NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Cindy Sheehan and her co-defendants in a New York misdemeanor trial claim arresting officers treated them harshly.
Sheehan, the Rev. Patricia Ackerman, Susan Benjamin and Melissa Beattie planned to meet with Peggy Kerry, a liaison at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York and the sister of U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said police and building security refused to allow them to enter and would not take their petition inside, The New York Times reported Friday.
Police accuse the four women of blocking the entrance to the building and refusing to follow the instructions of arresting officers.
Sheehan's lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, said the arrests were part of a New York police "policy of stifling dissent by arresting noted people."
Gottlieb cited video footage by television news cameras as evidence of excessive action by the police, the Times said.
The lawyer contended that the women should have been given desk appearance tickets instead of locking them in jail.