Media cover-up of police brutality on Occupy movement

By Brenda Norrell

Photo: Scott Olsen

UPDATES: Occupy Wall Street in New York raided and destroyed by police

New York police raided Occupy Wall Street at 1 am on Tuesday, Nov. 15:

http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/11/occupy-new-york-raided-and-destroyed-by.html

ACLU and National Lawyers' Guild filed a lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department today to halt the abuse of protesters, including a request for a restraining order:

http://www.aclunc.org/news/press_releases/aclu_and_national_lawyers_guild_file_suit_against_oakland_police_department.shtml

Police brutalized peaceful protesters across the nation in the Occupy movement over the weekend a

nd the mainstream media covered up the unnecessary brutal force, delivering news coverage that sounded like press releases from police departments. At Occupy Chapel HIll, N.C., police went on a rampage with assault rifles, while in Denver, police once again assaulted occupiers, shooting them with pepper balls.

The good news came from Marine veteran Scott Olsen. Olsen is recovering from a skull fracture when he was struck by a police projectile at Occupy Oakland. "I'm feeling a lot better, with a long road in front of me. After my freedom of speech was quite literally taken from me, my speech is coming back but I've got a lot of work to do with rehab. Thank you for all your support, it has meant the world to me. You'll be hearing more from me in the near future and soon enough we'll see you in our streets!" Olsen said in an online message.

Meanwhile in Oakland on Monday morning at 2 a.m., the chief legal advisor for Mayor Jean Quan's resigned, calling today’s raid on Occupy Oakland "tragically unnecessary.” Civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, said, "The city sent police to evict this camp, arrest people and potentially hurt them," Siegel said. "Obviously, we're not on the same page. It's an amazing show of force to move tents from a public place."

Across the US, new reporters mimicked the weekend’s censored news coverage provided by CNN, Reuters, CBS and others.

There are three primary reasons why news reporters cover up police brutality. Too often, reporters are not present and do not know the facts. They take the lazy way out with rewrites. The second reason is that they knowingly provide sweet coverage to maintain their confidential sources within the police department. The third reason is more insidious and is based on the agenda of politics and censorship by the owners and operators of the media outlet.

Over the weekend, videos and photographs reveal police with assault rifles on a rampage at Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Police in Denver once again assaulted peaceful protesters on Saturday. Alameda Sheriff officers beat  young women in the stomachs with nightsticks at Berkeley on Wednesday. Peaceful protesters were tear-gassed and shot with rubber bullets at Oakland during previous raids, critically wounding two US veterans and others.

Occupy Denver released a statement about the attack by police on Saturday, Nov. 12.

"Once again, the DPD reaffirms its position as the most violent police force in the United States. Officers assaulted demonstrators who were just standing on the sidelines. An officer waited until a protester turned around and hit him in the back three times. They assaulted people verbally, including threats to “break the teeth” of protesters. One officer told another officer to “SHOOT EM!! SHOOT EM NOW!” One protester was struck by an officer on a motorcycle and was hospitalized. Protesters were kettled and shot with pepper-balls, according to Colorado Street Medics, who found pepper-ball shells at the scene of last night’s incident. The shooting took place at 14th and Speer, eventually forcing the group to move to 16th St. Mall, where diners and theater-goers were present. "
http://occupydenver.org/occupy-denver-reponds-to-ongoing-police-brutality-state-oppression-against-all-occupies/

From Portland, a friend responds about a peaceful protester injured by police on Sunday. "Hospital won't comment on Justin’s condition, but I talked to him directly moments ago. He said he got caught between crowd and garbage can, ended up on the ground, they pulled his arms around, put a knee in his back, thus aggravating his back which was already broken before meeting up with police. Then he couldn't get his feet under him so they dragged him. He asked for help but they ignored him, refused to loosen his hands. He did nothing but tell the officers that he loved them from the bottom of his heart, but that he was disgusted at them and ashamed of them. He might get out of the hospital tomorrow, though right now he still can't stand up under his own power.”

News video from Portland: http://youtu.be/fxbowRmzetY

In San Diego, a video reveals police choking a victim as they arrest him. The video states: “Bob O'Grady being arrested in the San Diego Civic Center Plaza for laying inside of his sleeping bag to stay warm while a group of non-violent occupiers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Irvine, Encinitas, and simply standing before them with arms linked. Watch the video: http://youtu.be/buovLQ9qyWQ other transplants from various locations across the US pow-wow under an erected U.S. flag in the heart of the plaza; in celebration of Veteran's Day. San Diego Police Department uses excessive force to apprehend Bob, a SDPD officer uses a choking technique I never knew was legal in the continuum of force ladder. That must come after using a closed fist to assault the suspect in the face. Watch video: http://youtu.be/C6QCRneABhU

In Berkeley on Wednesday, Alameda Sheriff officers beat students with nightsticks. They beat young women in the stomach with batons for standing before them with arms linked. Watch video: http://youtu.be/buovLQ9qyWQ http://youtu.be/buovLQ9qyWQ

Denver Street Medics Statement: Denver Police Deny Medics Access to Conscious Person on Saturday, Nov. 12:

"After riot police stormed Civic Center Park and chased protesters to other locations, one demonstrator was observed being struck by officers and falling motionless on the traffic median dividing Colfax at Broadway.

"Colorado Street Medics immediately attempted to access this patient to assess and provide first aid. SWAT officers refused to allow the medics access to this patient. The officer commanding the line refused to acknowledge medics when they attempted to explain concerns for the unconscious, unresponsive patient.

"Police allowed an untrained bystander access to the patient, but refused to allow medics from Colorado Street Medics to access the patient. Officers threatened Colorado Street Medic volunteers with arrest if they attempted to approach the patient. When asked for their name and badge number, the officers refused to provide this information stating, 'We don’t have to. That is not the law.'

"Colorado Street Medic volunteers attempted to explain concern for serious bodily injuries as the patient lay on the traffic median unconscious and non-reactive to heavy traffic, bystanders and sirens around them. When SWAT officers pushed the medics away, Denver Paramedics had not yet arrived to treat the patient.

"Colorado Street Medics are a volunteer first aid and community health organization that serves social movements. They have worked in the City of Denver and have had successful arrangements with Denver Paramedics, Denver Police Department and other state agencies in past events such as the Democratic National Convention in 2008 that improved patient care, handoffs and outcomes.

"Across the board, research indicates that immediate intervention greatly improves patient outcomes and reduces mortality. Street Medics could have provided support for this individual’s airway, breathing and immobilizing his spine among other things while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

"Colorado Street Medics condemn this blatant disregard for the wellbeing of an individual with potentially life-threatening injuries. Furthermore, Colorado Street Medics demand that officers be held accountable for both their excessive force and disregard to policy requiring them to provide identifying information to the public."

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.