16 May 2012

Newsflash: Cops Lie

Sorry I've been out for a while - took a huge exam last weekend, been recovering.

Just wanted to throw two quick Occupy stories up for y'all to take a look at - one from New York, one from Seattle.

First off, Alexander Arbuckle, a photographer who was arrested in New York on January 1 was acquitted yesterday. He'd been arrested for disorderly conduct. The arrest report said that Arbuckle was standing in the street and blocking traffic after the cops ordered him off of it. The cop who arrested him testified, under oath, that Arbuckle was standing in the street and blocking traffic after the cops ordered Arbuckle off of it.

Problem:

There was a problem with the police account: it bore no resemblance to photographs and videos taken that night. Arbuckle's own photographs from the evening place him squarely on the sidewalk. All the video from the NYPD's Technical Research Assistance Unit, which follows the protesters with video-cameras (in almost certain violation of a federal consent decree), showed Arbuckle on the sidewalk. And in an indication of the way new media are transforming the dynamics of street protest, a clip from the live-stream of journalist Tim Pool showed that not only was Arbuckle on the sidewalk, so were all the other protesters. The only thing blocking traffic on 13th Street that night was the police themselves.
In other words: the cops lied in their arrest report, a cop lied under oath, and then the case was dismissed after Arbuckle showed video, both from the cops (which means the cops had it before the other cop testified) and from Occupy, proving that the cops lied.

Hurrah.

Second, Joshua Garland, who was arrested for assaulting a police officer at the May Day protests in Seattle. The charge was for "grabbing an officer's hand and twisting and pulling his arm," which, I don't know, seems kind of stupid. Again, charges were going ahead, again, the cops were ready to testify, again, footage came out of the guy completely not doing the thing that he was arrested for.
After reviewing video provided by Garland's defense attorney showing the alleged incident, prosecutors no longer believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yeah, that's great, except, you know, you arrested the guy, threw him in a jail cell, and put his name out to the media as one of the big, bad protesters who necessitated your "emergency measures" downtown.

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