Photographer shot by Oakland Police with "less-lethal" round, for no apparent reason

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144 Responses to “Photographer shot by Oakland Police with "less-lethal" round, for no apparent reason”

  1. WTF is wrong with Oakland?

    Every time stuff like this happens, the movement gets bigger, and also more likely to get out of control.

    Maybe that’s what they want.

  2. Nathaniel Stephens says:

    i’ve never seen anything like that.  i’m in complete awe.  that is truly beyond outrageous.  what if a protestor shot a cop with a rubber bullet?  what then?  

    • Stonewalker says:

      “Less-lethal” means of force is considered lethal force when non-LEO use it.  For all intents and purposes, a DA in CA will consider less-lethal ammunition, lethal.  But not for LEO.  Do with that what you will.

      • donovan acree says:

        less lethal is still lethal
        California Penal Code 245(a)(1) defines assault with a deadly weapon as an assault that is committed with any type of deadly weapon or by means of force that is likely to cause great bodily injury to another.

    • Guest says:

      then, then they get what they wanted.

    • MCLepus says:

      Simple: Bood-bath

  3. Ianto_Jones says:

    Clear-cut criminal assault and possibly attempted murder.  Did anyone get a clear view of the thug who fired?  If so, it’s prison time for the scumbag.

    • N says:

      No unfortunately nobody got a clear view of that cop because all the cops on the scene covered their name plates and badge numbers with black tape (in addition to wearing face masks).

    • Gerritt Dorland says:

      Lol prison time. He’s a cop. He can get away with whatever he wants to.

  4. peterblue11 says:

    yea..it probably looked like he was carrying an IED.

  5. Meangrl says:

    It’s another way to violate someone’s 1st amendment rights. This is outrageous.

  6. Nathaniel Stephens says:

    check out the video over at youtube and read some of the comments.  there are a lot of people in support of this guy being shot and laugh at it.  the brainwashing and disintegration of the soul runs deep. 

    • Matt Demers says:

      You’re expecting people on YouTube to leave civil comments?

    • Aaron Hathaway says:

      I’d be cautious about using Youtube comments as a litmus test for public sentiment. It seems to disproportionately draw out the cruel, inane and juvenile, regardless of the video content.

    • Nathaniel, 
      No actual human would support this. Those are Trolls. Trolls are not real people. They are internet personai which are created to antagonize and provoke people into a reaction. In this case, the govt. themselves are prolly behind alot of the Trolling as Agent Provacateurs. If they get the 99% to react, they have us right where they want us. Don’t respond to them. Report them instead. You can see alot of this on Al Jazeera too. 

  7. A_Lwin says:

    The cop who fired the shot definitely needs to be put on trial as a criminal.  If the end result is that cop gets some administrative warning or suspension, then I don’t think any citizen in Oakland should ever trust law enforcement officers ever again.

    • Guest says:

      Yes, that truly would be the last straw for society’s trust in Oalkand’s Law Enforcement.

    • artaxerxes says:

      Citizens in Oakland stopped trusting the police — BART or OPD– a long time ago. That’s why the tension’s so high. The police assumed an aggressive stance from the beginning, initiating violence because they know that they’ve gotten away with murder and lesser assaults for years. It’s common sense to expect retaliation. 

      Prior to the Occupy protests, BART, SFPD, and OPD have been doing things like shutting down cell service, shutting down stations, arresting passers-by for no reason, simply because they expect a riot. It’s amazing to me that the situation hasn’t turned much uglier.

      For that, I give credit to the Occupy protesters and the many people in Oakland who have been organizing and conducting peaceful demonstrations for years. But the police are provoking the protesters and I fear the non-violent responses will soon give way to violence on both sides. And that will spell disaster for both sides.

      I wish Oakland would consult with other cities, such as Philly, to create an intelligent plan to avoid a conflagration by creating a safe space for the exercising of First Amendment rights, but I don’t see any evidence that they’re interested in defusing the situation.

  8. Taneli Riihimäki says:

    …and it’s always the ones who protest starting a riot right?

  9. GonzO Rodrigue says:

    I am continually amazed that things like this keep making the front pages of news outlets and blogs, because none of this is in the least bit surprising.

    It’s *OAKLAND*.  These guys shoot subway passengers *in the back while they are handcuffed and lying face down*… does anyone actually expect their police force to be anything *other* than the thugs they are?

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      BART police are not the Oakland police, two different entities with different oversight.

      • tor_berg says:

        Xeni, while it is true that a BART police office killed Oscar Grant, Oakland PD regularly kill unarmed men, i.e. Derrick Jones, Jody Woodfox, Andrew Moppin….

        That kind of thing, plus the police behavior documented in this video, are the reasons that there are riots in Oakland. OPD is institutionally in conflict with the community. It’s a total disgrace.

      • Guest says:

        True, but they’re kissing cousins. 

      • Idon't Know says:

        It doesn’t matter since they work for the same masters which ain’t us.

        A lot of people have been killed in the Middle east by “less than lethal” bullets.

      • jb says:

        I do wonder if there is some overlap in the general culture. Both the BART PD and Oakland PD seem to have a weird tendency to shoot or beat people who aren’t  threatening or endangering anyone.

