Cops hitting cyclists!

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cbobc
Participant
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Just saw on channel 11 some kids in oakland, they were leaving and the cops were smacking them with clubs. The kids did not look like protesters and the news indicated that they were their to see all the commotion going on. As it looked on television they were moving along in an orderly fashion, the whole time the people on bikes were being hit from behind with billy clubs.

One girl, about 100 lb, was hit repeatedly and fed up turned around and said something. She was hit multiple times by large, 200+ lb, cops with billy clubs. After a few hits she turned and threw her bike at a cop and was tackled. Good for her.

The media on the scene made as if the police were in danger. If these large neanderthals smacking a tiny woman with billy clubs are feeling intimidated then they should not be peace officers.

I must repeat for emphasis the people on bikes were leaving in an orderly fashion, but for some reason the cops felt the need to push and hit anyone on a bike with a billy club.


jakeliefer
Participant
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cbobc
Participant
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Thanks for the link.

I was going to try to find it tomorrow, glad you are

on it sooner.

I think the video speaks for itself.


netviln
Participant
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Although the video looks incriminating, you don’t know what happened before the video started. I am in no way defending the actions of the cop and just using the video, then I can see how someone would think the cop, one in particular, over-reacted.

If you watch it carefully tho, the girl is who overreacts first according to the video. From what I can tell, the officers are just pushing her to move her along. Yes, one uses a club to push, but it is definitely a push, not a strike. In response to being pushed, the girl uses her bike as a weapon. The officer then did what they are trained to do. He delivered a single strike. The second officer then took the girl to the ground.

Discretion is the better part of valor tho, and once the “protests” turned into anarchist mobs smashing storefronts, then you should probably avoid the area.


cbobc
Participant
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When originally viewed live you actually do see what happened before the (online) video starts. The police were “pushing” people along, including the woman on the bike. Everyone was walking calmly and were packed pretty tight. There was no reason to push anyone, maybe they got a kick out of it.

I thought initially they may have wanted people to dismount their bikes but, it seems that if you dismounted you got hit again.( We’ll quibble on the semantics of push v. hit. I would say a quick strike to the neck with a baton and the weight differential lend credence to my wording.)

Also, why is it always that the officer was doing what he was trained to do? Is he merely an animal without the volition to act with varying force and methods to different situations? I mean

I sure as sh%t would not hit some small woman in the face with a baton if she threw her 18 lb fixie at me, then again, I don’t have the advantage of all that training.

One more point of agitation for me, sorry its early :0, is the idea that some anarchist mob’s (hyperbole)actions decide that people should be treated like a bovine multitude to be prodded and harassed is appalling to me.

I may not agree with the protesters but representative democracy is in trouble if gathering for redress is automatically met with cs gas and the swing of batons.

Sorry if this response seems grouchy but these things really annoy me. I hope I haven’t been too snarky and that this turns to be a constructive conversation.


Bikelove2010
Participant
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This type of thing happened, on a smaller scale, during the super bowl win. The police told everyone to leave over the loudspeaker thing. Then they began literally walking down the street in a line and pushing people off Carson. If you didn’t move, you were beaten, zip tied(to replace cuffs) and thrown in a van. I saw people walk off carson then try to come back and they were threatened. I think cops get in this mode and can’t see that we are people. I was watching this from my window, on Carson. People live here you know. The people that we’re being threatened for returning to the street we’re with other people inside a bar, but they we not allowed to return. If you look like you may be a threat, then you are, and you are from then on treated like sh%t.

It’s ALMOST, a little bit, kind of understandable that if you were in a crowd of protesters, you might see kids on bikes as such and use force(not nearly the force they used though, that was ridiculous), BUT this doesn’t just happen for world leaders. It happens for football, are you kidding me? Football? I think there are serious issues with the way these types of things are handled.


netviln
Participant
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I understand your position, I really do. I am not law enforcement, but have several friends who are. Training is what protects them. Mental conditioning training mean that when you are in the thick of it, you do what you were taught to do and not let emotions or panic keep you from doing your job. It is the same for soldiers, etc. When you are faced with a large group of people, and you have rocks and dumpsters being hurled towards you, I know I would be on edge. Police are human too, they make mistakes.

Again, I am not defending those particular officers, only offering another view.

