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Sunday, June 24, 2012

SPD Pepper-Sprays Protesters and Pride Revelers (UPDATED with Info from the Cops)

Posted by on Sun, Jun 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

We have several reports this morning of the Seattle Police Department's use of pepper spray around the pride celebrations last night. The first comes from Capitol Hill Seattle blog:

Using a heavy presence of uniformed officers on the street and with SWAT teams at the ready, Seattle's East Precinct clamped down on an annual Pride weekend demonstration early Sunday morning, putting an end to the Capitol Hill march by hitting the crowd with pepper sprayand taking six people into custody on E Madison.

Video of the incident sent by a Slog tipper:

And another tipper describes the scene:

I was near the intersection of E. Pike St. and E. Madison when I saw excessive force used by the Seattle Police Department against an unarmed white female sitting on top of a male's shoulders. Pepper spray was used against this woman from a short distance covering, until this point, the entirely nonviolent crowd as well as the police officers in an oxygen smothering burn. She then was grabbed and pulled to the ground while covering her face. The officers pulled the woman off of the sidewalk and into the street and handcuffed her. She was placed into a a vehicle and ultimately driven away. I am not sure what happened to her. If she was let go? If she was arrested? If she is unable to communicate with any of her people?

I do know that what I saw tonight is unlike anything I have ever seen before. I went through Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. I have seen violence over my life. But what I saw tonight is egregious. It was crazy to see this tiny girl with her pink stockings on with a mini skirt laid out on the ground having physically protected police drag her across the concrete to handcuff her, while no other violence was taking place. What? This little fucking girl was such a threat you had to spray her off one of her friends shoulders, and drag her into handcuffs?

More after the jump.

What took place tonight was unnecessary. I understand that these cops were somewhat provoked by a group walking down the middle of the street after hours. However there was no traffic around. No matter what the media may say, there was no traffic impended by this group. They swooped their cars in and pinched the group from the front and rear. Tensions were obviously high on the law enforcement's side, hastily they pointed everyone to the side walk. The resistance the cops encountered when they opened their car doors to a group of protesters would get anyone's adrenaline pumping. However, by singling out and attacking a small girl is uncalled for. I wonder if it was a 'let's make an example out of her sort of thing'.

You should have seen them after. The blocked off the street from sidewalk across to sidewalk. Waiting for a move. This one cop was one of only a few with his billy club drawn. He would occasionally hit it into his other hand with a snide look on his face. Almost like he was hoping someone would make a false move.

An e-mail to the SPD this morning was not immediately returned.

UPDATE: The SPD Blotter has posted a new entry that chronicles the events of the night from the officers' perspective, saying that "anarchists" had dragged garbage cans into the street, used verbally abusive language, and, at one point, kicked a commander in the knee. So that explains the use pepper spray, they claim. (Readers may also recall that Pride-weekend demonstrations in the past have resulted in some property damage.)

But to state the obvious for a second, pepper spray is a weapon. And an imprecise weapon at that, which the SPD has a record using egregiously and sloppily in crowded environments. In its critical report last December, the US Department of Justice blasted the SPD's pepper-spray use as an example of excessive force in numerous cases. In particular, police officers used pepper spray in instances where lesser force would suffice. Now the DOJ is pressing the city into a court agreement specifically to temper its longstanding pattern of excessive force.

Was pepper spray an appropriate use of force in this instance? I can't say. But it appears as hair-trigger and slapdash as the SPD's awful record.


Comments (80) RSS

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sirkowski 1
I'm sure these police officers treat their spouses and girlfriends with the utmost respect....
Posted by sirkowski on June 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM · Report this
veo_ 2
That cop was walking with the crowd with his giant pepper spray already out and clearly itching to use it.

Thanks SPD for your extra diligence here in PROTECTING and SERVING no one. Fucktards.
Posted by veo_ on June 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
malcolmxy 3
Free assembly now comes with free pepper spray - BONUS!!!

Now, all we need is chili powder spray, salt spray, paprika spray and a dash of onion powder spray and we can make some big, gay tacos.