      • GonzO Rodrigue says:

        …both of which happen to be in the same city.  

        In fact, that they ARE two different entities with different oversight more or less tells me that the problem with Oakland law enforcement is more widespread and worrisome than even *I* thought it was (and I think it’s an example of some of the worst the country has to offer).

  10. Ianto_Jones says:

    The police state scumthugs in this video are incredibly lucky the crowd didn’t rush them and tear them to pieces.

    • An unsuccessful attempt to do so would, of course, play right into their hands. The fact that the cops fired the first round would be lost in the narrative of, “violent protesters attack upstanding Law Enforcement Officers.” A successful attempt to “tear them to pieces” might dissuade future violations, but given the disparity of force between the Occupiers and the cops, it’s an unlikely outcome.

  11. Mr Angry says:

    That is truly shocking.  A policeman here the UK will be facing a manslaughter trial next year after he pushed over a protester (Ian Tomlinson) who ultimately died, all during the G20 protests in London back in 2009.  To think something like this could ultimately go unpunished is sickening.

  12. Teller says:

    That just looks chickenshit.

  13. colinadams says:

    I am all for good cops. I live in Oakland, and I would say most cops are pretty good cops.  Those good cops standing around that violent coward, who will say nothing, and not turn in a fellow cop, even thought they KNOW he was in the wrong… They just became bad cops.  I know the idea of “professional courtesy” runs deep with the police, but letting a fellow cop off for speeding, and covering for a loose cannon’s cruelty to an unarmed and peaceful cameraman is a huge difference.  They are accessories to an assault, and they will never serve time.  Shame on them.

    • This is why I believe that there are almost no “good cops.” Because even the “good cops” will usually still not speak out against the “bad” ones, for fear of reprisal and losing their job and so forth. And that makes them complicit.

    • Idon't Know says:

      Where is the cop in charge?

    • Matt Popke says:

      A “good cop” would stand up against the thugs in the police ranks. But whenever something like this goes down the brotherhood of police circle the wagons and always defend their own. When the “good cops” stand up to defend the bad cops, there are no good cops. That there are no Oakland police officers standing up and testifying against their own (or even saying anything at all about the conduct of their fellow officers) is a clear sign that there are no good cops in Oakland.

    • Totally says:

      Sorry, I disagree. MOST cops, say, 99% are simply bullies, thugs and fascists. News flash: That’s why they become cops. They do not join the force to protect, or to serve, or to uphold the law. They join so they can legally bully people who do not carry guns, or batons, or pepper spray, or handcuffs, or tasers, etc. Most of them are weak, frightened people.

    • That is excellent discernment, colinadams. Bless you!

  14. Matthew says:

    What is the solution to this?  Sue the city?  The city going bankrupt could make the economic situation worse…

    •  Or it could force the city to prosecute cops that do this sort of thing, which might make cops think twice before doing it.

    • jb says:

      Then they might have to raise some taxes on banks or something .heaven forbid.

    • You could spam Mayor Quan’s email box and FB page with the link or her voice mail with the reference…  I sent her an email the day after the first riot and she came out a few days later with an apology. I’m not saying that it was MY email that did it, but I’m pointing to the fact that she responds to this pressure. And I’m also not saying that she’s an angel. She is caught in the middle, and she has already embarrassed her police force by doing what she did. Most Mayors would not do even that. Keep the pressure on her. She will pass along the favor. 

  15. yadayada says:

    From the Guardian article about Scott Olsen:

    Her interim police chief, Howard Jordan, was similarly defensive when he spoke to reporters, denying that his men had used rubber bullets or flash-bang grenades, as some protesters alleged and adding: “It’s unfortunate it happened. I wish that it didn’t happen. Our goal, obviously, isn’t to cause injury to anyone.”

    I guess this is Oakland’s way of walking back that statement a bit.

  16. Josh Bisker says:

    Until we fix the system, this is the law of the land, friends: politicians, law enforcement officers, and the very wealthy have entirely different laws, statutes, and punishments that apply to them than the ones set out as “law” proper. A cop can beat and arrest a citizen who has “provoked” him or her in any way they interpret as such, but if a citizen responds to a provocation with force, then it’s assault; a banker can break the laws that govern his industry, but suffer no punishments; a politician who accepts bribes can somehow not be indicted for treason–that is, selling out the interests of his country to powers that would harm it for his own gain. That’s why we’re occupying. Occupy Occupy Occupy!

  17. artimusClyde says:

    90% of cops give the other 10% a bad name.

  18. Guest says:

    What other response can there possibly be to about 100K people in the streets? 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4jYdCaHrjQ

  19. kmoser says:

    Remind me not to visit Oakland unless I’m wearing my paintball mask and protective gear.

    • Idon't Know says:

      Less than lethal ammo is far more powerful than any paintball gun.

      • Strato Head says:

        depends on the less lethal used.  if we are talking about “flexible battons” fired from a shotgun…then maybe…at close range yes. But, if you know anything about paintball… there is a reason you have to check your muzzle velocity before playing at any decent paintball site. You can easily crank up the pressure on a paintball marker and get those rounds enough power to do serious damage. 

