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RNC Protesters Win Records Release

Posted Aug 7, 2007 8:03 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal judge has ordered New York to release almost 2,000 pages of information about police surveillance of protesters at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Magistrate Judge James Francis IV required deletion of sensitive information that would reveal names of confidential informants or undercover cops, the New York Times reports. But he refused to allow deletion of more general information.

“It is difficult to imagine how someone could determine the identity of an undercover officer simply from the fact that he or she was present at a meeting or protest attended by dozens, if not hundreds, of people,” Francis said.

Civil liberties groups representing protesters seek the documents in an effort to prove police violated the law by making arrests for minor offenses.

“We believe that these documents will disprove the NYPD’s claim that demonstrators planned to engage in violence,” Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told the Times.

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