A judge sided with the city and is allowing police files to remain secret. After the NY Times ran two stories about how the NYPD spied on groups at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention - and some of the groups did not seem to be intent on breaking the law - questions were raised about police conduct and whether the police broke the law (police cannot spy on organizations unless there is some indication of wrongdoing).

In fact, the city's lawyer accused the New York Civil Liberties Union of leaking the police documents to the Time for the articles. From the Times:

[Senior counsel in the city's Law Department Peter] Farrell said the leak was an “egregious violation” of Judge Francis’s order this year to keep the documents secret, adding that the civil liberties group was “improperly litigating this case in the press.” Mr. Farrell accused The Times of misrepresenting what the documents said, but he offered no specifics.

Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the civil liberties union, denied that his group had leaked the papers, saying that The Times’s copies could have come from any number of sources, including the Police Department.

Judge Francis said that while he suspected his confidentiality order had been violated, it was not clear who had violated it. He said contempt charges might be warranted if the leaker could be found.

While the NYCLU is contemplating more lawsuits if evidence shows that the police illegally spied on groups, the group accused the NYPD of other violations. The NYCLU says that while the law states that arrestees should be arraigned within 24 hours, many are held up to 50 hours. The NYCLU is asking the City Council to pass a "Charge or Release" bill. You can read more about the bill here, but we thought this chart of arrests-to-arraignment times in the Bronx was telling.