  20. bbguy1984 says:

    Legal… not likely. However the government can quickly change that.  The bigger question, is it moral and justified.  That’s a big NO!

    I’m sure most the police are acting accordingly, but it takes just one guy, this guy, to cross that line and not be held accountable.  All that does is incite everyone else. Good job Oakland, you’ve managed to address this protest in the worst possible way you could by deploying a large amount of police to clear them out.

  21. oops… TPTB vs democracy:   TKO in the 1st round.

  22. ZikZak says:

    I know the term gets thrown around loosely, but this is terrorism.  Inflicting random and serious violence against journalists is a great way to scare them away from covering protests.  Or at least making sure they stay away from the front lines, where all the brutality happens.

    It’s not the first time something like this has happened, and it’s not an accident.  Parallel to the deliberate targeting of journalists for arrest and brutality, we’ve seen the rise of military-style “embedded journalists”, who are vetted by the department and basically escorted by police for the entire protest.  Just as in Iraq, this ensures that reporters see only what the police want, and that they see it from the police’s perspective. 

    This sends a clear message – if you’re on our side, we’ll escort and protect you.  If you’re not, we may attack you at any time.

    • Josh Bisker says:

      Domestic terrorism is a term that’s not used enough to point to the insane “play chicken with the government” politics that have been going on in Congress for the last six months.

  23. technosean says:

    Today, a grainy video that is virtually anonymous.

    Ten years from now, cops face and badge are clearly identifiable and automatically computer matched against a third person database of troubled cops.

  24. pthree says:

    Legality isn’t really the issue. The law doesn’t decide what happens to punish the police in a police state, and this policeman’s fate will be decided by Oakland PD public relations, not by a judge.

  25. This is grounds for a physical response.  I know all you do-gooders think the public will not defend a violent group of protestors, but I will. 

    • The Chemist says:

      Me too. I’m not sure violence is the answer, but I am sure that I do not value the safety and security of the Oakland police. They haven’t justified my placing a value on it.

      • Gainclone says:

        Isn’t there a greater point to be made by nonviolence? The classic example of “stooping to their level.”

        • occupyordie says:

          self defense is not “stooping to” anyone’s level, in fact not defending oneself in the face of an enemy who is using deadly force against you shows a complete lack of self respect in my eyes.  Non-violence is one thing, pathological pacifism that knows no limits is completely absurd.

          • wizardru says:

            “Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”
             -Mahatmas Gandhi, 1919

          • occupyordie says:

            wasn’t he killed or something? (sarcasm) -

          • nate says:

            If that moment lasts a generation or two, for some that would be a real respite from oppression or servitude. Unfortunately, we live in a world that is frequently transformed, not only by peace and relative calm, but through cataclysmic upheavals that re-shape the landscape and create new havens for those seeking a  place to live and breath freely. The status quo, whenever and however it is taken apart and dismantled, rejects and opposes any force that moves upon it with a transformative energy–violence comes in many forms, and even the passive acceptance of savage blows is an act that endorses the efficacy of violent rage, when that rage alters the consciousness of every witness to the scene, both victim and oppressor. 

          • Rob says:

            A 200+ year run is momentary?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Isn’t there a greater point to be made by nonviolence? The classic example of “stooping to their level.”

          Never bring a bundt cake to a gunfight.

    • SamSam says:

      @twitter-110500419:disqus @boingboing-3f10cca89b8da32aeba9431656bf334a:disqus 

      What would the outcome of violent “self-defense” be?
      - More depictions of protestors as violent rioters, less public sympathy, less chance of actually changing America
      - Loss of moral high ground
      - More police crackdowns and clearing away of protestors everywhere in the name of public safety

      What, instead, would the best outcome be of non-violent publicizing and protesting of atrocities?

      - Greater moral high ground, more public support
      - More public support -> more demand for changes at city, state and federal levels
      - More public support and wider understanding of goals -> more change during elections
      - More policy changes, election of friendly lawmakers and popular support -> less police brutality

      Don’t forget what the final goal is: the goal is to make lasting changes in America. Lasting changes are brought about through public support, indirectly, and elections and policy changes directly.

      How is violently attacking the police going to make lasting changes?

      The tea party understood this — they got dozens of their own people into congress and succeeded in making big changes (terrible changes, but changes none-the-less). I hope, hope, hope that the occupy movement understands this.

      • Interesting argument. Very few people can have this discussion without giving way to immature, emotionally-charged slurs, but you seem to be above that kind of thing. The Nazis are inevitably invoked, Tim McVeigh, etc. That said, let’s give it a shot. Playing devil’s advocate:

        - Targeted, carefully-planned violent attacks may act as a disincentive to fascists.
        - The people ordering these attacks on U.S. civilians obviously do not understand empathy, the rule of law, or what is truly in society’s best interest.
        - They see themselves as drones acting on behalf of their leader, and they feel that absolves them of any accountability in the situation.
        - Those most willing to “just follow orders” are promoted until they become the ones giving the orders. 