Thank you SPD!!!
Posted by malcolmxy on June 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Lissa 4
Jesus Christ they could have killed her! She was a long way from the ground, and a fall like that onto concrete? What the fuck! I hope she's ok.
Posted by Lissa on June 24, 2012 at 11:47 AM · Report this
I'm so sick of this shit. Cops and normal Pride celebrations. People should be OUT in the street, being LOUD and PROUD, not just getting wasted in bars, making the bar-owners tons of money. Fine, drink and have fun, but people seem to have forgotten the real significance of Pride. Great, Target and Chipotle "support" lgbt people. Like it's not just so they can make a buck.

It all makes me sad. At least there are some people with the spirit of Stonewall still in them. The SPD is so transparent, making their "It Gets Better" video, trying to butter us up. Fuck them, most of them would rather smash a fag.
Posted by lollypaw on June 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Say what you want, but their tactics worked. The police officers were able to disperse the crowd within a matter of minutes. Besides, what kind of chance does a few officers stand against such a high number of revelers? They did what they had to do and anyone else would have done the same, officer or not.
Posted by LizzieVeg on June 24, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 7
Oh, well, it's not like the SPD has a PR problem, or has any issues whatsoever w/ how they handle themselves.

Besides, as so many people jump to remind us, cops are really nice people doing a difficult job. There's only one or two bad apples, at most, in all of America, that just make the rest of them look bad. It really is a shame how the general populace judges them by these horrible, despicable actions, when they spend 99.9% of their time being saints, far away from everyone so no one ever sees that side.

Always love a chance to post this again...…
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on June 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Blacks, Latinos, hippies, fags... SPD are equal opportunity assholes.
Posted by DOUG. on June 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 9
@6 Pol Pot's tactics worked, too. That doesn't mean his goal was something acceptable.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on June 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM · Report this
is 'fuck' the only word these losers know?

hos'em all down and Fuck You back, Assholes.....
Posted by Real America on June 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Posted by Rotten666 on June 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Trolls in full effect today yo!

Get off your shit talking asses and celebrate!
Posted by SPD trolls are the craaaaziest! on June 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Rotten666 13
@8 The problem I have with that sentiment is that it implies that the SPD does not treat white people like shit also. My interactions with SPD range from typical rude assholes talking to me as if I was a worthless plebe, to having one fuck pull a gun on me when I was driving to work.

Minorities think the SPD is racist, the queers think they are homophobic; the truth is they hold all the citizens of Seattle in utter contempt.
Posted by Rotten666 on June 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
So I know the SPD has PR problems but I'm not sure I buy this racist bit, I am brown and never seemed to be targeted for my skin color, in fact whenever I have interactions with them it has always been polite. Sure there are some bad cops out there but not all of them. Hell look at how they handled the Cafe Racer shooting, it was very professionally and efficiently handled.
Posted by Seattle14 on June 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Er, "oxygen smothering burn?"

I'm sure it was an unpleasant experience, but it sounds as if someone might possibly be indulging in just a wee bit of excited hyperbole.
Posted by robotslave on June 24, 2012 at 12:29 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 16

Right, that's why the Justice Department are investigating them.
Posted by passionate_jus on June 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 17
I feel a lot safer in Canada, where there are a lot less police per capita and where individuals have a lot more rights.

But hey, US # 1.

Or something.
Posted by passionate_jus on June 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
DOUG. 18
@13: That was my point. Equal opportunity assholes. Most hippies are white.
Posted by DOUG. on June 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this

This wasn't part of the Pride march, this was just a bunch of angry, cop-hating (encouraged by The Stranger), angry, anarcho-homos like Ian Finklewanker thinking they can march down the middle of any old street late at night, block traffic, screaming 'our hill' and calling the police pigs when they try to enforce the law (I know, how dare they do that with anarchy-queers?). 

Good on the cops for macing your arses when you refused their lawful order that you clear the street.
Posted by Jennifer Pox on June 24, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 20
@13: this isn't an either/or question. The cops contain multitudes: some of them are trigger-happy racists, some of them hold all civilians in contempt, and many of them are both.
Posted by Doctor Memory on June 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
metardtard 21
When I watch this I see a bunch of unruly assholes marching in the street looking for nothing else than to provoke a fight. They got one. What was their point? A 1am march up Madison? Fuck off.
Posted by metardtard on June 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM · Report this
Our Hill? Oh puhlease, most of the angry anarch-poofs can't even afford to live on the Hill. Time to move to the new queer Mecca, Kent, ladies.
Posted by Jennifer Pox on June 24, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Just get on the fucking sidewalk and stop acting like a bunch of assholes.
Posted by tacomagirl on June 24, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
@19: That was my first guess before even reading the article.
Posted by hmmmmm on June 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
@6: Exactly. Singling out someone who poses no threat and beating the crap out of them move is a time-proven crowd control tactic. It works for armed bank robbers, it worked for the 9/11 terrorists, why wouldn't it work for SPD?
Posted by also on June 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
passionate_jus 26
Even if the protesters had been trying to provoke a fight, that doesn't mean that the police have a right to use excessive force.

