Friday, December 2, 2011

Occupy Los Angeles Raid Aftermath: Extra-Judicial Punishments R Us

Before you buy too heavily into the self-congratulatory back-patting of the mainstream media about the LAPD’s humanity during its raid of Occupy Los Angeles on the night of November 29-30, please do understand that outside the glare of the media lights the LAPD and various other Los Angeles law enforcement bodies have been administering strong doses of what can only be called extra-judicial punishment for the 292 arrestees.

First, credible reports supported in some cases by video footage, have now emerged that Occupiers were beaten and otherwise brutalized by LAPD officers on the grounds of City Hall park. In most cases, this physical abuse occurred after the LAPD had given its final order to disperse and was only allowing its selected ‘embedded’ pool reporters access to the park and its environs.

Second, once in custody, arrestees were held on Sherriff’s Department buses for up to 8 hours with no access to bathroom facilities or to prescribed medicines. Many arrestees have reported being forced to urinate upon themselves because they were denied access to bathroom facilities. Other arrestees have reported being unable to use critical medicines, such as duly prescribed asthma inhalers.

Third, despite persistent complaints to custodial officers, wrist ties were kept too tight on many arrestees wrists, resulting in circulation being cut off, shoulders being numbed and even wrists turning blue.

Fourth, many arrestees were subjected to taunting and other forms of verbal abuse, including being described as "filthy drug addicts" while in custody One report had a Sherrifs Deputy tell a  80-year-old woman in custody that she should have “kept her 80-year-old ass at home.”

Fifth, many arrestees have alleged they were denied water and food for periods of up to 16 hours while in custody.

Finally, and most chillingly, LAPD told attorneys for various organizations attempting to aid arrestees that arrestees names would not be made public, nor would attorneys be able to contact their clients that night due to the detention facilities being ‘closed.’ Combined with reports from arrestees that phones in various holding facilities did not work and the Los Angeles law enforcement apparatus is acting to 'disappear' arrestees.

The cumulative result is simply shameful beyond description and un-befitting any Los Angeles of which i wish to be a part. As one Occupier put it, now middle class white protesters are learning some of what minority communities in LA have had to put with for many years.

I could provide multiple links to each and every enumerated assertion above, but I intend this catalog as a jumping off point for ambitious citizen journalists and public-interest attorneys. Trust me, the information is out there. You need only to find it and start digging. After you have begun, your favorable image of the LAPD, Chief Beck and Mayor Villaraigosa will require major adjustments.

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