Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street: 992 Arrested at Price Tag of More Than $3.4 Million

Occupy Wall Street arrests approach 1,000, while police rake in millions in overtime.

As the Occupy Wall Street protests enter their second month and a new mini-society blossoms in Liberty Plaza in Lower Manhattan, the energized movement continues to tax the city’s budget and display an increasing willingness to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience.

According to statistics provided to AlterNet by the New York City Police Department, police have made 992 arrests as a result of the Occupy Wall Street protests. The NYPD further tells AlterNet that the demonstrations, thus far, have cost the city some $3.4 million in overtime for police officers.

To put these numbers in perspective, 1,806 arrests resulted from the four-day Republic National Convention in New York City in 2004. The total security cost, according to a report by ABC News “was $80 million, which included overtime for NYPD officers.” While the federal government picked up the lion’s share of the costs, the mayor’s office reported that the city ended up paying about $8 million of the tab.

Following the 2004 convention, more than 90 percent of the RNC arrest cases were dismissed or ended with not-guilty verdicts, resulting in a raft of litigation against the city. To date, according to a report earlier this year by Thomson-Reuters, “152 plaintiffs have settled, withdrawn or dismissed their suits, and the city has spent $1.8 million on settlements, according to the New York City Law Department. Cases are still pending for an additional 474 plaintiffs.” As many as 1,400 individuals each still stand to receive thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in damages as a result of a class-action law suit.

The city is already facing litigation as a result of the Occupy Wall Street protests. A class-action lawsuit stemming from arrests on the Brooklyn Bridge more than two weeks ago seeks unspecified damages.

Nick Turse is the associate editor of TomDispatch.com and a senior editor at AlterNet. His latest book is The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Verso). You can follow him on Twitter @NickTurse, on Tumblr, and on Facebook