I hope the police department gets sued. Again.

I have to admit that I have a dislike for cops in general, even though, as a veteran, I've known plenty of nice people that happen to be in law enforcement (quite a few cops are also members of the National Guard, as was I).

That said, most of my experiences with the police have been negative, even as a member of the white middle class. This mostly comes from my experiences, as a patriotic American who exercises his right to protest the government (like when the Second Iraq War started); and as a person who was once a taxi driver for a living.

While a cab driver, I needed the police on several occasions. Almost always, they were rude and dismissive of me. On one occasion, they actually acted upset that I dare disrupt their dinner break, even though I had just been robbed and almost assaulted (outside of a Denny's type place).

If the police want cooperation from the public, they need to earn it first.

In most industrialized democracies, police forces do not have the same power that they do in America. In several democracies, police don't even carry firearms except under special circumstances. And yet, I always feel safer in those countries than in my own. Sad, really.
Posted by passionate_jus on June 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Good job, Dominic, getting that Police info off of the blotter.

Way to not be the sort of credulous hack who just takes whatever's given to him and runs with it, without bothering to pick up the phone or send off an email to someone on the other side, so as to make at least a token nod in the general direction of impartial journalim, with a comparable person-to-person interaction.

Who knows, maybe The Cops would even tell you how much they're demanding in ransom for that helpless little girl they've kidnapped, if you bothered to ask.
Posted by robotslave on June 24, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
How exactly are homosexuals being oppressed in Seattle?
Posted by Is the rent to damn high? on June 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM · Report this
stinkbug 29
Is it too much to ask people to hold their phones in landscape mode when taking video like this?
Posted by stinkbug on June 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Lissa 30
@29: Ok, that made me laugh.
Posted by Lissa on June 24, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Remember ladies, the Black bloc is a tactic not a group!
Posted by The Pink Bloc on June 24, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 32
Can't wait for them to try this at Pike Place on a sunny summer weekend afternoon.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on June 24, 2012 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 33
At least I know I'm safe from reveling. Let this be a lesson to any other aspiring revelers. Not in Seattle, reveler. Not in Seattle.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on June 24, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
I am in Europe presently. Friday, Germany advanced to the semi finals of euro 2012. The streets of old Munich were packed with drunken revellers. I was struck by the absence of police. Those that were there acted in a very different manner from their American counter parts. Totally non aggressive, just present. Not at all like the fascist scum that constitute the SPD.
Posted by Pol Pot on June 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 35
I'm sure that this has something to do with the "thin blue line" between order and chaos or someone stealing your cat's can of Fancy Feast
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on June 24, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
Gern Blanston 36
Is there anything more dangerous than a group of anarchists drunk with LGBT pride?
Posted by Gern Blanston on June 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
@34 Yes, those cool germans… nothing like the international opinions of a fucking tourist:

At least 23 people including 11 police officers have been injured in rioting before a German third-division football match.

Osnabrück police told the dapd news agency on Saturday that trouble erupted before and during VfL Osnabrück's derby game against Preussen Münster.

Five police officers sustained burns and injuries from firework explosions. Twenty-nine arrests were made before the game after fans attacked police.

Large firecrackers were also thrown from the visiting fans' stand into the players' tunnel, injuring several people. Details of the injuries were not immediately known.

Police spokesman Georg Linke says "the perpetrators weren't found yet. We also don't know what type of pyrotechnics were used."
Posted by King Sihanouk on June 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Pepper spray is not just a weapon: it is a weapon classified by international agreement as being too horrific to use on the field of battle. That is correct: pepper spray is classed as chemical warfare and its use is forbidden by the Geneva Conventions.
Posted by TechBear on June 24, 2012 at 4:42 PM · Report this
Timrrr 39
Gotta remeber this part happened after they'd already been marching around the Hill for over an hour, trying to provoke the cops and getting no satisfaction from the level-headed "pigs".

