70 Million Dollar Default Judgment for Photographer Arrested and Abused

Bill Mattocks

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This is an incredible story, I can't believe it hasn't been more widely publicized! Maybe I'm out of the loop, but somehow I missed this one...

http://photography.about.com/b/2011...-arrested-for-photography-outside-airport.htm

$70 Million Default Judgment Pending in Case of Woman Arrested for Photography Outside Airport

Monday February 28, 2011

The story is long, full of twists, and sounds like something a Hollywood writer dreamed up but it appears to be happening in real life. Several months back, a 53 year old woman, Nancy Genovese, stopped on a public right of way near Gabreski Airport in Suffolk County, New York to photograph a mock-up of a military helicopter placed there on display near the National Guard Base. After she had finished photographing the helicopter and was preparing to leave she was approached by a Southampton Town Police officer who questioned her about what she was doing. Apparently, this led to multiple agencies responding including the Southampton Police Department, the Westhampton Police Department, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. Mrs. Genovese and her two sons (18 and 20 years old) were apparently questioned for 6 hours at the site. According to the Long Island Lawyer Blog by Murtha & Murtha, this was just the beginning of a nightmarish ordeal that included, a terrorism charge, verbal abuse, being injected with unidentified drugs (most likely anti-psychotics or sedatives), being held in a straight jacket, having requests for a lawyer refused, having thousands of dollars stolen, and being watched by male deputies as she was required to undress for a medical exam.

But wait, there's more...

Of course Mrs. Genovese sued. Per the Long Island Exchange, the City of Southampton filed a response to the lawsuit several months late so the judge is considering awarding a default judgment of $70 Million to Mrs. Genovese.

Here's a link to the original story:

http://www.longislandlawyerblog.com...ing-pictures-of-tourist-attraction-at-airport

Upon Nancys release, Undersheriff Caracappa issued a press release in response to media inquiries, titled Armed Woman Arrested for Trespassing at Suffolk County Gabreski Airport, which falsely stated that Nancy had been taking pictures of the airport and surrounding security, and that she became hysterical, and began screaming and flailing around when confronted. Undersheriff Caracappa also falsely reported that Nancy had surveillance equipment, 500 rounds of ammunition, and scary weapons in her car, and that she was a right-wing extremist and terrorist, and that she had been at the airport trespassing several times and had been warned to stay away. Upon further inquiry, it turns out that Nancy had never trespassed at the airport before, had never been warned by anyone to stay away before, had no surveillance equipment of any kind other than her point and shoot camera, and certainly was not a terrorist. Undersheriff Caracappa has refused to issue a retraction or correction.

So in other words, the police made it up. Amazing that this has not attracted more media interest, given that the media loves to hit up law enforcement when they mess up, and it certainly appears that they messed up here, big time.

http://www.longislandlawyerblog.com/nancy-genovese-lawsuit-updates-town-of-southampton-in-default

The city didn't even bother to defend itself in court!

http://www.longislandlawyerblog.com/nancy-genovese-lawsuit-updates-town-of-southampton-in-default

Wow.
 
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Bill Mattocks

Bill Mattocks

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More info...

http://www.longislandexchange.com/articles/news/womanwinslawsuit-022211.html

News: Quogue Woman May Win $70 Million Lawsuit With Default Judgement
(Long Island, N.Y.)A $70 million default judgment could be awarded to a fifty-three year old resident from Quogue named Nancy Genovese for a lawsuit she filed against the Southampton Town Council. Genovese's case made the news two years ago when she was arrested on criminal trespassing charges for attempting to photograph a "Jolly Green Giant" helicopter at the National Guard base of Gabreski Airport in West Hampton. Since then, Genovese's case has been twisted to fit a variety of political agendas. The misdemeanor charges against Genovese were dropped because authorities had no proof that she ever left the public area of the base where her vehicle was stationed. She was arraigned at the South Hampton Town Justice Court and spent four nights in a Suffolk County jail. Her bail was set at $50,000.


The biggest controversy of the case seems to be whether Genovese was justifiably treated as a terrorist threat for carrying a rifle and gun in her car at the time that police accosted her. Police argue that their treatment toward her was standard, based on the risk she posed against security. Adding to the scandal was the notion that Genovese is a self-claimed patriotic conservative, and says she's been victimized by police who labeled her a tea-bagger, right-winger, and Glenn Beck supporter.
 

Ken Morgan

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"Adding to the scandal was the notion that Genovese is a self-claimed patriotic conservative, and says she's been victimized by police who labeled her a tea-bagger, right-winger, and Glenn Beck supporter."

Since when does political affiliation make you a criminal? Thought crimes.
 

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