A federal judge Thursday called upon District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey to publicly admit that police wrongfully arrested as many as 400 people during demonstrations at a downtown park last year.
“The mayor and the chief of police should step up to the plate and tell the citizens what they did wrong that day in Pershing Park,” U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said during a hearing on four lawsuits filed by many of those caught up in the mass arrests.
According to the Washington Post, the judge’s remarks were the latest development in a controversy that began Sept. 27, 2002, when riot police surrounded the park and then arrested people in the crowd during antiwar and anti-globalization demonstrations.
The arrests were for failing to obey a police order. The plaintiffs are accusing D.C. police and U.S. Park Police of civil rights violations.