Bulk of suit over World Bank protesters' arrest is dismissed

By Spencer Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 20, 2010

A federal judge Sunday tossed out the bulk of the last outstanding lawsuit filed in response to the controversial mass arrest of World Bank protesters in 2002 by D.C. police, ruling that four plaintiffs lacked standing to ask for government reforms beyond clearing their records.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the four George Washington University journalists and observers for the National Lawyers Guild could not legally seek broader changes on the grounds that they might be arrested in the future.

D.C. police arrested almost 400 people without warning Sept. 27, 2002, leaving many hogtied and in detention for more than 24 hours. In a series of settlements, police leaders have apologized, agreed to pay millions, and promised to increase officer-training and record-retention policies.

Critics say that such moves are already required under existing law and that no city official has been punished for the events. The judge's ruling allows a probe into the disappearance of police logs and dispatch tapes to go forward.

"We remain committed to taking the case to trial and holding these individuals responsible," said plaintiffs' attorney Jonathan Turley.

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