Occupy Wall Street: Bad Apples In The Big Apple

Rotten Apple - photo by Aaron Katchen

I want to preface this post by saying I generally give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the police. They have dangerous and challenging jobs and they deserve our respect for keeping us safe. However, citizens should receive respect as well. Officers that abuse their authority do not deserve the benefit of the doubt when there is damning video evidence.

It appears most of the police forces assigned to the Occupy Wall Street protests have done their jobs well. It also appears most of the protesters have been peaceful. I say most only because I can’t speak for everyone there. I can only go by the articles I’ve read and the videos I’ve seen. What is clear, regardless of context, is that some NYPD officers have escalated certain situations and acted in aggression towards non-threatening people — whether it’s slamming people to the ground, acting aggressively towards those capturing video, or using pepper spray on peaceful female protesters.

 

There will likely be complaints and possibly lawsuits resulting from the brutality of a select few officers. It is expected that the NYPD will do an internal investigation but severe punishments are unlikely. It is my hope that the public put pressure on the NYPD to police its own and re-assign, suspend or even fire those that cannot perform their duties professionally and respectfully.

Change.org – Human Rights Petition: NYC Mayor & Police Chief: STOP BRUTALITY against WALL ST. Protesters

The Provocation – Free Speech Under Fire All Over as New York Protests Spread

Imagine for a moment what would happen if they insisted on exercising their Second Amendment rights to bear arms, the same rights Rick Perry, the NRA and their allies so tenaciously defend. They’d be taken down to the ground faster than you could say, “Make my day.”

More coverage of Occupy Wall Street

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Human Rights

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  • I guess we also need to remember that it was the New York police who helped subdue similar protests in London. There was looting in London, though so far I have seen no reports of that in New York. Your points are well-taken, and cities across the country should prepare for this coming tide. Police need to reflect upon their motto of protecting and serving ALL citizens, even those who are protesting out of desperation and righteous anger at condoned theft by Wall Street bailouts and bonuses at the expense of homes and jobs.

    • I was conflicted on whether I even wanted to write this post because I don’t want it to sound like police bashing. But at the same time, police departments only harm their cause when they protect a few officers that cross the line.