NY judge hears arguments over 2004 RNC arrests

A New York judge has plenty of questions for a city lawyer defending the arrests of 1,800 people during protests while the 2004 Republican National Convention was going on.

Judge Richard Sullivan on Thursday questioned the lawyer repeatedly as to whether the city's police department tried hard enough to separate people violating the law from people on the street doing other things. The New York Civil Liberties Union contends police randomly arrested hundreds of people on at least two occasions by rounding up everybody in a city block.

The NYCLU has asked the judge to find police didn't have probable cause to make mass arrests during the convention, at which President George W. Bush was nominated for another term. The city has asked the judge to throw out the lawsuit because police have qualified immunity.

The judge hasn't ruled.