(My favorite part was when they marched down Pike, past the Wildrose's beer garden shouting the ol tried and true, "We're here! We're Queer! Get over it!" Really now?!? Don't think maybe --just maybe-- you're preachin' to the choir here, do ya?? (sigh) Kids these days... )

And sadly, not a one of them looked old enough to have ever marched with Act Up! -- let alone have a clue what Stonewall was all about. So the irony of these privileged-assed weekend-anarchist idjiots protesting "the corporatization of Pride" without having any idea at all how hard WE'd worked and how far WE've traveled to bring them this point -- all of it completely lost on them!

It's fucktards like this give real protesters -- protesting REAL causes and trying to get REAL changes -- a bad name.

Posted by Timrrr on June 24, 2012 at 5:07 PM · Report this
I wasn't there, I don't anything about the situation, but I am absolutely positive the cops over-reacted and violated everyone's rights to do whatever it was they were doing.

The line officers use the tactics offered by their supervisors. Blame Diaz if you don't like pepper spray. It's not like the cops were given a choice to hand out free puppies or spray pepper and they chose to spray pepper just because they're assholes.

Some anarchists in the area actively celebrate the death of cops. Some encourage it.

Most clearly use negative interactions with the police as a tool to gain visibility for their group.
Posted by six shooter on June 24, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
@ 16 Well there are some problems, hence the DOJ investigation, and what rights do they have in Canada that we don't have here, or is it just the far left response to bash the US?

I for one have no reason not trust the police, always been professional when I deal with them, and I'm not rich guy just a middle class citizen.
Posted by Seattle14 on June 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
Reading their blotter blog post it seems the girl was arrested for dragging a trash can into the street. I'm not sure I'm familiar with the RCW on that infraction. ???

Posted by sophates on June 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this
This must have been the homos gentrified out to the PAC NW newest gay Mecca, Kent.

Stick to arguing with your boyfriend over whether to get 'cherry' or 'pine' finishings at Ikea ladies.
Posted by The rent is too damn high! on June 24, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
@42 what if a cyclist hit it and was hurt?
Posted by I hear it fell on the bike lane! on June 24, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
Signed I103 yet?

I103 would provide real Citizen oversight of the Seattle PD:

Whereas, the United States Department of Justice finds that the Seattle Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and patterns of racially biased policing which include excessive use of force;

Section 4 .. (d) Rights to a Citizen Managed and Accountable Police Force. All residents of the City of Seattle have a right to a police force held fully accountable by its citizens. The Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability will now report to the Mayor.
Posted by I103 on June 24, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this

"I wasn't there, I don't anything about the situation, but I am absolutely positive the cops over-reacted and violated everyone's rights to do whatever it was they were doing."

Whether this is a parody or not -- I presume it is -- it really should be the Official Slog Commenters' motto.
Posted by Billy Chav on June 24, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this

Wow, I didn't realize the General Assembly was using The People's Mic to draft legislation.

Posted by robotslave on June 24, 2012 at 6:43 PM · Report this

Here you go:

SMC 21.36.410 Littering.


SMC 15.46.030 Deposits in street or gut…

And if it was a city trash can, then I can google those vandalism/destruction of public property laws for you, too.

Posted by robotslave on June 24, 2012 at 7:15 PM · Report this
@48 But those laws don't exist to homonarchists!!
Posted by Jennifer Pox on June 24, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Gotta say, as someone who appreciates the difficulty of police work and wants to try to give police the benefit of the doubt, this was pretty excessive from where I stood in front of Chop Suey. Seeing at least a couple dozen cops with night sticks and pepper spray advance on the group like that, I immediately assumed there had been some sort of serious vandalism or protesters armed with weapons or something. I got into pretty heated argument with my buddy who also witnessed it, explaining that I thought it necessary to withhold judgement until we understood what sort of protester activity had led up to such a use of force.

