Sunday, April 6, 2014

Police State Blues: Denver Police Proving Reputation as Protest against Police Brutality ends with Police Brutality




Denver Police have a history of acting out their histrionics through bully actions and excessive presence.  Yesterday seemed to prove that rule once again.

Denver Anons (Denver members of the net-based collective also known as Anonymous) organized their monthly, nonviolent,  #Every5th (every month on the 5th since November, 2013) protest march through downtown Denver.

This march,  like all others, was a nonviolent act in support of the people and remained a nonviolent protest in response to the police riot in Albuquerque last month and the continued blatant and  ridiculously excessive force used by Albuquerque's police that has culminated in the shooting deaths of 23 out of 28 people since 2010 (it's not lost on anyone that the town of Albuquerque is only 555,417 per the 2012 census).

Starting at the bronze Liberty Bell replica at Lincoln Park at Civic Center, the marchers of Denver wound through the streets towards the 16th Street Mall - 16th Street Mall, a once busy inner city street was blocked off from commuter traffic decades ago. The street is open only to foot traffic through the shopping and business district with the exception of the small bus running through every 15 minutes...


From video shot, on the ground, during the march...




....More videos can be found "here"

According to the Press Release, posted on Pastebin by @AnarchoAnon, "here":

Anonymous Police Brutality Protest/#Every5th/@AnarchoAnon

MEDIA ALERT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: anarchoanon@riseup.net / @AnarchoAnon

Denver 4/5---Police in Denver violently attacked a protest march against police brutality on the Downtown 16th street mall a few minutes after it began at 5:30 pm. An estimated 7 arrests took place, with police violently tackling individuals in the crowd and spraying pepper spray at protesters and bystanders. A witness said that several of those arrested were passers-by who were not involved in the protest. This protest, called by the informal net-based group known as "Anonymous," was part of the "Every 5th" event series, in which protesters have gathered downtown on the 5th of every month to protest various issues since November 5, 2013. This particular march was planned in solidarity with recent protests over a police killing of a homeless man in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an eye to similar ongoing police brutality issues in Denver.

One participant said: "There was about 70 of us at the march. We peacefully marched from Civic Center Park to the 16th st mall, our usual march route. As soon as we turned off the mall, police officers violently tackled individuals, swung clubs at others, and sprayed clouds of pepper spray at the crowd. They then formed a line and took out rubber bullet guns, and continued to try to antagonize the crowd. The crowd grew larger as pedestrians became alarmed by the aggressive behavior of the Denver Police Department. There were also numerous military-style vehicles present with SWAT officers riding on the outside. This seems to be a deliberately intimidating response in which DPD is trying to send a strong message the citizens of their city that the police will not tolerate people speaking out against police brutality. Despite the police violence, our march continued successfully for several hours, snaking through city streets, denouncing police brutality with chants and fliers. This sort of behavior by the police really only serves to promote our protest, and as we saw today, it actually encourages people to join us."


Video of some of the arrests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUeXBG1E0W4
Archived livestream footage clips from march: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/anarcho-anon

Twitter handles with details from the event: @anarchoanon @standupdenver @mcsole @occupydenver @internerve

---End----
70 marchers were met by police in uniform and riot gear on the streets. The police arrived in vans, cruisers, armored humvees...

Quite some presence for only 70 nonviolent people on a Saturday evening - A group that has never been moved to violence of any kind since they began their monthly actions.

7 were not-so-nonviolently arrested by police that were actually acting out violently -  agitating, using pepper spray on members and bystanders, tackling - like bullies in a school yard...but I digress.  As indicated in the above video posted on UStream, one of those arrested shouted out that he was being arrested for (wait for it)....
Taking pictures.

Another view of DPD's not so finest hour...



....And another....




Ah, there's that police hysteria,again.

Denver Police (in a small city of 634,265 as of 2012) has its own history of abusive police actions.  In 2010 DPD ranked #1 in the nation in complaints of their use of excessive force.  According to David Packman's The National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP) for 2010....


Law Enforcement Agencies Employing 1000+ OfficersThe following are the top 20 local law enforcement agencies by 6-month police misconduct rates that employ over 1000 law enforcement officers:
City
State
Officers Involved
PMR
1
Atlanta
GA
53
6547.25
2
New Orleans
LA
36
4972.38
3
Fort Worth
TX
23
3095.56
4
Louisville Metro
KY
17
2816.90
5
Jacksonville
FL
21
2480.80
6
Denver
CO
19
2465.93
7
Newark
NJ
16
2429.76
8
Nashville
TN
14
2276.42
9
Detroit
MI
33
2176.78
10
Seattle
WA
14
2124.43
11
Orange County
FL
13
2091.71
12
Dallas
TX
33
1945.18
13
Orange County
CA
16
1726.00
14
Prince George’s County
MD
15
1724.14
15
Memphis
TN
18
1715.92
16
Miami
FL
9
1677.54
17
Baltimore
MD
26
1671.49
18
Palm Beach County
FL
10
1598.72
19
Milwaukee
WI
16
1587.30
20
Jefferson Parish
LA
7
1393.03




From Packman's article, September, 2010:
When we dive down and get more granular by comparing the publicized excessive force reports for law enforcement agencies with over 1,000 sworn officers over that same period of time, January through June for 2010, we see something different…
City/County
State
Officers
EF Rate
1
Denver
CO
17
2206.36
2
Jacksonville
FL
12
1417.60
3
New Orleans
LA
7
966.85
4
Orange County
CA
8
863.00
5
Orange County
FL
5
804.51
6
Milwaukee
WI
8
793.65
7
Newark
NJ
5
759.30
8
Baltimore
MD
11
707.17
9
Prince George’s County
MD
6
689.66
10
Seattle
WA
4
606.98
11
Miami
FL
3
559.18
12
Louisville Metro
KY
3
497.10
13
Nashville
TN
3
487.80
14
Palm Beach County
FL
3
479.62
15
Los Angeles
CA
17
348.97
16
Detroit
MI
5
329.82
17
Memphis
TN
3
285.99
18
Chicago
IL
11
164.68
19
Fort Worth
TX
1
134.59
20
New York
NY
23
128.63

Denver appears to rank worst out of all 63 of those law enforcement agencies for credible excessive force reports with an estimated Excessive Force Rate of 2,206 officers involved in excessive force complaints per every 100,000 officers.

Since 2010, Denver has tried to change their image...

They hired a brand new shiney police chief imported from out-of-state (the third in less than 6 years)
fired officers found "guilty" of brutality and rehired them; refused to pursue action of other police charged with brutality in lawsuits brought be citizens; instituted one of the first Urban Camping Bans in the nation - making it illegal to be homeless in Denver (or be seen sitting, eating, sleeping or otherwise occupying public space as homeless or protesting in Denver proper in a public space or park); and conspired with Governor Hickenlooper to attack one of the first, long term nonviolent, fully peaceful protests - Occupy - a protest acting on their constitutionally guaranteed right.

Since, 2010, the City of Denver, its Mayor, and most obviously, the Denver Police Department has proven that they have not changed one iota. If anything, they are getting worse...

As they continue to show us what a Police State looks like...............




















"Seven social sins: politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice."
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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