Man accused of Tweeting police positions during G20 protests
NEW YORK — A self-described New York City anarchist has been accused of tweeting the location of police officers to protesters trying to evade them during the Group of 20 economic summit in Pittsburgh.
Elliot Madison, 41, described by his lawyer as a social worker and political activist, was arrested on charges including hindering prosecution for using Twitter to inform protesters of the location of the police for the Sept. 24-25 summit, the Pennsylvania State Police said in a criminal complaint.
Madison was arrested on the opening day of the G-20 summit, a gathering of finance ministers and central bank governors from among the wealthiest nations. Dozens of protesters also were arrested.
The New York Post first reported his arrest in Saturday editions.
No one answered a phone Saturday at Madison's home in Queens. His attorney, Martin R. Stolar, also did not immediately return a call for comment Saturday.
According to the criminal complaint, officers acting on a tip arrested Madison at the Carefree Inn on Kisow Drive in Pittsburgh. The complaint said Madison and another man were found in a room in front of computers and telecommunications equipment, wearing headphones, and surrounded by maps, contact numbers and police and emergency scanners. The men were communicating with protesters by cell phone and Internet, including Twitter, the complaint said.
It was unclear whether the second man was arrested. A Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman did not immediately return a call Saturday.
In a court filing Friday, Stolar asked a federal judge to prohibit authorities from examining materials seized by FBI agents during a raid of Madison's home the previous day. According to his filing, the agents were at the house for about 16 hours Thursday and seized items, including political writings, computers, cell phones, anarchist literature and "identifying information of political associates."
Stolar said the search was illegal and some of the materials seized in the raid were likely protected under the First Amendment. The judge issued a temporary order of protection stopping investigators from examining the material, the New York Post reported.
In his filing, Stolar also described his client as a political anarchist and social worker for the Fountain House, an organization that helps people with mental illnesses. He said Madison was politically active, providing legal assistance to those "interested in expressing political points of view through demonstration and other activity" through an organization known as The Peoples' Law Collective.