Flash forward to this morning and I come to find out that the police found themselves justified in pepper spraying a large group of people and dragging a woman across the ground because some garbage cans got knocked over, a dude briefly stood on a car, a cop got kicked in the knee and some people called the cops some bad names. I think the tactics of a lot of Seattle's anarchist community (especially the May Day business) is chickenshit and morally bankrupt, but that doesn't justify the level of force I saw last night. I've kept abreast of the SPD/DOJ/use-of-force saga through the media the last couple years, but it was really something else to witness something like that in person last night. It's a shame that every interaction I have with a cop from now on is going to be colored by that experience.
Posted by Hutch on June 24, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 51
Why people goad the police is beyond me. They have the guns. Frankly if citizens say stupid things like "Fuck you" to the police and then proceed to break the law I say let the police say "fuck you" right back with pepper spray. Americans you DO NOT have the right to march when ever and where ever you please with out consequence despite what your High school history teacher said.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on June 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 52
@51 With that attitude, women still wouldn't be allowed to vote, booze would still be illegal, and Jim Crow would still be legal.

So um, Fuck You!
Posted by Dr_Awesome on June 24, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
Costumed, energized pride revelers vs. stoic, fully armed police officers. One hell of a culture clash.

Whenever these videos surface, behind the officer actually involved in the implication, I'm consistently disturbed by the six-or-so extra cops always standing there with their hands on their belts, watching. Never does one step out of line and disagree, neither during the incident or later during the ensuing investigation. That's the part of the police culture that really scares me. Within their reality they are infallible.

Its worse than 'shoot first ask questions later.' Its more like 'shoot first, don't ask questions.'
Posted by tabski on June 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
Costumed, energized pride revelers vs. stoic, fully armed police officers. One hell of a culture clash.

Whenever these videos surface, behind the officer actually involved in the implication, I'm consistently disturbed by the six-or-so extra cops always standing there with their hands on their belts, watching. Never does one step out of line and disagree, neither during the incident or later during the ensuing investigation. That's the part of the police culture that really scares me. Within their reality they are infallible.

Its worse than 'shoot first ask questions later.' Its more like 'shoot first, don't ask questions.'
Posted by tabski on June 24, 2012 at 8:11 PM · Report this
@52 Ok, so what were they marching for last nights? Queer rights in queer town?

Oh Lordy ladies, you've been priced out of the Hill and the new queer Mecca, Kent, only aggravated your boils.
Posted by Jennifer Pox on June 24, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this
Just Jeff 56
What a bunch of horse shit. As a bus driver, I have dealt with all manner of drunken, belligerent, moronic dipshits. Police have that "pleasure" to the Nth degree. I have nothing but respect for Seattle cops (most of whom more than behave themselves and risk their lives on a daily basis). Yeah, they get "street level" on folks who are (as in this video) shouting obscenities at the very people whose lives they are sworn to protect. Ya know what, drunk assholes? FUCK YOU. If the cops start shouting orders - THEN FUCKING OBEY, and fast. These people get spit on, shit on, sworn at, flipped off and generally treated like shit on a daily basis by people who should be bowing down and kissing their collective asses for keeping the streets as safe as they can.

Quit your whining, idiotic Slogger fuckheads.
Posted by Just Jeff on June 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM · Report this
watchout5 57
I was there and once I noticed all the cops me and my partner left. Each one of those mentally handicap police are desperate to use force because that's why they joined, to cause more violence. Standard rule of thumb for Seattle, if you see more than one cop around you they want to hurt you. This incident proves this point more than anything. I am not safe in this city with these thugs and I really hope someone gets fired for this unacceptable behaviour. Pending that action, feel lucky if you pass by an officer and leave with your freedom. These thugs get hard when they take away your freedom, they're constantly being rewarded for what should be considered unconstitutional behaviour that makes me wish they had better parents. I'm also sad I feel less safe around them, but actions like these make me feel like they're proud of it.
Posted by watchout5 on June 24, 2012 at 9:16 PM · Report this

