May 8, 2015

Student Accused Of Rioting On Brooklyn Bridge Spent Months Fighting NYPD "Witch Hunt"

Nathan Tempey

April 29, 2015 Gothamist - Maria Garcia was in a cell inside the NYPD's 5th Precinct station house in Chinatown, and the detectives seated just beyond the bars were playing the same video again and again.

"They would play the video and look at me and say, 'Yeah, you seem calm now, but you seem very agitated in the video,'" she remembers. "And I was just like, 'You're making a mistake. That's not me. I wasn't there.' And then the detective would continue to play it over and over, and they would look at me and just confirm what they were thinking."

It was Dec. 19th, six days after a melee on the Brooklyn Bridge between police and anti-police brutality protesters, which left one lieutenant with a broken nose. What the police with Garcia were thinking was that she was Female Suspect #1, one of six people whose blurry images had been grabbed from a YouTube video of the bridge altercation and plastered on Wanted posters offering a $12,000 reward. That morning, she said she was at home, working on a final paper for her doctoral geography studies at Rutgers University, when an unknown number called her phone, and someone rang her doorbell and knocked, all at once. She went to the door, and about a dozen officers were waiting outside, she said.

Read more in the Gothamist.