By LOUIS FLORES
Activists protested outside the Manhattan District Attorney's Office on Monday, citing many complaints about the administration of Cyrus Vance.
Artist and political blogger Suzannah B. Troy held up a laminated protest sign showing a black eye on her face, just one of the injuries she said that she suffered as a result of a battery and assault she endured at a doctor's office. Ms. Troy has been pressuring the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to arrest her attacker. Last week, Ms. Troy was informed that the District Attorney's Office was not going to make an arrest in her case.
District Attorney Vance's record in office shows that he refuses to investigate or prosecute police corruption, activists say. During the protest this morning, Ms. Troy mentioned that D.A. Vance may be afraid to investigate police corruption, because that would mean that all of the arrests and cases of allegedly corrupt cops would possibly be jeopardized. "The NYPD coerced me," Ms. Troy said, in explaining how police allegedly engaged in corruption acts to thwart the arrest of her attacker. Compounding the injustice in Ms. Troy's case, she said that the assistant district attorneys working for D.A. Vance misled her for months. Portions of Ms. Troy's comments made during the protest were recorded and uploaded to YouTube. During the protest, activists tried to shame D.A. Vance by calling him a "Dirty D.A.," a moniker Mr. Vance earned during his 2009 campaign.
Activists also used the opportunity of today's protest to draw attention to campaign finance questions that have apparently never been entirely addressed by D.A. Vance. During his 2009 campaign for office, Mr. Vance hired the political consultant Mark Guma. Allegations have been made that the Vance campaign never fully paid Mr. Guma's consulting firm for the services rendered during that election cycle. During the protest this morning, attention was drawn back to the Vance-Guma campaign finance questions when one protest sign read, "Did D.A. Cy Vance break campaign finance laws ?"
Activists say that D.A. Vance and his assistant district attorneys have been completely absent from prosecuting Wall Street corruption, political corruption, campaign corruption, and police corruption, allegations that are routinely made by activists against the district attorneys in New York City, including by activists associated with Occupy Wall Street.
While activists were demonstrating on the corner of Centre Street and Hogan Place near the complex of courthouses in Lower Manhattan, one of the suited police officers working for D.A. Vance's office took photographs of protesters. Ms. Troy confronted one such officer, pointing out that law enforcement in New York City are forbidden from photographing the peaceful political activities of activists, in accordance with the Handschu consent decree. "You are not allowed to photograph me," Ms. Troy told the photographing officer. Ms. Troy then asked that the photographing police officer identify himself, but the officer refused to provide Ms. Troy with his name. Ms. Troy filmed the act of one officer taking photographs of activists, and the video of that interaction was uploaded to YouTube, as well.
Activists also unfurled a banner and distributed flyers, drawing attention to an upcoming "Five Points March for NYPD Reform," scheduled to take place on Columbus Day, in which activists plan to demand a new commission to investigate police corruption.