A Long Island mother of three arrested for taking pictures of an Air National Guard base in the Hamptons – while armed to the teeth with a licensed assault rifle in her car — has been awarded $1.12 million by a federal jury over her false prosecution by Suffolk County authorities.
The Central Islip jury on Thursday sided with Nancy Genovese, 58, in a 2010 lawsuit she filed against Suffolk County, its Sheriff’s Office and other parties, claiming she was only arrested during the July 2009 incident because she belonged to the Tea Party.
Genovese was arrested while taking pictures of a decorative helicopter in front of the Gabreski Airport Air National Guard base in Westhampton Beach for a “Support Our Troops” website. She was charged with criminal trespass and spent four days in jail before the charges were dropped.
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, “I bet you are one of those Tea Party people.” When Genovese said she’s gone to Tea Party rallies, he allegedly said, “You’re a real right-winger, aren’t you?” and “You are a ‘Teabagger’” and then added that she’d be arrested for terrorism to make an example of other “right wingers.”
“Ms. Genovese was subjected to a level of abuse because [authorities] 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,” her lawyer Frederick Brewington said.