which violated the TRO once defendants received notice.
Plaintiffs seek damages from defendants for the deprivation of their First Amendment rights. These damages would be compensatory for the damages caused by the violations. See, United States v. United Mine Workers, supra. Courts may award compensatory damages to plaintiffs who are deprived of constitutional rights. See e.g., Basista v. Weir, 340 F.2d 74 (3 Cir. 1965); Donovan v. Reinbold, 433 F.2d 738 (9 Cir. 1970); Sexton v. Gibbs, 327 F. Supp. 134 (N.D. Tex. 1970). The value of such rights, while difficult of assessment, must be considered great. Cortright v. Resor, 325 F. Supp. 797, 810 (E.D.N.Y. 1971); see, Spock v. David, 469 F.2d 1047, 1053 (3 Cir. 1972). We also agree with plaintiffs that they should be awarded reasonable attorneys fees and costs. Crandall v. Conole, 230 F. Supp. 705, 715-716 (E.D. Pa. 1964); Lance v. Plummer, 353 F.2d 585, 592 (5 Cir. 1965); Nelson v. Steiner, 279 F.2d 944, 948 (7 Cir. 1960).
We reject defendants' contention that Lt. Fencl and Commissioner O'Neill cannot be held liable. The facts established at the hearing demonstrated that Lt. Fencl and Commissioner O'Neill were aware of and directed the exclusion of persons with signs from the Mall area. When they were informed of the Court order they admittedly did nothing to change the policies in effect that day. Such actions or omissions on their parts make them liable for violations of the injunction which resulted from their orders or failure to take action. Via v. Cliff, 470 F.2d 271 (3 Cir. 1972). Captain Lindsey, Lt. Rich, Sgt. Carducci and the other police officers are liable to various individuals whom they personally injured.
Although we have found defendants in contempt of our order and liable for compensatory damages, we shall not impose damages at this time. There is currently a civil action in this same case pending before us. We shall await the outcome of that action before imposing damages.
We consider this case a most serious one. It has brought before the Court a contempt for the law by those officials charged with maintenance of the law. Defendants not only violated the First and Fourth Amendment rights of plaintiffs and others, but also they continued such actions in the face of a court injunction. While we are mindful of the difficulties with which policemen are faced in crowd situations, and this nation's tragic recent past, these concerns cannot be used as a smokescreen behind which government is permitted to suppress peaceful free expression. That is what defendants attempted and for that we must censure them.
Plaintiffs shall submit a proposed order in conformance with this memorandum within ten (10) days.
It is so ordered.