Police choke non-violent protester at Occupy San Diego (video)

[Video Link]

From the description for this video by photographer and military veteran Adam Plantz:

Bob O'Grady being arrested in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza for laying inside of his sleeping bag to stay warm while a group of non-violent occupiers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Encinitas, and other transplants from various locations across the US pow-wow under an erected U.S. flag in the heart of the plaza; in celebration of Veteran's Day. SDPD uses excessive force to apprehend Bob, a SDPD officer uses a choking technique I never knew was legal in the continuum of force ladder. That must come after using a closed fist to assault the suspect in the face.

The San Diego Reader reports that O'Grady is 28 years old, and that he was choked and arrested at around 2:35 AM Saturday morning in San Diego's Civic Center Plaza after police ordered him to "exit his sleeping bag and sit up." The video above shows that he appeared to pose no threat to the armed officers surrounding him. Read eyewitness reports here.



  1. Lets be fair, he’s resisting and that isn’t a sleeper hold just an arm around his neck, his face was not turning blue. Don’t resist don’t get treated roughly, simple.

    1. Let’s actually be fair. How are you supposed to be civilly disobedient without being disobedient? How does non-violence justify violence?

  2.  Please everyone, as bad as this is, do not respond with violence against the police. Non-violence is the way to go.

    No one should strike against law enforcement until we have enough power to shock them into not hurting us.. We may never get that power and we can win without that power. Let us take the path of peace, whatever the costs.

    1. Just in case you were sort of responding to my comment, I just want to clarify that I’m not advocating violence against the police.  I’m saying that if Law Enforcement can use that kind of force with impunity, than so should we be able to.  There are no classes in our society.  LE are not a special elevated class.  If they inappropriately use force (which I believe this video exemplifies) then they should be held accountable and punished.

      Honestly, with the insane over-use of force by police in the past month, I’m surprised that nobody has gone postal on the police.  I’m not making a political statement or a qualifying statement, I’m just honestly surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

      1. Law enforcement *shouldn’t* be a special elevated class. Problem is, they are. The end result of decades of our population being force-fed the idea that we’d have less crime and trouble if only the cops could take the gloves off and do the job without liberal bleeding hearts stopping them from doing so.

        1. Part and parcel of that force feeding is that somehow we are not responsible for our own personal safety and security, and that we should let the State handle it. I mean, that’s what the police are for, isn’t it? The result of that is a class of hyper-armed people with a sense that they are right no matter what.

          1. Police do not stop crimes, they clean up afterwards and write reports about crimes.  The victim of a violent crime is a very lucky person if the police interrupt it in time.  The more we push for police funding as a solution to “lower crime rates” or “fix crime”, the more we are going to wind up with a police state, and crime rates will go up or down unaffected.  Police are totally necessary in an ordered, free society.  But we have been deluded into believing that they are the solution to the various bad things that people do.  Bad guys have guns?  Use machine guns!  Bad guys are organized? Use military tactics against citizens!  Bad guys have “rights”?  Use TANKS.

            Disclaimer: When I say “Bad guys” above, I should be saying “suspected bad guys”.  The State literally has no method of determining guilt without Due Process of Law.  Nobody is a bad guy until they’ve been convicted by a jury of their peers.  <—– WHICH IS WHY JURY DUTY IS SO IMPORTANT.

            And, upon re-reading your comment, I see that you and I are saying the same thing.  Good on ya.

          2. Police do not stop crimes, they clean up afterwards and write reports about crimes.

            Maybe in Utopia. Here we just fill out our own online report. No need to bother the cops with something trivial like a stolen car or a break-in.

  3. The Police seem hell bent on turning a protest movement into civil war.  With the documented examples of brutality, how long before elements of the 99% take on the police proactively and I dont mean frontal assaults at demos.

  4. One thing I’ve wondered is what would happen if everyone just went to the police station and insisted that they be arrested.  Probably jail wouldn’t be so bad if it were full of your protestor friends singing protest songs and chants.  For just this guy to be singled out, he’s going to be bored and lonely.

    I live in Kenya, and I’ve never been in jail so I don’t know what it’s like.  Maybe it is really as frightening and terrible as the authorities would like you to believe.

    1. Regretfully, erro27, in the US in particular the jails are every bit as terrible as the authorities would like you to believe; largely because they’re run as a private enterprise for profit.  More dangerous, however, is a legal and social system dedicated heavily to stigmatizing anyone who’s ever been arrested. Even a completely false arrest (say, the extreme of outright criminal extortion by a police officer, with all charges dropped the next day) can have serious knock-on effects on your career and life for decades.

  5. I’m a strong supporter of the ‘Occupy’ movement but, I’m afraid that after the second and third requests for him to put his hands behind his back (And he was hollering “no” ), he lost any argument about this being a case of unjustified force….as all they were doing was apprehending him & trying to get the cuffs on him.

    Not even close to being police brutality.

    1. So in your view a person verbally protesting a command warrants the escalation of unrelated force (last a checked strangling someone soes not have the side effect of him putting his hands on his back)? Right… this is just an indication of how far you already have fallen. If you don’t do something about this soon your county definitely will implode in a major cataclysm.

      Obey your masters right?

  6. are we really debating about whether or not someone should go to jail for audibly denying consent to a man choking them?

  7. The USA is a joke. I love the americans I’ve met and hung out with, but that country seems pretty messed up.

  8. Screw going after the individual officers in whole perpetrate these abuses. I’d like to see their bosses, who seem indifferent towards this behavior, fired. It’s called trickle down accountability.

    Also, what I know about cops is mostly from TV but isn’t there an internal affairs division that should be getting involved here?

  9. Shock them into not hurting us? Let’s see, they’ve fractured skulls, cracked ribs, spit, punched, slapped, gassed…

    Yeah, waiting for them to be shocked? Not really working. You’ll notice something from the successful Arab-Spring countries. Eventually they stood up and took power back rather than hoping that the people with the boot on their neck would give it to them out of kindness.

    Violence is coming and, if only targetted towards abusive and thuggish officers, it may be the ONLY thing to shock police into waking up…

  10. some place, somewhere, someone is murdered, a woman is raped, a child is abused, but instead of spending time and money on these crimes, it took 1/2 dozen officers to arrest one peaceful protester in a sleeping bag. God love America.

  11. Growing up here, all the history books in grade school taught us that the French Revolution was bad and extreme and unjust.

    The more I have read about the French Revolution and the more I see what is and has been happening to our country, the more I understand how and why the French Revolution happened the way it did………….

    ………. and the less I judgmental I am about what they did …………  

    The oligarchy will go to any length to protect its wealth and power. It isn’t the revolutionaries that escalated the violence, it is the entrenched power. The revolutionaries just responded in kind.

  12. Let me explain a little further.  I was using force as an apt example of how I believe police and “normal people” should be the same.

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