Neighborhood Chatter: OWS vs. NYPD, Nadler Pressures OSHA, LES Murderer Sentenced

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Against NYPD A lawsuit brought by three alleged Occupy Wall Street protesters against the NYPD was settled by the city last week. On Nov. 7, 2011, Kira Moyer-Sims, Angela Richino and Matthew Vrvilo claim they were arrested without cause, detained for 24 hours and subjected to a strip search after leaving a coffee shop near the Manhattan Bridge. "I felt like I had been arrested for a thought crime," Moyer-Sims told the New York Times. According to Vijayant Pawar, the attorney for the group, they were arrested on the belief that they were going to a protest, possibly because of what they looked like or because the NYPD followed them. "They had not been arrested before and have not been arrested since then. They were not going to protest that day. Were they part of the OWS movement? It's hard to say who is," Pawar told Gothamist. The settlement states that the city will pay a total of $50,000 to the plaintiffs. Richino will be awarded $20,000 while Moyer-Sims and Vrvilo will receive $15,000 each. Pawar said that his clients were satisfied with the settlement. Rep. Nadler Demands OSHA Enforcement for Sandy Recovery As the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy continue, Congressman Jerrold Nadler wants to ensure that workers who are cleaning up are provided proper protective equipment and that the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is enforcing labor laws. Congressman Nadler serves New York's 8th Congressional District, which includes the hard-hit communities of Coney Island, Sea Gate, Brighton Beach, Red Hook and Lower Manhattan. "We must not compound the devastation of Hurricane Sandy by subjecting recovery and cleanup workers to unnecessary hazards and risks," Nadler said in a statement. According to OSHA, cleanup can be referred to restoring electricity, communications, water and sewer services and more, aiming to bring a feel of normalcy to citizens. Some of the protective measures that should be enforced include assuming that all power lines are live, monitoring the exposure to chemical hazards, following safe tree-cutting procedures and using a secure ladder when dealing with heights. The workers should also wear the proper protective equipment of a hard hat, shoes, reflective vest and safety glasses. Nadler has drawn parallels to 9/11 cleanup efforts that left many first responders and workers with serious health problems. "If we are to avoid yet another avoidable health crisis, OSHA must now uphold its responsibility to ensure that all cleanup workers are outfitted with proper protective equipment, and that all contractors comply with federal safety and respiratory protection laws," Nadler said. LES Murderer Sentenced to 25-to-Life Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced earlier this week that 35-year-old defendant Raul Barrera had been handed a 25-years-to-life sentence for the 2011 second-degree murder of a Lower East Side woman. The victim, Sarah Coit, 23, was Barrera's former girlfriend. One April morning at 2 a.m., he brutally attacked her with a kitchen knife in her apartment, stabbing her more than 30 times in the head and torso and leaving her to die before he went to the police station and confessed. Barrera pled guilty to avoid a trial, but Vance ensured that he still received a stiff sentence. "This case illustrates the sobering fact that domestic violence can quickly turn fatal, and that the most dangerous time for a victim is when she or he tries to leave a relationship," Vance said in a statement. "Shockingly, this murder was one of 92 such 'family-related homicides' in Manhattan in 2011. Far too many domestic violence victims remained trapped in relationships from which they see no escape." Vance also announced the opening of Manhattan's first Family Justice Center next year, which will provide services for domestic violence victims. Currently, victims are encouraged to call the DA's office's domestic violence hotline at 212-335-4308. Compiled by Megan Bungeroth and John Friia

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