Photos and Videos From Inside New York's Pier 57 Detention Center

all still and moving images by Jacob Richards and Connie Murillo


>>> On 31 August 2004, during the Republican National Convention in New York City, around 1,200 people were arrested and sent to a makeshift detention/processing center, which used to house city buses, at Pier 57. (Over 1,800 were arrested during the entire RNC.)

Images from inside the facility are rare. The photos and videos featured here come from Jacob Richards and Connie Murillo, who were arrested that day. A couple of these photos were posted to NYC Indymedia, but Richards and Murillo have kindly allowed The Memory Hole to post more photos and several videos. Regarding how the images were taken and smuggled out, they write:

It was a Sony digital camera. We were arrested around 10pm on 17th street around 5th ave, on Tuesday, August 31st. Pier 57 was a zoo. The degree of search depended on what officer you got. Some were thorough, some were not. The camera remained in my pocket through the first search before entering the large cage. Once in there, we were searched again. This time, I handed my camera and wallet to someone who had already been searched. I got it back after the second search and took what pictures and film I could. I was worried about getting the camera confiscated, so quality suffered, plus it's a little hard to take pictures with my hands still in cuffs behind my back. (Jacob's cuffs were later removed and he took some over head shots.) During various searches while in Pier 57 and central booking, several friends helped by holding the memory card, which I removed from the camera (that later got confiscated). Most of the time it just stayed in my pocket.

Videos

video #1 (16 secs, 350K)

video #2 (50 secs, 1.1 megs)

video #3 (28 secs, 620K)

video #4 (5 secs, 104K)

video #5 (11 secs, 239 K)

Note: The videos taken inside the facility (#2-5) are extremely dark.


For a detailed account written by someone who was arrested that day, read "Notes From the RNC - The 8/31 Experience" by Emmanuel Goldstein, editor of the long-lived hacker magazine 2600. Goldstein also took some photos inside [here].


Note: The photos shown here have been modified for clarity and posting purposes. Specifically, they have been sized down, the contrast and brightness were adjusted to compensate for murkiness, and, in the case of pier57_03.jpg, the color was changed to tone down the green cast.

If you'd like to see the photos as originally created, they are in a zip file here (4 megs).


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posted 21 Sept 2004
photos, video & text copyright 2004 Jacob Richards & Connie Murillo
site and original text copyright 2002-4 Russ Kick