The demonstrators who fought for the right to rally in front of Mayor Bloomberg's townhouse claim the NYPD violated legal guidelines by taking photographs of them during the demonstration. Parents, students, and teachers who gathered in front of the Mayor's Upper East Side home to protest school closures allege that the NYPD's use of photography violated the Handschu agreement — a longstanding set of legal standards drafted to protect protesters from police intimidation.

A court ruling initially gave the demonstrators the right to protest directly in front of Bloomberg's East 79th Street home, but an appeals court overturned the decision hours before the rally on Friday and ordered the protesters to stay on the south side of the street, the Voice reports. When the demonstrators assembled across the street from the Mayor's residence, they spotted NYPD officers on the roof and in the windows of the Rudolf Steiner School with cameras. The NYPD has already been forced to stop videotaping protests unless there is illegal activity or the department plans to use to tape to study crowd control measures.

Civil rights attorney and failed public advocate candidate Norman Siegel told the weekly he was "outraged." "Handschu sets limits, when there's a first amendment protest activity, of what the police department can do with regard to recording people's activities," he said. "We want an explanation as to, one, why these officers were taking pictures of the protesters, and two, what is the NYPD planning to do with these pictures?" The NYPD's Deputy Commissioner of Public Information claims that "[a]t the direction of Department legal personnel present, the NYPD took still photographs of the demonstration — none of them focused on individuals — for crowd control planning purposes permitted under Handshu." Some protesters worry that they will now be targeted by the NYPD, as well as the Department of Education, which is also under the Mayor's control.