Sunday, September 27, 2009
Cops run wild in Obama’s America
by Larry Geller
It seemed that under Bush, surveillance of ordinary Americans had escalated, and that police were using the information gained to unlawfully crack down on peaceful and fully legal protests.
Well, here we are in Obama’s America, and police brutality has actually escalated. In Pittsburg, location of the G20 summit:
National Lawyers Guild members witnessed first-hand yesterday the unwarranted display and use of force by police in residential neighborhoods, often far from any protest activity.
Police deployed chemical irritants, including CS gas, and long-range acoustic devices (LRAD) in residential neighborhoods on narrow streets where families and small children were exposed. Scores of riot police formed barricades at many intersections throughout neighborhoods miles away from the downtown area and the David Lawrence Convention Center. Outside the Courtyard Marriott in Shadyside, police deployed smoke bombs in the absence of protest activity, forcing bystanders and hotel residents to flee the area. [OpEd News, National Lawyers Guild: Cops Run Wild in Pittsburgh, 9/25/2009]
Police hid their IDs, used force and gas on students not involved with protests, rioted and harassed peaceful citizens, and violated court orders not to interfere with demonstrations.
Here is an article containing some eyewitness accounts of police action, and there are YouTube videos in wide circulation.
Most troublesome to me is the willingness of police to use gas, rubber bullets, and even the long-range acoustic weapons previously used in Iraq and to repel Somali pirates. These weapons may be non-lethal (unless they cause aneurisms!) but it would appear that they can destroy hearing and cause other health problems.
September 11, 2009 (San Diego) – “Long-range acoustic devices [LRADs] for crowd control can be extremely dangerous. These are used in Iraq to control insurgents. They can cause serious and lasting harm to humans…We want to know WHY our Sheriff Dept has this weapon,” Sal Magallanez of San Diego-based Liberty One Radio said in an e-mail sent to East County Magazine, prompting a joint investigation. [East County Magazine, Sonic weapons used in Iraq positioned at Congressional townhall meetings in San Diego County, 9/11/2009]
Probably there will be lawsuits, and probably the authorities will lose. Probably they have figured the settlement costs and decided that they’d rather pay for defying court orders and for their unlawful brutality. Of course, it’s not their money, it’s taxpayer money, and of course, the cops by and large suffer no consequences for their brutality.
This time we can’t blame the Gestapo tactics on Bush.
Check out the 1:55 mark in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNyV7UQJpyY
These are more military than civilian police. This is the North American Command in operation.
See also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8NMyUHlFhM