Sunday, November 20, 2011
Non-Violent Protests: "And they are met with fear..." - The Atlantic Senior Political Editor On #Occupy-Related Police Violence
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Senior Politics editor
Nov 19 2011, 6:58 PM ET
The dousing of seated, non-violent students with a chemical agent at U.C. Davis should provoke a call for restraint. These images show their experience is not unique.
[Pepper Spray in use @ #OccupySeattle]
Police dressed in riot gear at U.C. Davis on Friday afternoon used pepper spray to clear seated protesters from the university quad where they had set up a small Occupy encampment, pro-actively and repeatedly dousing the passively-resisting students with a chemical agent designed to cause pain and suffering in order to make it easier to remove them.
[UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike from the RECORDS DEPARTMENT gets his chance to 'kill commies']
It is hard to look at this kind of attack and think this is how we do things in America.
And yet it is all too American.
America has a very long history of protests that meet with excessive or violent response, most vividly recorded in the second half of the 20th century. It is a common fantasy among people born in the years since the great protests movements -- and even some not so great ones -- that they would have stood on the bold side of history had they been alive at the time and been called to make a choice. But the truth is that American protest movements in real time -- and especially in their early days -- often appear controversial, politically difficult, out-of-the-mainstream, and dangerous. And they are met with fear...
A profile of one of the perpetrators here:
D0Xing the Abusers: Introducing Lt. John Pike, UC Davis Pepper Spraying "officer"
«o» Pertinent California Codes & Rulings in re the official use of Pepper Spray:
United States Court of Appeals,Ninth Circuit
HEADWATERS FOREST DEFENSE v. COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
"Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the protestors, we conclude that Philip and Lewis are not entitled to qualified immunity because the use of pepper spray on the protestors' eyes and faces was plainly in excess of the force necessary under the circumstances, and no reasonable officer could have concluded otherwise." (source)
California Penal Code Section 12403.7(a)(8)(g):The code goes on to add further sanctions if, lets say someone knowingly pepper sprays a police officer etc, but the above, based on the 9th Circuit Court's ruling in a civil case ought to go a long way towards convicting ANY official in California who commits, or perhaps even authorizes such an act.
"Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except in self-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years or in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment,"
To show us how out of touch with law the average police officer is (and to add to the extensive list of why one should NEVER ask a law enforcement official for legal advice), simply read the words of UC police Capt. Margo Bennett who said:
"The individuals who linked arms and actively resisted, that in itself is an act of violence,"
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