prosecutors in brooklyn bridge case obtained damning account information from twitter

by Tim Phillips

Yesterday Malcolm Harris, one of approximately 700 people arrested during an Occupy march on the Brooklyn Bridge in October 2011, pled guilty to disorderly conduct. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. obtained Harris’s Twitter posts in September, because the District Attorney’s office argued that the tweets could show whether Harris knew about police orders he allegedly ignored. Judge Sciarrino reviewed the posts and turned over a few pages – the portions relevant to the disorderly conduct prosecution – to the District Attorney’s office.

According to today’s New York Times article, the prosecutors were right:

“They tried to stop us, absolutely did not want us on the motorway,” the writer, Malcolm Harris, posted during the march on Oct. 1, 2011, according to passages read by a prosecutor in court. “They tried to block and threaten arrest. We were too many and too loud. They backed up until they could put up barricades.”

The approximately 700 arrests are also the subject of a class action lawsuit still pending against the police.