        Such targeted, violent attacks could shift the burden of accountability to the backs of the actors themselves. Disciplining a police officer these days is defined as convicting them via due process, giving them some vacation time, and giving tax payer funds to the victim. Where is the disincentive?

        They would have to be in a venue entirely separate from the dominant, peaceful movement. They would need to be underground and performed by distributed, unrelated lone-wolf cells acting of their own accord. Their directives would have to come, not from any central leader, but through the outrage visible in public discourse.

        • One Man Damned says:

          Sounds like you are describing an American version of CI, asymmetrical or 4th gen warfare, whatever you want to call it.  If our military experiences of late have taught us anything, it’s that the US government doesn’t know how to handle counter insurgency like that.  Modern warfare isn’t Gettysburg or a tank battle like Kursk, it isn’t won by overwhelming numbers or killing the enemy or high technology.  It’s now being fought and won by low-tech IEDs and suicide bombers who want you to kill them. 

          “Hearts and minds” are what’s important, the the US military has done a piss-poor job of that overseas and it’s clear that the US government, as represented by the Oakland police, is doing a piss-poor job of it here.

        • occamvanrijn says:

          We actually have a historical example of a liberal, socialist, anti-capitalist movement in the modern era that attempted to use violence in that way: the Italian Autonomisti and other leftist groups in the late ’60s. It led to the rapid formation of right-wing fascist paramilitary organizations that competed violently against them in years of bombings and attacks referred to as the “anni di piombo” or Years of Lead.

          Do you want to fight paramilitary Tea Party successor groups, or have them bomb places they see as excessively “liberal”? Do you think the American extreme right wing wouldn’t respond to violence with violence? Would you like to usher in mass bombings of abortion clinics, mosques, left-leaning political organizations, and public areas? If you answered no to any of the above, then DON’T USE VIOLENCE TO PROTEST. The government response would be awful, but the civilian response would likely be agonizing and rip American political society–already polarized and ailing–to pieces.

          • toyg says:

            Wrong example. Italy was a Cold War frontline (large Communist Party, bordering with Yugoslavia, strategically placed in the Mediterranean, with deep links to oil-rich Middle-Eastern states in the URSS sphere of influence, etc), both sides were heavily subsidized and manipulated by foreign actors and by the government itself (similarly to most other terrorist orgs around Europe at the time). The US Government at the time backed a “Chilean solution” for Italy, which wasn’t put in practice only because of local ineptitude and fear that the Soviet response would have been worse — Italian Communists had maintained a fairly well-armed clandestine network since WWII, paid by Moscow and ready for the “inevitable revolution”, in the same way NATO had their “Stay Behind” network. 
            Then Gorbachev happened, and by then most “trusted hands” had more or less died, so it was all decommissioned (occasionally somebody will find an odd repository of old guns in the countryside, and that’s it) . Looking at Italian politics in the last 20 years I’m not sure it was such a fantastic thing, to be honest, although it’s nice to be safe when I get on a train.

          • occamvanrijn says:

            And hey, I admit it’s not a perfect analogy. The Cold War had a lot to do with it, especially in funding the attacks. I’m sure any equivalent violence in the US wouldn’t go down in quite the same way, most likely shorter in duration and easier to suppress. It’s the basic retaliatory dynamic that makes me wary; How easy is it to say “We must organize to stop the violence of the other side–with VIOLENCE!”?

      • petertrepan says:

        How is violently attacking the police going to make lasting changes? The tea party understood this…

        I bet if you look at where Tea Party rallies are held, you’ll find they’re mostly on rural private property, so naturally they don’t come into conflict with police.

  26. Guest says:

    Blame human nature. Mob mentality, specifically the perception that you aren’t responsible for your actions in a crowd, affects humans on both sides of the blue line.

  27. Manny says:

    It’s should be impossible for anyone to insist he provoked the attack. We see what he was doing for a good while before he was shot: walking, with a camera, asking “is this OK?”. There was nothing like rioting or conflict around him. We can see the lack of reaction from the line of cops. Should be impossible, and yet … .

    • wizardru says:

      I agree with you, but ‘impossible’?  No, I’m sure it’s very possible.  Just looking at the video, I can see how a case could be made.  We never see behind or around him, just facing the police.  We hear several protesters near him daring the OPD to ‘march over here’ and yelling obscenities.  We can’t see the cameraman at all or what he might be doing.  We certainly can’t see what the other people who are near him, who we only see after he’s shot, are doing.  It’s worth noting they also don’t seem to be running in fear, which someone could argue shows that they knew he was provoking them somehow and they weren’t in danger.

      I mean, this is simultaneously horrible and ridiculous, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that people could find a way to contextualize this differently.

  28. ChicagoD says:

    Wow. That is utterly reprehensible. Oakland has a huge police problem.

  29. EarthtoGeoff says:

    Makes sense to me. If they don’t use all their rubber-bullet rounds this year, they don’t get the same-size budget for them next year; and that could compromise public safety.

  30. In Occupy Asheville we woke up to find this posted on our facebook page today http://jasonbugg.com/blog/2011/11/07/even-the-dirtasses/ 

    The top is mean. But the APD officer whose page this is, and who I have met personally as the investigating officer of a break-in at my home, is seen having a laugh about having my fellow AshevilleOccupiers hanged.