It sounds like in your case, at least, the tactic of relentlessly goading the police until they overreact has been a complete success. Your reaction here is precisely what the people who use that tactic are trying to achieve, no?
Posted by robotslave on June 24, 2012 at 9:25 PM · Report this
watchout5 59
@56 I feel sorry for you and everyone you know if you really believe that when cops give you any order and you don't comply it's perfectly acceptable to cause violence. That's not how my America has ever operated, in fact if an officer gives you an order they must have a legal reason, if not that order is a suggestion. If you follow illegal orders from police you're just proof were living in a police state, we used to have the power to stop police doing anything illegal, your comment leads me to believe that cops are above the law. These are supposed to be our cops, not your cops, not the states cops, impartial cops for everyone. Cops that do this should be shamed and arrested because if I took those actions they wouldn't hesitate to take my freedom away. Why are you against fairness?
Posted by watchout5 on June 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM · Report this

You know, you're absolutely right. We should all be allowed to follow cops around, spitting on them and insulting them, jumping on cars, throwing garbage cans around, and engaging in other peaceful forms of self-expression, for hour after hour, without any fear of cruel and needless reprisals.

Until we reach that day, alas, being a screaming public asshole will continue to involve an element of totally undeserved physical risk.
Posted by robotslave on June 24, 2012 at 10:22 PM · Report this
Here's another :…

I couldn't watch the whole video because it was so disturbing and upsetting to warned....maybe it's time for the SPD to get, yet another, sensitivity training....……
Posted by buddhistbabe on June 24, 2012 at 10:33 PM · Report this
Kinison 62
You know, I don't think any police force is ever in the mood to deal with drunken idiots blocking street traffic. Hooray! Now cabs and buses cant make it through! Listening to video, it sounded no different than a Occupy Seattle protest. And as unpleasant as it is for the SPD to use pepper spray on a crowd, would you rather the SPD didnt learn from that embarrassing may day protest and simply let the crowd grow in the street? Once you have a few hundred people, then you have cover to smash windows.
Posted by Kinison on June 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
Big Sven 63
If the police ask you to obey the law (walk on the sidewalk so cars can get through) and you scream "FFFUUUCCCKKK YYYYOOOUUUU!" at the top of your lungs, so they haul your ass off to jail, and you're fighting to overturn some monsterous injustice, than I admire you and want to know more about the cause for which you are willing to risk your freedom.

But if you're just drunk and feeling entitled and like yelling "FFFUUUCCCKKK YYYYOOOUUUU!" at the people who year after year help keep your ass safe from seriously bad people all while earning less than a Best Buy assistant manager, well then I don't really have any sympathy.

So were these really "protesters," and if so what were they protesting? Please tell me it's not the corporatization of Pride. And if it's for passing R74, I suspect there are better ways to get at the 7-12% of the undecideds.
Posted by Big Sven on June 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
curtisp 64
These fucking anarchists would be pretty pissed off if the God Hates Fags assholes marched down Broadway, blocking traffic, dragging trash cans into the street, climbing on cars, screaming and waking people up at 1a.m. They would be even more pissed off it the cops did not do anything about it.
Posted by curtisp on June 25, 2012 at 12:20 AM · Report this
Timrrr 65
@64 ftw!
Posted by Timrrr on June 25, 2012 at 3:02 AM · Report this
I dono, If I'm walking down the middle of the road and a police officer tells me to go on the sidewalk, I listen to him and I don't get peppered sprayed. People get that crowd mentality and they start acting like a dink and then they cry afoul when the police actual do something to correct the situation. So sick of my generation acting like total asses to cops and then whining when something happens to them.
Posted by mono on June 25, 2012 at 7:28 AM · Report this
badstone 67
@7, the full phrase is, 'a few bad apples... spoil the barrel'. That idiom has stuck in my throat ever since George Bush used it to shrug off Abu Grahib.
Posted by badstone on June 25, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
@66: Regardless of your comfort level with a society in which people do what police tell them to do, knowing that police are likely to dish out punishment on the spot, that's not how things are supposed to work in the United States.

The correct response to suspected wrongdoing is arrest and prosecution, not assault and battery.

So sick of cops acting like total asses to the people who employ them, and then whining when they're forced to do their jobs in a constitutional manner.
Posted by Phil M http:// on June 25, 2012 at 7:37 AM · Report this
I was there, though I left before the real altercations began. I saw the group of "protestors" parade up the street and fairly soon the place was swarming with cops in riot-control gear. They had an extremely aggressive tone and attitude and the entire atmosphere changed when they came in. In situations like that police have a responsibility to not escalate the situation - but that's not what they did here.

