The NYCLU responded today to March 17th's New York Police attacks on citizens and their Constitution in a scathing press release denouncing an out of control police department. That sounds eerily familar.
March 19, 2012
In response to a weekend of arrests and the closure of Zuccotti Park by the NYPD, New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman issued the following statement:
"The NYPD has once again responded to political protest with the closure of a public forum, arrests and, according to press and eye-witness accounts, violence against journalists and political dissidents.
"The weekend raid on Occupy Wall Street is just the latest in a stream of scandals and abuse that has marred New York City's Police Department. From surveillance of New York City’s Muslim and South Asian communities to the routine street interrogations of New York City's black and Latino men, the NYPD is out of control.
Hardly a day goes by without another story of NYPD abuse hitting the news and undermining the ability of the community to trust the police department. We know the NYPD is watching us, but who is watching the NYPD? New York City is in desperate need of an Inspector General to bring strong, meaningful NYPD oversight, as well as a strong ban on religious and racial profiling. It's time for the City Council to quickly act and pass these important reforms."
If one didn't know better, it would seem that Oakland's Police Department had decided to move to, if not greener, then certainly larger, pastures. Let's review the evidence.
The Same Callous Indifference
On March 17th, NYPD lost any shred of respectibility they'd ever had by denying a convulsing woman medical care, reportedly responding to requests to let medics treat her with "Not our problem."
These tweets are reports from a press conference held today in Liberty Square denouncing the police violence:
NYCLUOn October 25th, the Oakland Police Department, already without any shred of respect throughout much of Oakland, did nothing as Scott Olsen lay bleeding on the street, then as citizens gathered around him to help, tossed a flash-bang grenade into their midst.
Occupier crying retelling story of lady With seizure, nypd denying access to emt #occupywallstreet #ows 'not our problem.'
Occupy Wall Street
"Then I saw a woman lying convulsing on the sidewalk w/ 100 officers around her.I saw 2 licensed EMT's trying 2 get 2 her,blocked by #NYPD"
Occupy Wall Street
"The 911 paramedics we called were surprised, because usually the police call them when this happens" http://ustream.tv/...
The Same Brutality
On March 17th, NYPD bashed at least two random people's heads into windows for the crime of being near Zuccotti Park.
On January 28th, OPD beat some random person with repeated and vicious blows from batons for the crime of being at the tail end of the march.
The Same Level Of Insanity
On March 17th, the NYPD could not countenance the idea of bagpipers -- dangerous felons all of them -- marching into Zuccotti Park.
Occupy Wall StreetOn Thanksgiving Day, the OPD could not conceive of allowing two portapotties into Oscar Grant Plaza, preferring to cause a riot rather than allow people to go to the bathroom.
"The precipitating event of #M17 was a traditional Gaelic band coming to the park" -Eco, of #OWS
The same refusal to heed the Constitution
Occupy Wall StreetNYPD has enforced a "Stop & Frisk" policy that violates the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers, and has given NYPD the impression (backed up by politicians and courts) that they are above the Constitution.
.@ydanis connects #OWS suppression & #StopAndFrisk city-wide.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.OPD has enforced "gang injunctions," policies which violate the constitutional rights of all Oaklanders, and which have given OPD the impression (backed up by politicians and courts) that they are above the Constitution.
Congress shall make no law... abridging... the right of the people peaceably to assemble.It's as if the leaders of our police forces were recruiting their grunts from the same Imperial Storm-Trooper Academy. And who knows? Maybe it's not all that far away, nor that long ago.