Archive for the ‘arrest’ Category

NBCMiami >>RawStory

Perhaps the new airport body scanners are a bit too revealing.

A TSA worker in Miami was arrested for aggravated battery after police say he attacked a colleague who’d made fun of his small genitalia after he walked through one of the new high-tech security scanners during a recent training session.

Rolando Negrin, 44, was busted for assault after things got ugly at Miami International Airport between Negrin and some of his fellow Transportation Security Administration workers on Tuesday. Sources say Negrin stepped into the machine during the training session and became embarrassed and angry when a supervisor started cracking jokes about his manhood, made visible by the new machine.

“We moved down the street and the truck came too. But we made a lot more noise. Prisoners in orange from Witness Against Torture chained themselves to the White House fence. So did Cindy Sheehan whose son died in Iraq. Veterans for Peace displayed US, Afghan, and Iraqi coffins and read the names of the dead and shouted: “Mourn the dead! Heal the wounded! End the wars!” The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, the World Can’t Wait, and lots of other groups joined in. Many of us donned black shirts, white placards with the names of dead troops or civilians, and white masks: the March of the Dead. We marched on the sidewalk in front of the White House in silence.


For OpEdNews: David Swanson –

U.S. Park Policeman (USPP) who shall remain nameless on Monday, October 5, 2009: Next!

Me: Is that me?

USPP: Whoever. I’m flexible. I’m agreeable. I’m just here to please.

Me: Except for the whole arresting us part, huh? [climbing out of a cramped metal van where I’d been stuck with a dozen other men, our hands cuffed behind our backs so tightly they left marks and my friend’s hands went numb]

USPP: What? I thought that was the whole point. You wanted to get arrested.

Me: No, we didn’t want to get arrested. We wanted to engage in free speech.

USPP: Oh, I’m not going to get into that. Step over here. [He asks me my name and address.] Charlottesville? It’s beautiful down there. Why would you want to come here and do this? [cutting himself off quickly] I mean I know why, you don’t need to tell me.

But of course I did need to tell him. He just didn’t want to know.

Earlier that day in front of the White House:

Another police officer (APO): You all will have to move off the sidewalk into the street.

Me: Are you sure the First Amendment says that?

APO: Oh you want to play that game? We can shut the whole area down if you want to play that game.

Me: I didn’t say anything about a game.

The president was holding a press conference inside the White House fence with a bunch of doctors who oppose serious healthcare reform. Donna Smith, star of Michael Moore’s “Sicko”, was standing next to me and telling me that every patient who had appeared in that movie had determined that the healthcare bills now under consideration in Washington would not have done anything to help them and won’t now.

Hundreds of peace activists made their way to the White House sidewalk. We joined with some doctors and nurses who were not permitted to take part in the events inside because they support single-payer healthcare. We shouted “Healthcare Not Warfare.” We shouted “Troops Home Now. End Warfare.” We shouted “Single Payer Now. End Warfare.” We made a lot of noise, but we were in the street rather than on the forbidden sidewalk. And there was an incredibly noisy truck behind us that had chosen this moment to clean Pennsylvania Avenue with pressurized hoses.

We moved down the street and the truck came too. But we made a lot more noise. Prisoners in orange from Witness Against Torture chained themselves to the White House fence. So did Cindy Sheehan whose son died in Iraq. Veterans for Peace displayed US, Afghan, and Iraqi coffins and read the names of the dead and shouted: “Mourn the dead! Heal the wounded! End the wars!” The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, the World Can’t Wait, and lots of other groups joined in. Many of us donned black shirts, white placards with the names of dead troops or civilians, and white masks: the March of the Dead. We marched on the sidewalk in front of the White House in silence.

Then the police horses came at us. The police tried to drive us into the street with their horses, but we lay down on the sidewalk, and they didn’t trample us. Instead they put police tape around a huge area, moved everyone else out of it, gave three warnings, and began arresting people. We lay on the sidewalk for approximately two hours, rode with lights and sirens blaring in an escorted caravan of vans and buses to the jail, and were out within an hour with tickets to pay $100 fines or challenge in court.

