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

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Apologies from the moderator: this posting was supposed to go in with the
news clippings, as it is a news release, not analysis. Due to a technical
slip it ended up being forwarded through to the analysis list. This won't
happen again. Thanks. CASI Moderator

On Dec 19 2004, Saxon Rold wrote:

> [ This message has been sent to you via the CASI-analysis mailing list ]
> 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
> by
> Email: d_kyne (nospam) (verified)         17 Dec
> 2004
> 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
> soldiers.
> 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
> 16.
> 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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