REPORT: NYPD Response To Occupy Kinda Fascist, Often Thug-Like And Screamingly Unconstitutional


HUFFINGTON POST: New York City police used unnecessarily aggressive tactics and excessive force against peaceful protesters and illegally suppressed press freedoms during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, an eight-month investigation by a group of attorneys found. Those conclusions were based on hundreds of hours of video footage, detailed witness interviews, and extensive firsthand observations of the protests, according to the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, which detailed the findings in a nearly 200-page report released Wednesday. The group, which includes attorneys from Harvard, Stanford and Rutgers law schools, called on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to launch an independent inquiry into the police response to the protests. Bloomberg maintained during and after the demonstrations that the police response was lawful and appropriate, with the exception of a handful of incidents. “Reform is needed to ensure that U.S. authorities respect and facilitate — rather than suppress — the ability to peacefully protest,” the group said. The mayor’s office has resisted previous calls for an independent review of the police response to the protests, some of the largest seen in New York City in decades. The group said it repeatedly sought meetings with New York City Police Department officials to discuss its concerns and to share evidence of abuses gathered from hundreds of primary sources. The NYPD declined to meet, citing “ongoing criminal and civil litigation” related to the protests. MORE

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GLENN GREENWALD: The now-viral video of police officers in their Robocop costumes sadistically pepper-spraying peaceful, sitting protesters at UC-Davis (details here) shows a police state in its pure form. It’s easy to be outraged by this incident as though it’s some sort of shocking aberration, but that is exactly what it is not. The Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta adeptly demonstrates with an assemblage of video how common such excessive police force has been in response to the Occupy protests. Along those lines, there are several points to note about this incident and what it reflects…MORE

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