The crime? Exercising free speech in a group of more than 25 people. Seriously. We’re charged with failing to obey a lawful order. And the order was to move farther away from the White House because with more than 25 people you have to have a special permit in order to exercise free speech. At least 50 of us, maybe closer to 100, went to jail, while many more chose to comply with the lawful (if unconstitutional) order.

And what did the Park Police SWAT team do? Nothing but follow orders. They followed orders to the exclusion of all thought. They asked us not to encourage them to think. They didn’t want to think about freedom of speech. They didn’t want to think about arresting nonviolent people for peacefully demanding peace. They didn’t want to think about whether protesting illegal wars actually constitutes something closer to law enforcement than what they themselves were engaged in. And they certainly didn’t want to think about the men and women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan who will die because the US Park Police arrested peaceful people assembling and speaking, rather than arresting war criminals like Richard Cheney who confess to felonies on television and lives right across the river.

David Swanson is the author of the new book “DAYBREAK: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” by Seven Stories Press. You can order it and find out when tour will be in your town:

Waking Up Orwell, debuting this Thursday morning on, will be featuring a very special interview with David to catch up with him after the release of his book. Within a week, DAYBREAK was a #1 Bestseller which knocked Glen Beck out of Amazon’s top slot.

A Grits For Breakfast Commentary by Scott HensonĀ 

Finally, the committee approved a bill, SB 1175, that would allow police to give a Class C ticket for “failure to identify” when they detain a suspect. (Discussion of the bill begins at the 1:32:00 mark.) Currently, Texans don’t have to identify themselves unless they’re actually arrested, and it’s not a crime if you don’t do so. In practice, of course, police can’t write a ticket without the identifying information, so this would give them cause to arrest you and cart you off to jail (under authority affirmed by the US Supreme Court in Atwater v. Lago Vista, a Texas case).

What kind of situations are we talking about? Under what circumstances might you be “detained” when police have no cause to arrest you? The examples given were things like “taking pictures in front of a nuclear power plant,” but I think the new power would be used more widely than that, and mostly in non-terrorism related cases.

I wrote about a situation last year where I was detained on the street for, essentially, “babysitting while white.” Some busybody called 911 because they saw me walking down the street with a two-year old of a different race. Three police cars were sent to detain and question me over this grave matter. That was a formal “detention” and Sen. Patrick’s statute would have applied. More than a few commenters were offended that I wasn’t more cooperative with police – though I did give my name and address when asked, I refused to answer detailed or personal questions. I thought a lot afterward about why I reacted the way I did. Mostly it’s because the officer precisely didn’task for my name at first, but instead asked a series of questions aimed at determining whether I was some sort of child molester or kidnapper.

Sen. Whitmire asked why any law abiding citizen would refuse to identify themselves, and while I can’t speak for others, I know why I wouldn’t answer questions that day. As I said in reply to a commenter in that post, “Talking to cops who want to investigate you for false allegations of sex crimes has many potential negatives that simply refusing to speak to them wholly avoids.” When the conversation starts out with an accusation, it’s wholly justified and probably wise from the perpective of a potential defendant to not give police any information at all.

Whitmire himself identified another reason someone might not want to tell police who they were – if they were having an affair or some other “domestic situation.” There are many possible scenarios where someone might not want their spouse, their job, etc., to know their whereabouts, but that wouldn’t imply a crime was committed. The point is, in a free society, that person has free will to make bad choices as long as they don’t harm others or violate the law. “None of your business” is still a valid response.

To demand, “if you don’t have cause to arrest me, let me go” IMO is a reasonable exercise of one’s rights and shouldn’t require subjecting yourself to a check in the warrants database, which is the main thing this is really about at the end of the day. With more than 10% of adult Texans having outstanding traffic warrants, every time someone walks away without running them through the system, police miss a 10% chance they’ll owe money that can be leveraged from them with a trip to the jail.

This is not a slippery slope toward a police state but a straight chute. I’ve joked before how, during the Cold War, we used to consider it the height of totalitarianism that Communist police might stop an average citizen on the street, demand to see their papers, and arrest them if they didn’t comply. But that’s exactly the kind of power Sen. Patrick’s legislation would give police in Texas: Identify yourself or go to jail. “Can I see your papers, comrade?” That’s unnecessary. The law’s just fine like it is.

