Every now and then I switch over to a live update version of the weekend recap. I’ve decided to do that today with all the information coming in from New York about police actions at the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations where at least 80 were arrested yesterday. Remember, I can only report on information that is publicly available for review, so if you know of a credible report of misconduct that I missed please do contact me and let me know about it. You can reach us here by using the contact page link on the right or on Twitter at @David_NPMSRP.
With that said, here are the 18 reports tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this weekend of September 24-25, 2011:
- A higher-ranking New York NY police officer was caught on video needlessly pepperspraying at least 3-4 female protesters who were already fenced in during the #occupywallstreet protest. The video clearly shows the women were not posing a threat or resisting any commands at the point they were sprayed. A photo of the officer afterward shows him laughing while texting on his phone. Police officials insist it wasn’t misconduct and that the women were interfering with the deployment of the net, which they insist was somehow edited out of all the videos released. This is unlikely given the number of different videos from different angles showing this event. Besides, if this justification were true, you would see the officers move the net forward after the pepperspray was deployed and the women retreated, which doesn’t happen. Interestingly, one site is alleging that the officer who allegedly peppersprayed them is named “Bologna“. Here is an account of what happened from one of the girls seen in the video.  bit.ly/pX9lb0
- New York NY police are heard refusing to let one of the female #occupywallstreet protesters who was needlessly peppersprayed use a bathroom as she cried and begged while detained in a police vehicle afterward. It’s alleged she had already been detained for about 2 hours after being peppersprayed at the point that this video was taken.  yfrog.com/1sb4nz
- New York NY police shown on video throwing a non-violent protester to the ground, allegedly giving him a concussion. While there is some debate that the video does show the protester passively resisting the officer’s efforts to cuff him, use of passive resistance is low on the use of force continuum and generally does not warrant that kind of takedown, especially with the risk of head injuries. Another video shows the undercover officer in red actually performed a leg sweep on him, though it’s unclear if he actually hits his head.  bit.ly/p7B53T
- 2 New York NY cops are shown in the above photo apparently grabbing a woman by the breasts while pulling her away to be detained during the #occupywallstreet protest. It’s clear that the officer on the left is causing her some significant pain as it appears that he’s actually lifting her up by her breast. Given how small she is and that they never even took the pen out of her hand when they detained her it’s hard to argue that she was presenting any threat at the time, which means they should have had time to grab her by the arms instead of where they are both grabbing her. In that context this image is particularly disturbing even without additional context. However, if anyone has more information about this photo please let us know.
- New York NY police officer shown on video throwing cafe worker to ground for what appears to be complaining about being shoved by cop at #occupywallstreet protest, claims he wasn’t even a part of the protest, just a bystander.  http://t.co/zyywgwZh
- This video out of New York NY shows a questionable arrest by NYPD as well. Police appear to go after this protester for nothing more than repeatedly saying “is this what you’re about?” Sure, it might be annoying, but that isn’t a legally justifiable excuse to selectively pick him out of a crowd of protesters and violently arrest him. youtu.be/5rbXfelyIoM
- Atlanta GA police face more allegations of illegal strip searches by 3 young men claimng they were groped in public. A civil suit with similar allegations was settled for $200k earlier this month and another similar suit is planned for filing next week while that city’s civilian review board claims they’ve documented a disturbing pattern of illegal road-side strip searches and body cavity searches.  http://t.co/QRqSHcZZ
- Cowlitz Co WA deputies are accused in a lawsuit of encouraging the use of excessive force against female protesters by private security at a union strike/protest. The deputies are accused of fist bumping and cheering at the security officers when they removed the protesters, injuring some of the women.  bit.ly/ox4hrJ
- Los Angeles Co CA sheriff’s dept is being investigated by the FBI over allegations of excessive force by deputies at county jail including one incident allegedly witnessed by an ACLU lawyer who claims a detainee was beaten into unconsciousness then beaten some more.  lat.ms/o4uslS
- Vancouver BC cop is accused of using unecessary force on actor DJ Qualls as he was trying to point out an assault suspect to officers after a bar fight he wasn’t involved with. The officer was accused of telling him “you think you’re fucking better than me?” during the incident where the actor wasn’t charged.  bit.ly/mT5Tcc
- 2 Bexar Co deputies sued alleging they physically abused then taunted 2 Las Vegas gaming executives after falsely accusing them of scalping. They were eventually released without charges after employees at the venue informed officers they were guests.  bit.ly/n8g83T
- Dallas Co TX deputy constable was sentenced to 1year in jail for unauthorized use of a vehicle but only received probation for 2 sexual assault and 2 bribery charges, apparently because he’s ill.  bit.ly/qWv0TB
- Salinas CA cop sentenced to 6 months jail after pleading no contest to molesting a 12yr-old Nepalese girl who, to compound insult to injury, was forced to attend counceling with the officer after the incident.  bit.ly/r9OiBc
- El Paso Co CO sheriff agrees to stop questionable raids on businesses in an effort to collect outstanding fees. The collection of fees is normally a civil court process and the raids have been likened to a strong-arm collection tactic after officers were accused of taking cash from one business.  http://bit.ly/qEiZHE
- 2 Pierce Co WA deputies found guilty of perjury for lying about entering a home without a warrant in order to seize a firearm. They claimed the man brought the gun out to them when they asked for it.  bit.ly/r8rHy2
- Denver CO took nearly 2 years to drop charges against a woman who was arrested for leaving her disabled daughter on a bus after a cop, who later resigned over a separate excessive force case, had ordered her to get off the bus after she had called police to report being threatened by a passenger who was upset she got to get on first with her disabled daughter. The officer’s report was apparently contradicted by video from the bus.  http://t.co/cWwr15Z8
- 4 Bartlesville OK cops suspended while they are the subject of a state investigation into unspecified allegations of official misconduct http://t.co/6FMYcOpO
- Pennsylvania State trooper already facing hearing for one DUI charge is arrested on suspicion of DUI again  http://t.co/Dy6vnvZa
I’m still trying to get more information about claims associated with the following photograph taken during the #occupywallstreet protest at New York City NY on Saturday in order to validate the associated claim and determine if it qualifies for entry into our statistical database. I can’t add a report based on a photo alone and a small caption beneath it.
A caption at one site alleges that one of these people being detained is a journalist from PBS. While the one person sitting up on both knees appears to have some sort of credentials around his neck, I can’t determine if they are press credentials. Need confirmation on this one, especially since PBS isn’t complaining that one of their people was detained.
That’s it for this weekend, stay safe out there!