A Long Island Tea Party member is getting the last laugh after being awarded 1.12 million dollars in compensatory damages. Nancy Genovese, 58, a mother of three, was arrested in 2009 for attempting to photograph a helicopter at an Air National Guard base in the Hamptons. She claimed that she was â€‹only â€‹arrested during the incident because she belonged to the Tea Party. She intended to use the photo on a â€œSupport the Troopsâ€ website; she was arrested for trespass and insulted as a “Teabagger.”
From the New York Post:
Southhampton cops searched her and found a legally owned rifle that she was transporting from a nearby rifle range. She contends a deputy sheriff arrived on the scene later and said to her, â€œI bet you are one of those Tea Party people.â€ When Genovese said sheâ€™s gone to Tea Party rallies, he allegedly said, â€œYouâ€™re a real right-winger, arenâ€™t you?â€ and â€œYou are a â€˜Teabaggerâ€™â€ and then added that sheâ€™d be arrested for terrorism to make an example of other â€œright wingers.â€
Her lawyer, Fredrick Brewington, said, â€œWhat they took from this woman cannot be measured in money. There is no reason to treat another human the way they treated her.â€
After four days in jail, Genovese posted her $50,000 bail. Although the charges were dismissed in 2009, Brewington says she â€œwas subjected to humiliation and was strip-searchedâ€ during her time in prison.
â€œMs Genovese was subjected to a level of abuse because they did not share the same political views as she did and saw this as an excuse to deny her even the most basic civil rights,â€ he said.
In true unselfish Tea Party fashion, Genovese says she plans on starting a foundation with her new found riches. The foundation will help others who were wrongly arrested.
“This was the ultimate rude awakening,” she said. “At any given time, anybody can be arrested and can be held on excessive or no bail.”
Genovese said she was â€œrelievedâ€ by the juryâ€™s verdict. She added, â€œif this can happen to me, and officers can abuse their power like this, I can only imagine how other people who are not as fortunate as me have been treated.â€