    I know this thread is in regards to Oakland and I’m a bit Off-Topic, but I’m so terrified about *our* law enforcement suddenly that I have to be sure BB readers are aware of this development, despite the reputation of our Occupy camp as the drop off for city drunks in many circles.

    I refer to last week’s posts about our town on BB when I say we’re not just oversized walk lights and intense political murals on tattoo parlors… just a reminder of which quaint southern town you’ve seen on BB lately.

    We just found ourselves in the middle of a much bigger story which is bound to get Buncombe County remembered for its namesake again. It relates to Anon’s #OpCartel redirection to Ron Moore, our local DA. The police have been acting up and a much adored blogger has been kind enough to retweet a couple of weekend developments including:

    1: a dossier of warrants being served to people who attended Occupy events
    2: a video of an illegal arrest of our lawyer and page founder on her way to the magistrate on behalf of the above clients
    3: A police officer who used to hang out on 4chan with a bunch of kids late at night in in my 24 hour coffeeshop in 2007 and encouraged them to “take the law into your own hands and don’t bother the police”. In yesterday’s video, he is refusing to give his name and badge number while arresting our ACLU rep until people yelled his name at him. Billy Briton. The Asheville kids in the know, know him best of anyone on APD by this point.

    Whether or not we are facing a Police State will be determined at 6:30pm EST when our GA will demand the remaining outstanding warrants of Occupiers who participated in our solidarity with Oakland march and vigil last wednesday.

    Despite rambling and editing, this wound up almost OT after all! I hope I made that less of a jumble this time, just a bit tweaked.

  31. awjt says:

    You know what would be scary?  An über-race systematically exterminating another one in a totally misdirected fashion, so as to catch up in its dragnet not only Jews, but mixed-descent Eurasians, Africans, homosexuals, sympathizers and unlucky bystanders.

  32. TheOmbudsman says:

    Having watched that video two or three times, I have to think that the guy in question wasn’t shot with a rubber bullet, but rather one of those bean-bag guns. The gas that issues from the gun, and how it disperses forward and outward so visibly makes me think the projectile itself was fairly large, larger than what I expect a rubber bullet would be.

    Not that it makes any big difference – that cop is still way out of line, and I hope he’s identified and investigated.

  33. machinestate says:

    I smell torches and pitchforks. 

  34. Remember Birmingham:
    “The Civil Rights movement should thank God for Bull Connor. He’s helped it as much as Abraham Lincoln.” – JFK

    In the long run, every guy like this, every Scott Olson, every protestor beaten to a pulp by cops without provocation is good for the movement.
    And please don’t think me a cynic – I’m quite the opposite.

  35.  I anticipate another bizarre “open letter” from the Oakland police union about how the protests have made them move on from mere confusion to full on psychosis.  “Look what you made me do!”

  36. “Is it legal for police to shoot photographers in a public place simply because they do not want to be photographed?”

    sigh…I just love the naivete of the left. OF COURSE they can!!! The cops can do whatever  they want, especially during an “emergency”. Infiltrate? check. Instigate? check. Illegalities? check check and check.

    • FrodeSvendsen says:

      And I like how the right don’t know the concept of a rhetorical question.. 

      And don’t get me started on the assumptions.. 

  37. Lauren Read says:

    To say “it’s getting out of hand” would be an understatement.  It’s gotten out of hand … and in some cases/places, with both the authorities and the public.  Perhaps it’s time to take the inertia created by the protests and apply it to the productive action of replacing Congress with people of integrity (i.e. not influenced by their donors/lobbyists).  http://occupygovernment.org seems a solid effort.

  38. ADavies says:

    Let’s keep it peaceful out there people!  (If any Oakland police officers are reading this, that means you too.  Especially you.)

  39. jimkirk says:

    Prescient words from Malcolm X.  Of course, it’s not just dark-skinned people…

    “And so, I could see that America itself is a society where there is no brotherhood and that this society is controlled primarily by racists and segregationists — and it is — who are in Washington, D.C., in positions of power. 

    And from Washington, D.C., they exercise the same forms of brutal oppression against dark-skinned people in South and North Vietnam, or in the Congo, or in Cuba, or in any other place on this earth where they’re trying to exploit and oppress.  This is a society whose government doesn’t hesitate to inflict the most brutal form of punishment and oppression upon dark-skinned people all over the world.

    To wit, right now what’s going on in and around Saigon and Hanoi and in the Congo and elsewhere.  They are violent when their interests are at stake. But all of that violence that they display at the international level, when you and I want just a little bit of freedom, we’re supposed to be nonviolent.

    They’re violent.  They’re violent in Korea, they’re violent in Germany, they’re violent in the South Pacific, they’re violent in Cuba, they’re violent wherever they go.  But when it comes time for you and me to protect ourselves against lynchings, they tell us to be nonviolent.

    That’s a shame.  Because we get tricked into being nonviolent, and when somebody stands up and talks like I just did, they say, “Why, he’s advocating violence!”  Isn’t that what they say?