According to media, there were in fact 12 other protests that went off peacefully and without incident. So why was this one different. In my opinion, and this is just an opinion, its because major groups of the “protesters” really had nothing to protests and were there from the beginning to do nothing but cause unrest. Many of the protesters were there to march for their causes, and I have absolutely no problem with their actions, but others in the group were there to antagonize.

I also am only one cup of coffee in so don’t know if any of that makes sense.


cbobc
Participant
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I’m up to cup three now so I’ve mellowed.

The people in the video were not protesters. They were students milling about taking pictures and videos. They were ordered to leave and took their time doing so which may have annoyed the police.

The start point of the you tube video is when they are dispersing. People were moving along fine and peacefully in a tight line. I just don’t see why the officers felt the need to push people.(there wasn’t really anywhere to go, or a way to move faster) It seems like a sure way to escalate a dispersion into something more sinister.

Violence usually begets violence. People get angry when they are doing as told and are pushed around for their effort.

For what its worth. Am watching pcnc now and the reports are totally different from what I saw live last night.


Bikelove2010
Participant
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I totally agree, there were a lot of people/kids down there that seemed like they were looking for something to make a scene about. Those people ruin it for “real” protestors.


robjdlc
Participant
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I was in Oakland last night up until just before the police started to switch to pepper canisters. If you check my twitter stream you’ll note that early in the night I said “People on bikes stay OUT of the crowd. You will be trampled.”

This was just after the police pushed the crowd further back, and I had to run straight back and was met with a dude on a bike who couldn’t mount up fast enough to get out of the way. He was then pushed and shoved by 20 people trying to get out of the path of the police.

The police weren’t running, or pushing anyone, they were just forwarding their lines. If you don’t get out of the way fast enough, the police have to keep their line, and will push you if you don’t move.

The combination of being in a place which they were told to move from constantly at the time of the video, combined with their inability to mount up and ride off, is what lead to the girl being pushed. She had no place throwing her bike at a cop, just as much as you have no place throwing your keys at a cop that pulls you over for a ticket. The moment you act aggressively you are more than just a bystander or protester, you are a threat, regardless of race, sex, age or size.

When the police instruct crowds to disperse, they warn that failure to do so can result in police action including force and chemicals that can cause bodily harm.

This crowd was told to disperse several times, did not, and they were met with force.


Kordite
Participant
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> If you watch it carefully tho,

What I saw is the one cop shove her. Then, when she swings her leg back over the bike to get off it, she is shoved by another cop. She then throws the bike (not striking the officer, by the way). She is clocked in the side of the head by the first cop. A bike cop punches in the other side of the head and yet another cop (I think the one that had shove her the second time) takes a backhand swing at her head that misses because she’s going down.

But you also need to look at what else is going on. Just before her altercation, another cyclist just ahead of her was shoved almost to the ground and, a little later, another cyclist is shoved.

This is a lot of shoving for a group of people who are moving away in an fairly orderly manner.

I don’t see the officers acting in the interest of public safety. Their actions of shoving people around who were in the process of complying with their orders to move only escalated the situation.

I worry about what these bullies are going to be like towards cyclists once the “state of emergency” is over. How long will it take them to come don off their sugar high and begin acting fairly. That is, if they ever acted fairly in the first place. Cyclists don’t seem to get much benefit of the doubt in this city and I fear that these guys are only acting on the baser impulses that they don’t get to display on a normal day.


robjdlc
Participant
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Also, note that the officers did not throw punches, but hooked the side of her neck with the inside of their forearm to get her to the ground.


TwoDogs
Participant
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Gee, I and many others were out riding last night. No police officers hit me with anything. Then again, I wasn’t in the middle of a “disturbance”. Lay down with dogs, wake up with fleas.


bennyh
Participant
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In all fairness…what did these people think they were getting themselves into anyway. This police presence was on the move all freaking day and if you are out there putting yourself in the thick of it then you’re kind of asking for it. These people weren’t protesting they were just milling about. Granted, they weren’t being disorderly and did have every right to be where they were when they were there. The thing that most irks me is the organized police force could basically show up anywhere where people are gathering and force them out by being nasty bullies. true story, friends from work had planned to play capture the flag in Shcenley on wednesday. how funny would that have been to have a bunch of people running through the woods with black clothing during the anarchist protest. we decided to move our play date back a week. This is all just soooooo stupid to me. on everyone’s part. go home already g 20


dmtroyer
Participant
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I’d be curious to know where the cops who were shoving are from. I was in Lawrenceville & Bloomfield photographing most of the afternoon. Pittsburgh cops were chatty and very nice to me (maybe because of the pirates hat and semi-professional camera equipment), even soon after confrontation with protesters and having dumpsters rolled down Liberty at them. The only cops that I saw being the least bit hostile to peds were from out of town, Chicago in particular.


greenbike
Participant
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You know, I was wondering the same thing. I just watched this and am really wondering if they stuck out-of-town cops on campus. That would have been a dumb thing to do in my book.


robjdlc
Participant
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Considering how many officers were there last night (at least 1500) there had to be a lot of out of state support.


