Oh, and someone tell me again that ridiculous story about how we need government to preserve our liberties.
- Raw Story -
A federal appeals court has dealt a blow to a civil-liberties lawsuit against the New York Police Department, saying the police force is within its rights to keep secret some 1,800 pages of documents about its surveillance of protesters ahead of the Republican National Convention in 2004.
More than 1,800 people were arrested at or near Madison Square Garden over four days in August, 2004, during the convention where President George W. Bush accepted his party's nomination for a second term.
According to court records, the NYPD sent undercover officers around the world ahead of the convention to collect information on people who planned to protest at the event.
The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NYPD on behalf of protesters who were arrested, handcuffed and fingerprinted. In its attempt to get the police to release all documents related to the arrests, the NYCLU ran into a roadblock when it came to some 1,800 pages of documents chronicling the NYPD's surveillance efforts.
On Wednesday, a panel from the US District Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled (PDF) that the NYPD can keep the documents secret, because releasing them would jeopardize police investigations by releasing the identities of the NYPD's undercover officers.