ARTIST SURRENDERS VIDEOTAPE
OF CLASH IN TOMPKINS SQUARE
By CONSTANCE L. HAYS
in: The New York Times, September 17, 1988
Ending a 16-day holdout, a Manhattan artist agreed yesterday to turn over a copy of his videotape showing the police and demonstrators clashing in Tompkins Square Park.
But the artist, Clayton Patterson, told Acting Justice Richard B. Lowe 3d of State Supreme Court that he wanted the judge to keep the tape until a copy of it could be screened "for the people."
Judge Lowe asked Mr. Patterson when he planned the public screening.
"Probably Tuesday night," Mr. Patterson said. Arrested Sept. 1
When the assistant district attorney, Carol Ann Stokinger, expressed no objection to the plan, the judge said he would turn over a copy of the tape to the Manhattan District Attorney's office on Wednesday. "That will be done," he added, "whether or not you have made arrangements to show it to the public."
The hearing yesterday brought to an end the unusual minuet between Mr. Patterson and the courts over the videotape, which was subpoenaed Aug. 19. Mr. Patterson dismissed his lawyer, Alton H. Maddox Jr., and refused to turn over the tape. He was arrested Sept. 1 on a civil contempt of court charge.
Judge Lowe appointed a lawyer for Mr. Patterson and adjourned the hearing until Sept. 6. During that session, Mr. Patterson refused all legal assistance, saying he wanted to represent himself. He also told the court that he did not want to turn over the tape for various reasons, including his concern about the homeless and what he said was the failure of the District Attorney's office to prosecute a drug dealer and a police officer who he said had harassed him.
Mr. Patterson, of 161 Essex Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was found in contempt at the Sept. 6 hearing and sentenced to 90 days in the civil section of the Bronx House of Detention for Men. Going to Jail 'Loses Its Purpose'
At a hearing Tuesday, Mr. Patterson insisted that he had no plans to turn over the tape.
Yesterday, however, he said, "There's a certain point where going to jail loses its purpose."
"This is not the end," Mr. Patterson added, as a crowd of supporters milled around him outside the courtroom at 111 Centre Street. "This is the beginning. We're going to continue trying to show people that police brutality does indeed exist."
▲ skip to top