Occupy Wall Street Protester Wins $25K From City After Suing Over Arrest
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A dancer-turned-Occupy Wall Street-protester received a $25,000 settlement from the city after accusing beefy cops of bloodying her shin with batons during a 2011 march.
Sade Adona, 27, will receive the payout, believed to be the first to an OWS protestor alleging police misconduct. She sued the city last fall, claiming three 200-pound, 6-foot-tall officers roughed her up and wrongfully arrested her after she yelled at them to leave a fellow protester alone.
Adona was part of an Oct. 26, 2011, nighttime march that started at Zuccotti Park and was supposed to end at City Hall, her lawsuit says. As the demonstrators reached Reade Street and West Broadway, cops fenced them in with orange netting, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.
When cops pulled fellow marcher Christopher Mapp off the sidewalk, a crowd of protesters and police spilled into the street, the lawsuit says. Adona said that’s when she told cops to “leave him alone” and “get off of him.”
Three burly cops then threw the dancer — who is 5-foot-4 and 140 pounds — to the ground and continued to push her down when she tried to get up, according to the lawsuit.
While one officer put his boot on her head, a sergeant held her ankle and repeatedly whacked her shin with a baton, the lawsuit charges.
“[Adona] was terrified and even feared death due to the force and violence used by [the police],” the lawsuit says.
Cops hauled Adona away in a police truck, where she suffered an asthma attack, the lawsuit says. She also said her shin had a cut that required three stitches at a hospital.
Adona, who had been living in Occupy’s encampment at Zuccotti Park, was charged with obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, attempted assault and two counts of disorderly conduct. But after three months of hearings, Manhattan prosecutors dropped the charges.
Adona got the $25,000 settlement last week. Her lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
The city Law Department said, "The settlement was in the best interest of all parties."
This is the second recent payout by the city in regard to the Occupy movement. In April, protesters accepted a $232,000 settlement from the city after suing in federal court over the destruction of 2,800 books that police seized from its “People’s Library” at Zuccotti Park.