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[casi-analysis] 1st RNC Jury Trial ends with

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First Jury Trial Arising from the RNC Protests Ends in
Dismissal As D.A. Drops All Charges Against Gulf War I
Veteran and Anti-Depleted Uranium Activist Dennis Kyne
Mid-Trial               Current rating: 9
Email: d_kyne (nospam) (verified)           17 Dec
Modified: 08:20:24 PM
Dennis Kyne was among those arrested on the evening of
August 31st on the steps of the New York City public
library. On December 16, 2004, halfway through the
jury trial against Mr. Kyne, New York County District
Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s Office made a motion to
dismiss all of the charges. New York City Criminal
Court Judge Gerald Harris granted the motion and
commended the District Attorney’s office for its
fairness and professionalism. That decision came after
Lewis and Gideon Oliver, Kyne’s attorneys, produced
video and photographic evidence which they believe
raise serious concerns that NYPD Officer Matthew Wohl
may have lied numerous times under oath.

On the 31st, according to Officer Wohl’s testimony, he
was part of a mobile response team present at the
library over an hour before any arrests were made.
According to eyewitnesses at the library that day,
including Mr. Kyne, and videotape of the event,
members of the NYPD began searching and arresting
people shortly before 6:00 PM. According to
eyewitnesses, the searches and arrests were forceful,
apparently indiscriminate, and frightening. Among
those arrested prior to Mr. Kyne were a fifty-five
year old art history professor from the University of
Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, who
was at the library with his eighteen year old son en
route to a Yankees game, along with two women who had
been seated at a table in the plaza in front of the
library singing and playing guitar, one of whom was
sixteen and the other of whom was seventeen.
Officer Wohl testified that he personally observed Mr.
Kyne yelling in a “boisterous” manner just before he
was placed under arrest, although he could not
specifically remember what Mr. Kyne was yelling.
According to the sworn Accusatory Instrument Officer
Wohl signed on September 1, 2004, Mr. Kyne was
yelling, “Look what they are doing. The government is
taking away our rights. They lied to you; they lied to
me” in a “violent and tumultuous manner.”

Officer Wohl testified that he personally effected Mr.
Kyne’s arrest along with two other unidentified
officers. According to him, Mr. Kyne was “screaming,
yelling, and moving around” throughout the process.
When asked how Mr. Kyne had resisted arrest, Officer
Wohl testified that his “mouth, heart, and eyes” were
moving, and that he lunged in a number of different
directions, “almost like what a little kid would do.”
Officer Wohl also testified that Mr. Kyne “went down
to the ground himself” and that Officer Wohl and three
others had to pick him up and carry him across the
street “while he squirmed and screamed” all the way to
the back of the NYPD transport vehicle.

Mr. Kyne’s attorneys believe that the videotape and
pictures raise serious questions about key elements of
Officer Wohl’s sworn testimony. Officer Wohl does not
appear on the videotape or pictures produced by Mr.
Kyne’s attorneys. Nor does the videotape ever show Mr.
Kyne yelling what Officer Wohl’s Accusatory Instrument
claims he was yelling. The videotape shows that Mr.
Kyne reacted to several apparently baseless detentions
and sometimes violent arrests by shouting that the
police were “fucking Nazis” as he was walking away
from the library. Officer Wohl testified that he did
not recall Mr. Kyne ever yelling those words, despite
that, according to his testimony, he was within feet
of Mr. Kyne moments before his arrest.

According to Mr. Kyne, as he was on the sidewalk
walking away from the library, a police officer in a
white shirt suddenly yelled, “That’s a collar!”
Videotape and pictures of the event show that two
officers – neither of whom was Officer Wohl – then
forced Mr. Kyne to his knees and placed him in plastic
flexi-cuffs. As they were doing so, another police
officer, who was wearing khaki pants and a
short-sleeved, white t-shirt bearing no name or badge
number, recognized Mr. Kyne and ordered that he be
charged with “Dis Con and resisting.” Mr. Kyne was, at
that time, complying with the officers who were
arresting him and repeating, “I’m not resisting.”
Another videotape shows that the officer in khaki
pants – whom one person referred to as a
“Commissioner” – later approached a Lieutenant from
the NYPD’s Legal Bureau and said, “We got one of the
troublemakers from Pataki’s last night.” According to
news reports, Governor Pataki was at McSorley’s
Alehouse the night of the 30th.