I was trying to find out what was going on and why there were so many cops there in such heavy equipment. I approached the closest officer and asked very respectfully "excuse me, officer, could I talk to you for a minute". At which point I was told "I'm busy, go away". I simply wanted to know why there was a strong police presence there when there didn't seem to be any threat.

I got out of there pretty quick after that - had some friends with me that I felt responsible for and I didn't want to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I understand the need for police to do crowd control but the friendly and calm atmosphere turned agressive and on edge as soon as dozens of fatigue-wearing cops, all of whom had their battons out, entered the fray. They made the situation worse - not the "protestors" who were just making a lot of noise -but this was Cap Hill on a Saturday during Pride weekend - it was hardly quiet out.
Posted by kiwiseattle on June 25, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 70
A small group of people not really causing any harm is trying to start a fight, but their biggest crime is blocking traffic in the middle of the night (when there isn't really any traffic.)?

Ignore them. They'll go away. If a cop doesn't have the psychological fortitude to get insulted by a drunk without resorting to violence, then they don't belong on the street.

People who think the police's behavior was appropriate are the death of democracy.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on June 25, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
@70 FTW
Posted by Phil M http:// on June 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Far be it for me to ever defend the violent goons of the SPD... buuuut I was there that night and those so-called "demonstrators" were a mob of fucking idiot drunks itching for a fight.

It's true the smartest tactic would've been to ignored them. But there was a high probability those drunk morons would've started some shit just like last year. And the cops would've been bitched at for letting that happen by the merchants. Or bitched at when they broke up mob with pepper spray AFTER they started shit by The Stranger. Scenarios of deliberate provocation that are a "no win" for the cops.

While it's hard for me drum up much sympathy for the Anarchists since they were fucking disruptive assholes from the jump and turned a pleasant peaceful night into a war zone deliberately, the cops are supposed to be the impartial professionals. Not angry bullies.
Posted by tkc on June 25, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
@70, how do you figure they would just go away when their only goal was to provoke cops into some filmable response? They literally had no other purpose, and they were going to persist, ratcheting up the provocation, until they got the footage they could edit into their narrative.
Posted by gloomy gus on June 25, 2012 at 10:38 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 74
What really annoys me is that hipster iPhone users can't seem to shoot video horizontally.

The police probably over reacted, but the crowd was breaking the law, and were a bunch of douches.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on June 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
It's really hard to make out what happens in the video, I'm not taking sides with anyone on this one, and definitely not taking sides with the ones screaming fuck you cops. these people are out to do their jobs. Not all police officers are bad people, it's the bad people that are under the impression that all cops are bad people.

I have to agree there with rob in baltimore.
There may be some over reacting, but people were breaking the law, just because there is an even, celebration or protest going on, does not give these people the right to break the laws, walk in the street, and obstruct others from using the road for which it was intended.
Posted by mr.derek. on June 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM · Report this
anarchists looking for a fight, they get it, then they complain about it. A bunch of cry babies that refuse to grow up and be adults and respect others.
Posted by nador on June 25, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
lillulu 77
It's pretty funny/unfortunate how willing people are to generalize a situation they did not participate in, or fully witness. In any group of people, police, dancers, marchers, whatever - there is inescapable variation. Which makes such generalization kind of idiotic to express. It's like a preamble that admits you're going to be wrong.
Posted by lillulu on June 26, 2012 at 12:21 AM · Report this
All I know is: once a cop gets assaulted (in this case, kicked in the knee, apparently), shit is about to get real. Whoever did that is lucky if pepper spray was all they got. I'm not saying
a beatdown is justified, but most semi-intelligent people could predict what happens next.
Posted by madcap on June 26, 2012 at 12:38 AM · Report this
@78: What makes you think a cop was assaulted? At a demonstration like this, claims of attempted assault of officer are a good indicator that the "suspect" was himself or herself assaulted by police. We already have good reason to believe that other parts of the story on SPD's PR Blotter were inaccurate. Why believe this one? The 24-year-old man who was arrested was released early yesterday evening *without charge*. The judge did not find probable cause. The SPD thugs who regularly show up and inject violence into peaceful protest are, by and large, full of shit.
Posted by Phil M http:// on June 26, 2012 at 7:12 AM · Report this
Posted by Phil M http:// on June 27, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this

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