BTC Special Digest

Reports of random and inconsistent citation and arrests of citizens for merely being at the wrong place at the wrong time are still being defined a week later after hundreds of arrests took place September 4th during the RNC in St.Paul, Minn.

Protest arrest totals are currently approximating around 800, among them AP Reporters, network producers, bloggers and anyone else unfortunate enough to be on the wrong side of the freeway. Professional journalists are still gathering current totals and details of the arrests. Most arrests fell under the offense of “unlawful assembly” after marching permits had expired. September 4th, arrest criterion were simplified for officers making instantaneous decisions on who to detain and cite on the basis who was “north of I-94 past the blockade” after 4 PM prior to McCain’s acceptance speech.

The unconfirmed total of credentialled journalists arrested are over 30. Uncredentialled reporters blogging, twittering and videotaping are estimated to be in the hundreds. 2 Fox new people and one Variety journalist were detained on Marion bridge Thursday while reporting the fracas of police trying to disperse and contain crowds.

We asked local reporters from Pioneer Press to give account of reporting the week of the arrests.

“As a journalistic professional, I’m still trying to gather as much information I can to scrutinize the most violent police tactics. As for saying “civil liberties infringement,” I guess that really gets to the question of whether folks “deserved” to be arrested, since an arrest, by its nature, is law enforcement’s declaration that one’s civil liberties are being revoked. Some arrests and police actions obviously require further scrutiny, ” said Minnesota Pioneer Press Reporter, David Orrick.

Orrick categorized the worst accounts of the seemingly arbitrary
arrest environment into several categories such as: dousing apparent passive resisters with pepper spray, deploying tear gas, flashbangs and other aggressive crowd-dispersal agents into masses that are retreating or otherwise appear to be in basic compliance with police orders and engaging in mass arrests, including those of journalists, when it appears some, if not many, of the arrestees were merely trying to observe a protest and still follow police orders.

According to Oreck best place to look for actual arrest accounts and footage of the RNC will be on some of St.Paul and Minnestoa’s television websites and, “You won’t find it on YouTube.” Oreck refuted arrests being politically motivated after witnessing Obama supporters screaming in the face of St. Paul police officers without threat of arrest or challenge by police during approved marches. However, such grace was not extended to fellow local reporter, Ben Carvin when he was arrested while documenting a protest last week.

Journalists embedded with police contacted were not available for comment.
Ruben Rosario of reported an
unprecidented agreement {with the City of }St. Paul reached with the City’s attorney John Choi in January of 2007. The agreement stipulated the RNC committee to pay $1.1-million to insure it against any lawsuits ariving out of alleged police misconduct, excessive force, up to $10-million. The other was adoption of the use of a mobile police field unit that would focus on those outside peaceful protestors who planned or carried out acts of vandalism, violence.

“{The}City of Denver took out its insurance policy rider and paid for it through the $50-million fed grant both cities got to pay for convention. St. Paul did one better by having the RNC host committee foot the 1.1-million premium for the $10-million policy in the event of lawsuits arising out of police-related behavior. Both cities purchased their polices through Boston-based Lexington Insurance Co.”
– Ruben Rosario,

No confirmed word yet on a class action lawsuit against the city, the current number of individual suits filed, or suits and insurance claims filed against the RNC.

In the last two weeks we have experienced the vicarious troubles of citizens, media and then citizen media attempting to assemble reports on police-to-protest interactions during both the Democratic and Republican National conventions.

Tear Gas & Twittering : BeatTheChip, chose to follow Freeople’s AxXiom during the RNC who gave a report late last week that she and others avoided arrest by Twittering. She had seen 5 Austinites pulled over for “looking bad” – punk-rock styled protestors – and arrested before they got out of the car. We chatted from a St. Paul bathroom where she told me for the first time in her life she had witnessed American’s being tear gassed. Real ID activists were targeted, leaflets were confiscated, according to Ron Paul activist, Brady Wright. Some of her friends claimed that arrests appeared to be politically motivated.

Riot police team harassing wheelchair bound protestors.