    Every time you pick up your newspaper, you see where one of these things has written into it that I’m advocating violence.  I have never advocated any violence.  I’ve only said that Black people who are the victims of organized violence perpetrated upon us by the Klan, the Citizens’ Council, and many other forms, we should defend ourselves.

    And when I say that we should defend ourselves against the violence of others, they use their press skillfully to make the world think that I’m calling on violence, period.  I wouldn’t call on anybody to be violent without a cause.

    But I think the Black man in this country, above and beyond people all over the world, will be more justified when he stands up and starts to protect himself, no matter how many necks he has to break and heads he has to crack.

    I saw on the television where they took this Black woman down in Selma, Alabama, and knocked her right down on the ground, dragging her down the street.

    You saw it, you’re trying to pretend like you didn’t see it ’cause you knew you should’ve done something about it and didn’t.  It showed the sheriff and his henchmen throwing this Black woman on the ground–on the ground.

    And Negro men standing around doing nothing about it saying, “Well, let’s overcome them with our capacity to love.” What kind of phrase is that? “Overcome them with our capacity to love.”  And then it disgraces the rest of us, because all over the world the picture is splashed showing a Black woman with some white brutes, with their knees on her holding her down, and full-grown Black men standing around watching it.”

  40. Does anyone have a link to a picture of the bruise/welt that the videographer got?  I see his reaction in the video, but not seen a shot of the bruise.  It would be great for a still shot to use on the news to show how dangerous these rounds are.

  41. If it was a bunch of Tea Party people marching, I bet the cops might think twice about shooting at them …cause everyone knows that the TP people walk around armed to the teeth and don’t take shit from no gubmint death squadies.
    Just something for all you OWS people to think about instead.

  42. BLK PXLS says:

    I thought me catching OPD covering his namebadge was the turning point…. Now this…..the intimidation factor….

  43. CognitiveDissident says:

    Are the local police brainwa,  er,  trained at the local fusion centers?
    (No, doubt, they must defend themselves, but it appears that sometime they are LOOKING for trouble!)

    I think it’s bad if they enter into these situations thinking that the protesters are necessarily the enemy.

    Also, when the federal government infiltrates peaceful protests to stir things up, do the local police know about it, or are they being duped also?

  44. I would not characterize Occupy as anti-capitalist. There are quite a few small business owners in Occupy Houston. We are working on promoting these business owners as part of a “buy local” campaign. We are also trying to set up some kind of barter program where occupiers can gain services from these business in exchange for their labor. In general we support business ownership as a way to beat the system.

    Stopping big business from buying the government and writing their own regulations in a way that suppresses competition will help small business.

    Occupy movements should support small business as we are trying to do.

  45. jimh says:

    So if this one goes viral too, I wonder what the Mayor will have to say for herself…

  46. franka_645 says:

    In response to the discussion on the size of the crowd… keep in mind that this helicopter footage is of the ending of only 2/5 of the bigger marches that day.  It is zoomed out the entire way, and still can’t show the crowd in one frame; each march was about 8 blocks long.  Back to back marches left downtown at 4:30p and 5:00p for the port.  I would put a day-long cumulative total of people attending the event upwards of 15k, easily, but there weren’t anywhere close to 100k people on this march.  The entrance to the port is only one lane in each direction, it’s not a highway.  The totals I saw on the news ranged from 3k (from OPD, stupidly low) to 7k, but I’m sure it was more.  I would estimate 3-4k at 4:30 and the same at 5:00.   I made a career in entertainment, and saw crowds of 2-30k people every day milling around (in a parking lot or inside a venue before a concert, similar to before the rally) in a crowd (at the concert, similar to the rally), and walking all together (leaving a show, similar to the march).  With my experience seeing different sizes of crowds, I would confidently estimate around 15k at the event.   

  47. franka_645 says:

    Along the march route, and throughout the day, I saw about a dozen police officers.  There were no cops in sight until around midnight when the building was occupied and dumpster barricades went up.

    With that said, like Antonious I don’t think that a completely passive occupation would be the most effective way to communicate the desperation felt by many of us.  At all.  The best story I heard about the day of the general strike, told at the rally, was that some people who had been foreclosed on showed up at their bank with a moving truck and moved their furniture right into the lobby.  I got pretty aggro however when the the next day the actions of 15,000 plus people were overshadowed in the media by a black bloc of 50.  I’m certainly not defending the OPD here, what happened in this video was completely reprehensible and this video needs to be seen.  There was a bigger story here before this happened though.  What made it to the national news?  It wasn’t the fact that 15k people gathered to raise their voices, it was that at night 50 of those people set a trash fire in the street with 300 peaceful onlookers and the observers were shot with rubber bullets.  I know a few people who work downtown, who hadn’t yet decided how they felt about this movement, and unfortunately the vandalism at night swung them decidedly against it.  I think that the actions during the day make a better news story, but hey if it bleeds it leads. 

    We need to get news networks to replace “rioters smash a few bank windows and spraypaint some walls” with “peaceful protesters shot by police.”  I think they’ll go for it, it’s much more violent.

  48. pjcamp says:

    It’s legal for police to do anything you’re not willing to sue them for. Think they don’t know that?

