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NYC settles with 13 arrested during Republican convention

The Associated Press

NEW YORK- The city has settled 13 of the hundreds of claims against it related to arrests during protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The settlements total $411,072, an average of $31,620, according to Laura Rivera, a spokeswoman in the city comptroller's office.

Some 1,800 people were arrested during the four-day convention, held at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2004, when President Bush accepted his party's nomination for a second term.

The mass arrests, mostly on minor charges such as disorderly conduct, took place near the World Trade Center site and near Union Square. Those arrested were held at a former bus depot for as long as 48 hours.

Many of the charges against the protesters were dropped or dismissed.

A flurry of federal lawsuits alleging the plaintiffs were arrested illegally, held in unsafe conditions and denied access to lawyers is pending. Some of those taken into custody say they were bystanders swept up in the arrests of protesters.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has defended the department's performance.

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