Tuesday, October 17, 2006

DC Lawyer Arrested For Observing the New Orleans Police Department

Miles Swanson is a kick ass lawyer
Common Ground Legal Advocacy Committee
1415 Franklin Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117

9 AM Wednesday, October 18th
City Hall, 1300 Perdido St

Contact: Soleil Rodrigue, Legal Coordinator, Common Ground Relief, 504-717-7324

NOPD Arrests Washington D.C. based Attorney for Observing an Arrest
On Monday, October 16th two New Orleans Police Officers falsely arrested visiting Washington D.C. based attorney Miles Swanson for observing their conduct during an arrest. Today, Common Ground joins New Orleans residents, Safe Streets/Strong Communities and the New Orleans ACLU in calling for a transparent and accountable police force, and calling on Superintendent Warren Riley to take the lead in upholding citizens’ basic rights.

"Any false arrest is an egregious violation of basic rights," said Swanson, "but even more so if that abuse of power occurs as an attempt to terrorize and intimidate citizens away from ensuring professional police conduct." Swanson provides free legal aid to returning New Orleans residents, including bankruptcy counselling with the Pro Bono Project, and civil and criminal assistance with the Free Legal Clinic of Common Ground Relief.

"Those who are serious about transforming the image and substance of the NOPD must welcome citizen observation of officers' conduct, and call for the establishment of an Office of the Independent Monitor," states Soleil Rodrigue, Common Ground Legal Advocacy Committee Coordinator." Why are citizens who witness police behavior harassed and subjected to false arrest? Why are the records of these public servants being kept from the public? Don't the authorities themselves say 'You have nothing to worry about if you have nothing to hide?"

Related Links ::: End Police Harrasment Rally Oct 23rd. New Orleans,
Miles Swanson Kicks Ass and Saved Mine, Common Ground Collective

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