From SI Live:
The New York Civil Liberties Union is suing the city and two police officers after what the group claims was an unlawful arrest of a Staten Island environmental activist because he publicly criticized Borough President James Molinaro's economic development policies and opposed his re-election.
The suit was filed in Brooklyn federal court on behalf of Natural Resources Protective Association executive director Edward Kerry Sullivan, a Rosebank resident.
In early August, Sullivan mailed letters to numerous public officials about development plans of the Stapleton home port and wrote a letter to the editor published in the Advance calling on residents to express their dissatisfaction over the issue when they vote.
Several days later, Sullivan was arrested and handcuffed outside his home, allegedly for writing "The Jerk" on the corner of a campaign sign the group claims Molinaro's campaign posted illegally. Molinaro was never cited by the Sanitation Department for posting illegal signs.
Court papers say the sign was posted on a construction fence abutting a public sidewalk on Hylan Boulevard and Tompkins Avenue in Rosebank.
The officers who arrested him said they had been following Sullivan for several days and that he had made "enemies upstairs," the group contends.
"The right to criticize the government is one of our most important constitutional guarantees," said NYCLU Associate Legal Director Christopher Dunn, who is lead counsel on the case. "It is intolerable for elected officials to recruit the police to intimidate and silence their critics."