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What are your freedoms?

Are you only free until you try to speak out?

Bicycling RNC protester crashed into by a bicyclist cop (who apparently said no-harm, no-foul--ref:2nd video), but arrested anyway (ref:1st video), then abused in jail (ref:2nd video). He's denied food for 12 hours, beat, and bagged (and when he pukes in the bag over his head they refuse to take it off?). They claim he required force to restrain.





Here's a much more detailed account:

http://futurenewstoday.blogspot.com/2008/09/elliot-hughes-american-hero.html

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you outraged? Depressed? Skeptical of the whole scenario? Or just sure that it's not your problem?

I'd also love to hear if you've heard this already. From your friends? From blogs you read? What about from the "mainstream" media?

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
fenmere
Sep. 10th, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC)
One of my friends linked to it.

I'm still kinda processing it.
kaolinfire
Sep. 10th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
thanks
fenmere
Sep. 10th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
After being exposed to so many urban legends on the internet, some of which have actually hit the news, it's really hard to wrap my head around something this incredibly and frightening, no matter how credible it is. It is also rather removed.

On the other hand, part of my initial response is something along the lines of "I told you so." or "See?!? SEE?!?"

But the thing is, police brutality is sadly not that new to our country. It's just a matter of who the subject is and how much they've spoken out and who takes them seriously. Talk to black men, and you'll get all sorts of stories dating from way back when. That this was a political protester makes it particularly creepy, though, because that goes right to our First Amendment.

It's supposed to be the most damning warning sign that a government is headed the wrong way.

But to me, more than half of the story is what people are doing about it. How are they reacting? And I suppose that remains to unfold.

Finally, drawing a connection between a city police force and the national justice system might be premature. We can see that our national justice system looks just as bad if not worse, in the case of "suspected terrorists," but as an isolated case it remains to be judged and dealt with. People are likely to say, "that's just over there, my city ain't like that." And they might be right. There needs to be a stronger connection between this case and the national one, stronger than just a blogger saying it's connected. Perhaps stronger even than "it's happening in our country." And only time and passion will tell on that.

Me? I hope it goes right to the top and blows the whole thing wide open, as they say.

Edited at 2008-09-10 08:26 pm (UTC)
zwol
Sep. 10th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
I don't find it surprising at all. As fenmere said, police brutality is not new, nor even police brutality directed at protesters at a party convention. (Chicago 1968, anyone?) I'd be depressed, but I hit rock bottom on the political depression thing sometime around 2005.

Makes me want to engineer some mind control viruses and take over D.C.
kaolinfire
Sep. 10th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think where I am is mostly beaten down to apathetic because it doesn't seem like anything makes a difference.

Thing is, we keep thinking we're _past_ 1968. I keep thinking? It's nice to pretend? Meh.
zwol
Sep. 10th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
... now, not five years later, if you stand on a hill in Las Vegas and look west ... you can see where that wave finally broke and rolled back.

(Have you read The Armageddon Rag? It's finally back in print and I think you'd like it.)
kaolinfire
Sep. 10th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
I need to read Fear and Loathing. I haven't read The Armageddon Rag. Will keep an eye out for it :)
shweta_narayan
Sep. 10th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
I hadn't heard this, and would like confirmation if possible.

but I think the depression - lack of action - that we have is part of the problem.
kaolinfire
Sep. 10th, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
I expect he'll go through with suing them, and maybe it'll make a bigger splash then. No telling.
kaolinfire
Sep. 10th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
autumnsea
Sep. 11th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Since I live in the southern pond from you guys, I have not heard of this story at all.

But if it is true and it did happen (and this kind of thing is following a pattern elsewhere in your country, or any country for that matter), I truly believe that the entire police force should be assessed and the system re-evaluated from top to bottom. It is sad if it's the case of some majorly misguided police officers who decided that they can be judge, jury and even executioner because of the position and power they hold. I believe maintaining law and order is a worthwhile thing and have respect for law enforcement, yet when stories such as this come out, I wonder with all the actual (major) crime and abhorrent acts occurring in this present climate, why it is necessary to put so much negative and brutal energy into those arrested for such minor (and non-violent) offences.
dissolvedego
Sep. 11th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
i don't know how much of the story is true but i naturally want to assume it's true and not give the benefit of the doubt to the police. i have witnessed cops behaving like low-life thugs on many occasions, and the few times i have asked the police for help i was met with intimidation instead.

police tend to exude a classic gang mentality. if a cop is accused of a crime, no matter how heinous or how damning the evidence is, other cops will come to his defense. they will accuse you of "cop-bashing" for condemning the cop that shot an unarmed child when he was off-duty, or whatever fucked up thing a particular cop did. if you mess with one cop, you mess with ALL cops. and by and large they hold this alliance among themselves higher than anyone else's rights. if a cop does something illegal his cop buddies will cover it up for him rather than rat him out.

i am thoroughly convinced that the police are not there to help me, but rather to keep order and extort money from citizens on behalf of the state to fulfill their extortion quotas.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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