Yep, folks, that is our Charlie Grapski! And I couldn't have written a better headline, so why not use it as is?
Yesterday's North Florida Herald spotlighted Charlie and his hard work while pointing out that one person can make a huge difference just by using social media and today's technology:
Charlie Grapski, known in Alachua for stirring local controversy, has edited videos of pepper spraying incidents during Occupy Wall Street demonstrations from his Orlando home which have changed the entire media coverage of the movement.
Want to know why Charlie is under house arrest? Then join me below the donut.
Charlie seems to be the town's local trouble maker,
Grapski, who has been arrested in Alachua on numerous occasions, thinks the Occupy Wall Street movement and issues hit close to home.
He has been arrested (and later found not guilty) for recording audio of a government official without consent. He was carried out of city commission meetings. He protested his jail sentence with a hunger strike.
All are situations where the police or government have abused their power, Grapski said.
What Grapski sees is a broken system where police take advantage of the power they have. Now he continues raising awareness about the police brutality in movements including Occupy Wall Street and Occupy D.C. through social media.
Just in case there are a few of you here unaware of Charlie's work on the pepper spray attacks of Officer Bologna:
Grapski posted the edited videos early on Sept. 24 in a public diary entry on the politically-charged Web blog, The Daily Kos. Immediately, the bloggers worked together to make this entry go viral and to reach all forms of media.
Later that day, the story had been picked up by the Guardian in the U.K. and the New York Times. The videos were featured on Countdown with Keith Olbermann later that night.
I love that line, politically-charged, don't you?
The reporter tells us that the diary had been shared "3,530 times and tweeted 2,710 times" as of Oct. 11. We all know the videos have gone viral on the net and have appeared in countless MSM news programs across the nation.
There have been rumors that Charlie has recently been seen away from his home, but nothing that has been confirmed by multiple sources.
What does Charlie hope comes of all of this:
"My goal is to encourage more people to get involved with the movement," he said.
Check out Charlie's latest work here.
Charlie Grapski has been held in the Alachua County Jail WITHOUT BAIL since October 12. The information in the News Update (attached below) has been sent to supporters, local media, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Your help in spreading the word is appreciated.
7:15 AM PT: From Charlie in a comment below - why he is still under house arrest:
I was found guilty of the latter two battery charges - despite the other fact that the two officers involved gave conflicting (180 degree opposite) testimony.
Also at trial they revealed that they HAD a video of the corridor that they claimed these batteries occurred in but did not turn it over to us and had since destroyed it. Without my attorney and only the public defender - no objection was made - and the evidence that should have been excluded thereby was admitted. The public defender also refused to have me testify about what happened in that corridor - believing that no jury would accept the lack of evidence particularly in light of the evidence that proved the rest of my innocence and their having lied about the charges.
I was given two and a half years house arrest and ten years probation to follow - the maximum - with a five year suspended prison sentence.
Please read the entire comment to get the bigger picture.