Preemptive Occupy Wall Street Arrests Cost City $50,000

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  Protesters march to Wall Street during an ACT-UP and Occupy Wall Street demonstration on April 25, 2012 in New York City. ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), was marking their 25-year anniversary in supporting services for people with AIDS worldwide. They were joined by Occupy Wall Street protesters in a march from New York's city hall to Wall Street. The groups called for a tax on Wall Street transactions and speculative trades to raise money for to end the global AIDS epidemic and provide universal healthcare in the U.S.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Photo: John Moore/2012 Getty Images

Three people arrested by the NYPD last year for potentially participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement will be paid a total of $50,000 to settle their lawsuit against the city, Gothamist reports. Kira Moyer-Sims, who will receive $15,000, was buying coffee many blocks away from any protests on a "day of action" when she was arrested, strip-searched, interrogated, and held for 24 hours before being released without charges. "I felt like I had been arrested for a thought crime," she told the Times.

Sims and two friends detained with her sued the city, and now taxpayers will handle the rest. "They were arrested on the belief that they were about to go to a protest," said the group's lawyer Vijayant Pawar. "But they were not going to a protest. So either the NYPD was following them for quite some time or the NYPD just thought they looked like protesters."

And so what if they were? "I don't know that you can paint someone with that brush," Pawar explained to Gothamist. "They had not been arrested before and have not been arrested since then. They were not going to protest that day. Were they part of the OWS movement? It's hard to say who is." It will be easier when the checks start rolling in.