Lyle
Participant
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Bringing out-of-town muscle in to supress local uprisings is as old as the Caesars. If not older.


alankhg
Participant
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At least half of the wall-o’-cops in Schenley Plaza was gray-shirted state troopers. The guys with tear gas launchers were dressed in green fatigues, which I don’t think Pittsburgh cops wear– maybe county?


Mick
Participant
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Early in one video, I saw the cops pushing a guy on a bike (looks like someone I know). The guy is moving along in the direction that it appears the police want him to move when the biker is shoved sideways.

He instantly gets off his bike and starts walking. That is the right thing to do.

A sideways shove when you are moving on a bicycle is an assault. To me, that clearly shows the police acting inappropriately and illegally in some cases.

There was a massive police presence. One valid justification for that is you can make arrests and control the crowd without getting brutal.

This business of throwing a 100 lb person to the ground? Unnecessary. Inaapropriate.

If there is policy and training that specifies that behavior, then the policy and training needs to be changed.

One thing I see that leaves me seething with anger at the innappropriateness of it. NONE of the police have visible badge numbers.

That means that, in a court of law, with “reasonable doubt,” none of them are are accountable for their actions.

That infuriates me.

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/21118413/detail.html#

I’m not really sure who is right and who is wrong here.

The DA is talking about bringing serious charges against this girl. I don’t see anyone in the DA’s office talking about charging any of the police.

Is there some legal fund for Lauren Wasson that people could donate to?

Mick


alankhg
Participant
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I believe she’s represented by the ACLU, so, yes.


Lee
Participant
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yeah. What’s the difference between two huge men shoving her and her whipping the bike? If they were not justified to arrest her at the time, then what gives them the right to shove her? If it was a crime for her to stand in their way (and failure to disperse may have been that crime) they should have arrested her for that instead of goading her into retaliation.


TwoDogs
Participant
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Nobody was “goading” her. She was out there looking for a confrontation and she got it.


alankhg
Participant
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Doubtful. Lots of kids out in Oakland on Thursday and Friday were just going through their routines– I have a friend arrested just walking back from a concert. I know several others arrested when they just out peacefully observing what was happening. Pretty much no one I saw was actively confronting police.

Whether you consider going outside when there are riot cops around to be ill-advised or not, it’s hard to call any of those things “looking for a confrontation.”

(And then there are the kids who were gassed in their dorms. None of them were looking for confrontations, either.)


rsprake
Participant
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When you are walking as fast as the person in front of you what are you supposed to do? They (the police) were looking for a confrontation IMO.

Apparently the city is not going to press charges or whatever cities do.


Nick D
Participant
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Nobody was “goading” her. She was out there looking for a confrontation and she got it.

Were you there?

Here is a petition for her.


greenbike
Participant
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There were kids in restaurants where tear gas had drifted in that ran into the street to get fresh air….and got gassed or something else shot at them.

Should the lady have been there? No. Should she have flipped the bike? No. Should the cops have thwacked her to the ground and dragged her? No. Should they have kept hitting people to move faster? No.

There are wrongs all around, so to say “well, she deserved it” is just ridiculous. That’s about the same as saying that a mugging victim deserved it because they were walking home from the bus at night.


Nick D
Participant
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People on both sides made mistakes. The difference is, one side is paid and trained not to do stupid things.

If you want to live in a place where Police have absolute power, you are in the wrong country.


Willie
Participant
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I agree with you ndromb, lets just hope it stays that way.


cbobc
Participant
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Hear Hear!

Now for some T.J.

1)I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.

2)All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.


TwoDogs
Participant
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Ok, you posted some TJ. We’ve all read that before. That gas was passed 200+ years ago. The will of the majority no longer prevails in the United States (witness the current health care horsepoop).


Lyle
Participant
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The will of the majority sadly does prevail. See Alexis de Tocqueville…


scott
Keymaster
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