  49. blissfulight says:

    As someone slightly more infamous than I said, ‘I will make it legal’.  And so it is.  

  50. Paul Horner says:

    This game sums it all up http://www.occupythegame.com/occupy_the_game/

    Collect money, water and the Constitution… dodge the tear gas, bean bags and flash grenades thrown by the coppers. Don’t get arrested! lol

  51. Cowicide says:

    I wonder how many of these cops that perpetrate brutality like this work themselves up into a froth by listening to right wing radio beforehand?

    Right wing radio and other media are amping up absolutely DEADLY hatred for the OWS at an enormous rate.

    In all the years I’ve monitored right wing media, I’ve never seen anything like this.
    Without a doubt, this OWS movement is scaring the living shit out the the corporatists.

    They know the only thing that can keep them united with their ill-gotten money and power is by maintaining LIES (and having citizens believe them).  Their “drugs” are money and power derived from those lies.

    The larger OWS gets, the more these megalomaniacs go into a frenzy… like crazed junkies who fear separation from their drugs.

    Desperation… has set in.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Is that image from MST3K’s segment on Doughy Guys?

    • Michael Hasse says:

      I’m a little surprised some of the more technically-minded liberals haven’t simply shut down the right-wing media.  Of course a man-in-the-middle content insertion might be more amusing.  Today’s technology can have any public figure appear to say anything, one could have the Rush Limbaugh remix hour on every (Clear)Channel.  (About time somebody figured out how to going about “reprogramming” the ditto-heads – literally!  :)

      • occamvanrijn says:

        Free speech and free expression?

      • Cowicide says:

        I’m a little surprised some of the more technically-minded liberals haven’t simply shut down the right-wing media.

        While it’s possible to do this, censoring and shutting down right wing radio stations through hacks would just make martyrs out of the corporatist lackeys for their already indoctrinated listeners.

        It’s better to not shut them down and instead reach their audience through more subtle and unconventional tactics.  There’s technologies coming around the corner that’ll facilitate that approach.

        Right wing radio isn’t effective against an educated public.  The man-in-the-middle attack is relentless education and also teaching each other how to spread factual information.

        Also, if we effectively reform the electoral process, right wing radio in the sticks would shut itself down.  Right wing radio air pollution is only out there in rural areas in order to manufacture consent and grab electoral votes to counter more educated voters who tend to live in closer proximity to one another and are thereby disenfranchised with less electoral votes.

        We’re closing in on right wing radio on many fronts and they know it.  That’s why they are getting more panicked and shrill.

    • N says:

      Interesting theory, Cowicide. But cops have always treated protesters like this in the U.S. Cops in general have always had this conformist conservative mentality, I believe. In the U.S. they’re selected for certain personality traits, like aggressiveness. And let’s face up: they’re not functioning on the highest intellectual level, so they tend to view things in very simple terms, such as lumping all types of protesters together. If 99% of the protesters is peaceful but 1% is violent, they will treat all protesters as that 1%. That is why cops need strong smart leadership and CONSTANT training and guidance to keep them on the right track.

      • Cowicide says:

        While I’ll agree that there’s a lunkhead factor with some cops who enjoy bullying (perceived) weaker people for fun no matter what… I still think being goaded on by right wing radio pundits who make these idiots feel justified and on the side of righteousness certainly doesn’t help the situation.  Demonizing people over and over again over the polluted airwaves is a very effective tool in getting sociopaths to act out on others and even feel like bullshit heros afterwards.

  52. Someone Else says:

    Isn’t it just a little suspicious that the video ends so abruptly? It’s because he didn’t want us to see what he did after getting shot that justified him getting shot, isn’t it.

    That’s how it works, right? They shoot you, then use your reaction to getting shot as justification for shooting you?

  53. N says:

    Does everyone here know that the police at the scene covered their name tags and badge numbers with black tape so they couldn’t be identified?

  54. N says:

    Also, do people know that around the same time as this incident happened, a driver who intentionally plowed through protesters with his Mercedes — sending two to the hospital — was let go by police at the scene and STILL has not been arrested. Also around the same time, Kayvan Sabeghi was arrested, beaten nearly to death, taunted by police while he lay in pain on a jail floor for almost 24 hours and denied medical attention — all this for simply calmly explaining to the cops that he was walking home.

    • wizardru says:

      Given that reports indicate that the driver’s was surrounded by angry protesters after he hit one man and then hit a woman when he backed up, I’m not sure that I see this as an illogical move.  This sounds like an angry mob waiting to happen, with escalation a very real possibility.  A smart cop would get the driver’s information and get him out of there before it got any worse.

      I mean, I find it hard to believe that he won’t be investigated…unless every protester on the scene failed to see the driver and take pictures of him, his car and his license plate.  The OPD may be a bunch of violent idiots, but that doesn’t mean that everything they do is a bad move.  All it would take was the driver to make the wrong comment and one protester to lose his shit and you have a potential riot.  Mob mentality can affect the police and the protesters equally.  

      The real question is will this devolve to the point that the National Guard is called in.

