The more-than-a-decade-old Pershing Park arrest civil suit has a new twist: A federal judge says that Attorney General Irv Nathan‘s “personal and professional honor may be called into question” over an allegedly untruthful filing from his office.
At issue is a court filing with Nathan’s name on it that said there was an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Metropolitan Police Department’s internal affairs division into whether someone deliberately tried to delete evidence related to the Pershing Park arrests. Turns out, according to testimony from Assistant Chief Michael Anzallo, not only was there no ongoing internal affairs investigation, but Police Chief Cathy Lanier had called Nathan to tell him as much before his office submitted its filing saying otherwise.
In a court order, U.S. District Magistrate Judge John Facciola writes that he expects the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the case to argue that the District’s court filing “was at best inaccurate, or at worst, false and purposefully deceptive.” He’s asking Nathan whether he would be willing to testify about his phone call with Lanier and the alleged untrue court filing. If Nathan says no, Facciola will let the opposing lawyers argue as to whether Nathan should be compelled to testify. A spokesman for Nathan, who’s held the A.G. post since January 2011, did not return a request for comment.
Lanier is also set to testify shortly in the case. For a backgrounder on why you should care about holding those responsible for the Pershing Park arrests, in which 400 protestors were improperly detained and hogtied, see this article.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery