Wednesday, May 17, 2006

 

More Yes, it was illegal

When the leadership is corrupt, criminality starts to engulf law enforcement: Bad: AMY GOODMAN: Explain what happened to your client, to [Gulf War veteran] Dennis Kyne [at the protests at the RNC convention]. GIDEON OLIVER: Dennis, on August 31, 2004, went to the steps of the New York Public Library at around 6:00 p.m., was there for a few minutes before police began -- before a large number of NYPD officers began searching people's backpacks and arresting people, which caused many of the folks who were at the library to get upset and to chant and do other entirely peaceful things, as a result of which the police officers gave dispersal orders. And Dennis was arrested as he was walking away and leaving and yelling at the police. And as he was being placed under arrest, when he was on his knees with his hands behind his back, the then Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters, the top lawyer for the Police Department, came over to him and pointed to him and said, “This one is discon and resisting.” AMY GOODMAN: Discon? GIDEON OLIVER: Disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. AMY GOODMAN: And who was the officer? GIDEON OLIVER: The deputy then, it was Stephen Hammerman, was then -- he's no longer the Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters. Deputy Commissioner of Legal Matters Hammerman then walked over to a Legal Bureau lieutenant who was nearby and said, “We've got one of the troublemakers from Pataki’s the other night,” referring to Dennis. So it was very eerie, because at least he knew who Dennis was from a protest several days before and referred to him as a troublemaker, was pleased he had been arrested and ordered that he be charged with something he was absolutely not doing, which was resisting arrest. AMY GOODMAN: You had this on film? GIDEON OLIVER: Yes. Worse: GIDEON OLIVER: Certainly. Well, during the RNC, five was the golden number. That is to say, arresting officers were to arrest, the Police Department says, up to five individuals in a mass arrest situation, and in fact, Officer Wohl swore that he arrested five individuals that day at the library. And as it turns out, we have video of the arrests of all five of those individuals, and Officer Wohl doesn't appear anywhere near them at any time. It appears that he was at the back of a prisoner transport vehicle. Worst: AMY GOODMAN: And on Democracy Now!, we showed the videotape that was doctored by the Police Department, that was proved in court when the longer video was brought out that showed precisely the opposite of what they supposedly said happened. GIDEON OLIVER: I believe that was in connection with Alexander Dunlop’s case. He was arrested on August 27, allegedly in connection with the Critical Mass bike ride. It turned out he had lived in the neighborhood and was going to get some sushi, and he was a guy with a bike, and they were arresting people with bikes. And in connection with his case, the District Attorney's office turned over one videotape that did not show him acting, you know, completely reasonably and trying to figure out how to get out of the police trap, and Eileen Clancy from I-Witness video discovered that the video was incomplete, comparing it to another copy that had been turned over in another case. Ok. What's worse than worst? This: AMY GOODMAN: So 1,800 people arrested, largest in any convention in the history of conventions. Over 1,600 of them, these cases were dropped or shown [to be meritless] in trial, acquitted, etc. 1,600 American citizens arrested based on provably false and in cases perjurious testimony, held in unsafe conditions, and the orders emanating from the top of the Republican machine. Almost two years later, the Justice Department has launched an investigation. A very intensive investigation. With lots and lots of buckets of white paint.
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