way they acted was as if we were perfectly fine, not telling anyone that they should not go on the bridge other than a few people in the front.
A quick quote from the ruling(PDF):
"[A] reasonable officer would have understood that it was incumbent on the police to clearly warn the demonstrators that they must not proceed onto the Brooklyn Bridge's vehicular roadway...the officers...turned and started walking away from the demonstrators and onto the road way -- an implicit invitation to follow. While the demonstrators might have inferred otherwise if they had heard the bull horn message, no reasonable officer could imagine, in these circumstances, that this warning was heard by more than a small fraction of the gathered multitude...Indeed, the plaintiffs' video shows what should have been obvious to any reasonable officer, namely, that the surrounding clamor interfered with the ability of demonstrators as few as fifteen feet away from the bull horn to understand the officer's instructions."Let me also say that I expect a lot more cases like this where the officers should have known that they were arresting someone for something that was clearly legal or constitutionally protected speech. The instances of people being arrested for writing on the sidewalk with chalk spring to mind.