Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Assault: Part 2
I wanted to comment on a couple of things that you won't see from the video of the alleged assault.
Within minutes of the police first arriving I was detained by the other plainclothes officer. I pulled out my camera phone to begin recording the encounter and he immediately put his hand over the lens so I wouldn't be able to record his face. I stated, very clearly, "Get your hand off my camera. That's assault." I repeated this at least once.
After the first activist was taken into custody I noticed two of the officers were chatting off to the side, the one I "assaulted" and one that appeared to be the ranking officer on the scene. I approached them to ask what my friend was being arrested for and where he was being taken. They told me to sit down and don't worry about it.
I asked if they would be worried if men with guns took one of their friends away when the plainclothes officer that didn't want to be recorded started pushing me in the direction of a park bench. I may have made another comment about him assaulting me again, I don't recall for sure, but I definitely asked the other two officers why they wouldn't answer my questions.
All this time I had refused to answer any of their questions and this of course was their answer to why they wouldn't answer mine. When I explained that if I was forced to pay for their services I should expect them to be accountable, one officer actually laughed. The relevance of my pointing this out will be clear in a future post.
Ok, so you see the video of the "assault" taking place in the previous post and then my room mate's camera shuts off on his phone. After the police place me in cuffs I drop to my knees, preparing to go limp. Some of my friends here have heard me say before that I would only make them drag me away if I was arrested for something extremely dumb. This seemed like one of those somethings.
These guys were not happy about my unwillingness to stand and walk. They kept saying "C'mon. Be a man. Get up." as if cooperating with a kidnapper is the masculine thing to do. I refused and wasn't speaking so they drug me to the paddy wagon, literally threw me in and off we go to the Manchester police station.
"You gonna walk now? There's no video camera now. No friends to impress." was what they asked when we arrived at the station. I refused to speak and they drug me into the booking area and not-so-gently placed me to a bench next to the first activist who was arrested.
After he processed with the booking officer I was told I would have to stand at their counter. I said nothing, so they drug me the eight or nine feet and set me on the floor on my knees. Within seconds the arresting officer laid me on my side stating I would probably intentionally fall forward to hit my face or head against the counter so I could sue the police department.
They told me I had to cooperate with the booking process to be released and asked my name. I again asked them if I was lawfully required to provide them with that information. They said I was and I asked to see it in writing, stating I believed I was only lawfully required to provide fingerprints and a mugshot. They would not provide me with the information.
I changed out of most of my clothes myself and walked into the holding cell where I was to await transport to the county jail. When they were ready to take me, I again refused to walk and was dragged, more violently now, to the booking bench and slammed down to the floor then lifted to the bench by my neck. Yes, my neck.
The same officer flung me into the garage through the air, forcing me to land on my elbows because I was handcuffed. Two of them threw me into the paddy wagon and I was off to Valley Street, the nickname of the county jail.