  55. miasm says:

    Is it possible that peaceful protest, ‘doing the right thing’, actually forces everyone who fights against it to provide the movement with exactly the fuel it needs to continue on to victory?
    It strikes me as fantastically and ironically karmic that the more vehemently those who incite to and those who actually perform violent acts can’t, not only help them selves but are forced by their ridiculous posturing to work FOR the movement.
    How many of them do you think are aware of this?
    Is it possible some of the cops realise the protestors need some ‘help’ and, notwithstanding any real ability or inclination to actually be prosecuted; are happy to provide the material for continued world-wide news coverage?

  56. Pepijn says:

    This seems as good as place as any for this quote from Paul Craig Roberts: “Police in the US now rival criminals, and exceed terrorists as the greatest threat to the American public.”

  57. donovan acree says:

    I know, I know. Violence is bad.. m’kay? After all, let’s look at the results of some recent violent populous uprisings
    Bahrain – governmental change
    Egypt – government overthrown
    Iraq – governmental change
    Jordan – governmental change
    Kuwait – governmental change
    Lebanon – governmental change
    Libya – government overthrown
    Morocco – governmental change
    Oman – governmental change
    Saudi Arabia – Elections to be held
    Sudan – Bashir will not seek another term
    Syria – governmental change
    Tunisia – government overthrown
    Yemen – governmental change
    Clearly violence doesn’t work… oh wait….
    Does anyone have any examples of non-voilent populous uprisings that have effected governmental change recently? For those of you thinking Gandhi and India, take another look. The carnage was immense. In the end it was the brutality and loss of life and the actions of the Muslim League that ultimately forced the Britons to pass the Indian Independence Act. But that doesn’t make for good TV.

    • Teller says:

      “Does anyone have any examples of non-voilent populous uprisings that have effected governmental change recently?”

      “The Tea Party is an antigovernment, grass-roots political movement that began in 2009 and went on to become key to the Republicans’ successful bid to take control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections.” – New York Times, Aug. 2011

      Interesting as well that all those countries are Muslim. Don’t know what that means (hard time to be a Muslim country?) but I do think you mean “populist” not populous.

    • toyg says:

      Does anyone have any examples of non-violent populous uprisings that have effected governmental change recently? 

      German reunification, the “Velvet Revolution” in Czechoslovakia. One could argue that  those were more about regime collapse, rather than forced change, but still you have them.
      It has to be said, however, that they happened in highly-civilized countries (Soviet regimes have always rated education among the highest priorities), with close historical precedents. Also, the Czechs had already tried 20 years earlier, and failed when they were unable (or refused) to switch from peaceful ways to guerrilla warfare when faced with military occupation. So yeah, it seems like peaceful ways might work, but they take an awfully long time.

      (Oh, it was 20+ years ago… already? Man, I feel old.)

  58. silkox says:

    FWIW, I sent the link to an old girlfriend who is now police chief of a mid-sized surburban city in the Northwest. She is absolutely nothing like Totally’s notion of a cop. Here’s what she said:

    “I think a number of things…of course it isn’t OK. Photographers, kids, drug addicts, politicians,old people, protesters, Republicans, Democrats (you get the picture) have the right to gather in a non violent way.  Police have to allow reporters in unlessthere is an issue with crime scene protection.  That being said, I try to avoid large crowds of people because it can go bad on any side, very quickly.  
    I do think that the proliferation of cell phone video cameras are a good thing to document what has actually gone on in an incident. If you are doing the right thing, it shouldn’t be a worry.  If you aren’t (like the NY officer who pepper sprayed the innocent protester or in this situation), it can help to spark a movement.”

  59. johnmanini says:

    I am sympathetic with those protesting to a degree for certain and I would never defend ANYONE intentionally shooting another person who was not interfering with their immediate right to life.  That having been said, if you look at the trajectory of the smoke trail and LISTEN really close to the sounds that occur, you hear the projectile hitting the ground and ricocheting off the asphalt and into the leg of the person in question.  The shot is fired after the timeline passes :33 seconds and as the timeline hots :34 seconds, there is the sound of the projectile hitting the ground before the screams of obvious pain brought about by the projectile hitting Mr. Campbell.  Anyone can infer that the cops were about to advance and break things up and this was their tear gas canister coming in… or that it was a complete accidental discharge of the weapon.  I am not going to speculate, but I am very confident that Mr. Campbell WAS NOT TARGETED.  It is still unfortunate that he was hit and there needs to be an investigation and people held accountable, but I am very confident that this was an ACCIDENT.

  60. elix says:

    I’m not a moderator, and I’m not attacking your opinion (as you’re welcome to have it), but nobody asked you.

    And, because I can’t really help it, if I defy the orders of a police officer, but I’m not making any specific threatening moves, just not *listening* to them and (for example) leaving the area… would you say that’s justification for Officer Bob shooting me with a rubber bullet? ‘Cause that’s a simpler version of what you implied.

    And, do you need a reason to record police on duty in a public location? What?

    (Edit: Unless Discus is throwing up over itself, I guess a moderator decided that nobody asked the poster I was originally replying to. As you might gather from my response, the poster was basically implying that #Occupy protestors deserve it if they get beanbags, rubber bullets, or beats from the cops.)

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