Mr. Kyne was charged with seven violations and
misdemeanors, including three Class A misdemeanors –
Riot in the Second Degree, Resisting Arrest, and
Obstructing Governmental Administration – each of
which carries a potential sentence of up to a year in
jail. The DA’s Office dropped the Riot charge before
the trial started. It also offered to dismiss the five
other charges in exchange for a single Disorderly
Conduct guilty plea, but Mr. Kyne believed that it was
his duty to fight the charges.

During the trial, Officer Wohl also testified that he
arrested four others along with Mr. Kyne, including
two French Canadian men who were arrested for merely
holding a banner in their hands in front of one of the
library’s famous lions after another police officer
told them they could do so. Several of the people
Officer Wohl claims he arrested were prepared to
testify that Officer Wohl had not, in fact, done so.
“Especially these past few months in New York City,
the scope of constitutionally protected conduct the
Police Department has been criminalizing is shocking,”
said Kyne’s lawyers. “We are worried that Officer Wohl
did not tell the truth about what the NYPD did to
Dennis. Maybe he was just following orders. If that is
the case – if someone ordered him to lie on the stand
– we believe that the District Attorney’s office has
an obligation to investigate this matter immediately,
and lodge charges against those responsible, where
appropriate. Police officers cannot lie in a court of
law and get away with it. The District Attorney’s
office acted admirably in dismissing the charges
against Mr. Kyne, but we believe that justice requires
more of them in this case.”

Mr. Kyne comes from a long line of military men, and
is himself a Gulf War I veteran. Mr. Kyne served as a
medic for the United States Army and enjoys an
honorable discharge from military service. He served
in the United States Army from 1989 through 1995,
achieved the rank of Drill Sergeant, and was with the
24th Infantry Division, the most forward unit in the
conflict, during Operation Desert Storm. Mr. Kyne now
receives a monthly check from the United States
Government for “undiagnosed illnesses” in connection
with his military service. For more than fifteen
years, during the Gulf War, and even today the United
States military has been using “depleted” uranium in
artillery shells and armor plating. Mr. Kyne believes
that what the government refers to as “Gulf War
Syndrome” is, in fact, the result of the Army’s use of
“depleted” uranium on the battlefield. He has written
a book on the topic, “Support the Truth,” twelve
copies of which were in his possession when he was
arrested on August 31st.

Mr. Kyne was in New York City during the Republican
National Convention in order to speak about “depleted”
uranium. He was particularly concerned to speak with
New York City Police, Corrections, and Fire Department
Officers in connection with reports that four New
Yorkers from a unit made up mostly of those officers
had recently shown signs of manmade, “depleted”
uranium in their urine. Mr. Kyne is concerned that he
was targeted by the NYPD and forced to face criminal
charges because they disagreed with his fervent
activism against the military’s use of “depleted”
uranium, which Mr. Kyne believes is still killing

Mr. Kyne was represented by Lewis B. Oliver, Jr. and
Gideon Orion Oliver, a father-and-son team of civil
rights attorneys. Lewis B. Oliver, Jr. conducted the
trial. The Olivers are among the attorneys affiliated
with the National Lawyers Guild who have initiated a
federal civil rights class action against the New York
City Police Department in connection with its conduct
during the Republican National Convention. For more
information about that lawsuit, please contact the
National Lawyers Guild at (212) 679-6018, extension

Mr. Kyne’s attorneys are calling on District Attorney
Morgenthau to dismiss the charges against the others
Officer Wohl claims to have arrested, and hope that it
will launch a full investigation into this matter.
They are concerned that, during the Republican
National Convention, police officers appear to have
made “dragnet” arrests, sweeping up groups of people
instead of individuals, and then forced them to face
criminal penalties based on the testimony of officers
like Wohl, who may not have seen what they claim to
have seen. “No matter when he said it, or how loud,
Dennis was right,” said Mr. Kyne’s attorneys. “They
lied to you, they lied to me, and they are trying to
take away our civil rights.”

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