Student Group Sues Cop as Infiltrator

     WASHINGTON, (CN) – United Students Against Sweatshops sued the District of Columbia and an undercover police officer they claim has been posing as a protester, handing out flowers, carrying banners and chanting – to keep tabs on the student labor organization.
     United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) sued the District of Columbia and Metro Police Department Officer Nicole Rizzi, who allegedly works undercover as a protester called “Missy.”
     USAS claims to have chapters on more than 150 campuses, on its Internet home page. It claims Rizzi participated in three of its protests this year, all of which were planned to be peaceful.
     “MPD has used one or more undercover officers, including defendant Nicole Rizzi, in connection with plaintiff’s engagement in First Amendment activity,” according to the complaint in Superior Court.
     “Defendant Nicole Rizzi has infiltrated USAS protests including actions on March 11, 2013, March 15, 2013, and June 29, 2013.”
     Under the name Missy, Rizzo hands out flyers, helps carry banners and chants along with the group, USAS claims. But it say she’s really there as a spy.
     Their protests took place at retail stores The Gap and The Children’s Place, according to the complaint.
     USAS caught onto Rizzi’s ruse after running across Tweets she posted that gave up her identity, according to local media reports.
     The lawsuit states: “On information and belief, defendant did not obtain written approval and authorization from the Chief of Police or her designee to open an inquiry or investigation or to use undercover officers in an authorized preliminary inquiry or investigation of plaintiff on the dates listed in this complaint.”
     USAS claims that “Missy” plans to attend more of its protests.
     “Defendants have violated the District of Columbia Police Investigations Concerning First Amendment Activities Act of 2004 by conducting undercover operations in connection with plaintiff’s First Amendment activities without the statutorily required authorization,” the complaint states.
     USAS seeks an injunction banning undercover officers from joining its protests.
     It is represented by Jeffrey Light.

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