It's too bad

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by melbo, Aug 9, 2006.


  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Most of us are conditioned to think that 'protesters' of any sort are bad...

    will you laugh when you realize you haven't protested for the rights you hold dear?

    Watch the three videos. Freakin disgusting that this happens in our own cities and we continue to laugh at the Crazies. Maybe the crazies who protest are a little more awake than us?

    Attorney incensed after viewing FTAA police video

    A police training video showed high-ranking Broward deputies laughing about shooting rubber bullets at a Coral Gables attorney at the free- trade summit in Miami.

    BY ASHLEY FANTZ

    afantz@MiamiHerald.com

    [​IMG]
    CHARLES TRAINOR JR./MIAMI HERALD STAFF
    THE WOMAN IN RED: Elizabeth Ritter exercises her First Amendment right during an FTAA protest near police on November of 2003.
    More photos <!-- begin body-content --> As a middle-aged Coral Gables attorney, dressed sharply in a red suit jacket, skirt and black slingback heels, Elizabeth Ritter stood out among the throng of protesters on Nov. 20, 2003.

    Frustrated that she couldn't do business because the Miami-Dade County Courthouse was shut down that week during the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, she hastily made a sign that read ''Fear Totalitarianism'' and decided to stand with the protesters.

    The sign, however, became her shield against a barrage of rubber bullets fired at her by a legion of Broward Sheriff's deputies in riot gear. And, in an image captured by a videographer, she is shot in the head as she cowers in the street.
    And now another video, recently released, raises questions about the degree to which police, specifically, Broward Sheriff's deputies, were encouraged, -- and even praised -- for using force against Ritter and other protesters.
    In the video -- recorded by BSO on Nov. 21, the day after the event -- a BSO top commander gushes over shooting protesters. Another officer refers to them as ``scurrying cockroaches.''

    And when it comes to ''the lady in the red dress,'' said a sergeant, referring to Ritter, eliciting hoots and laughter, ``I don't know who got her, but it went right through the sign and hit her smack dab in the middle of the head!''

    Viewing the video for the first time last month, Ritter was incensed. Until now, she had no plans to sue, even though a long list of people -- labor union workers, a filmmaker, protesters and a local reporter -- filed complaints and lawsuits alleging the agencies in charge of crowd control -- Miami Police, Miami-Dade Police and BSO -- used excessive force and made false arrests.

    MINOR OFFENSES
    About 220 people were arrested, the majority for minor offenses such as obstructing sidewalks, according to the Miami-Dade state attorney's office. Charges have been dropped in nearly half of those cases. So far, 57 people have been convicted, according to spokesman Edward Griffith.

    The Miami Civilian Investigative Panel, a voter-created board that vets complaints against the Miami police, looked into 20 allegations of police misconduct. Six of those complaints have become lawsuits backed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Last week, the panel issued a report criticizing police for profiling and ''unlawfully'' searching protesters, but announced it had found no evidence of excessive force.

    THE BSO TAPES
    On one of the final days of the summit meant to hash out a trade agreement among 34 Western nations, Ritter had accepted a friend's invitation to attend an FTAA-related law lecture at Bayfront Park.
    While leaders from 34 countries negotiated inside Miami's downtown Intercontinental Hotel, TV news showed hundreds of police in riot gear facing protesters, many college-age, who thought a trade pact would hurt developing countries.

    OVERKILL
    But it wasn't trade issues that brought Ritter and her friends to downtown that day. The attorney thought it was overkill that the police had all but shut down the city.

    ''My city, my hometown, was becoming a police state,'' she said.

    A videographer captured what happened next, showing Ritter walking alone in front of a line of BSO deputies on NE Third Street.

    As the deputies advance, Ritter turns around to face them and raises her sign.

    A barrage of projectiles is fired. She kneels, holding her sign above her head as a shield.

    Ritter is shot five times -- in her legs, upper body, and shoulder. And when she kneels on the ground, the sign above her head, a projectile rips through it and strikes her in the head.

    Hard rubber projectiles typically leave welts and bruises, but at close range can pierce the skin, or rarely, kill.
    'I turned around and said, `Why did you hit me?' Is a woman in a business suit a threat?'' Ritter recalled in a recent interview.

    A MISTAKE?
    'But then I thought, `That must have been a mistake.' A police officer isn't going to shoot me on purpose.''
    Ritter walked around downtown in a daze, finally getting a ride home. Although her head and body were bruised and she was upset, she decided not to make an issue of what happened.

    Then, last month the BSO videotape emerged as a result of a public records request from the Miami Civilian Investigative Panel.

    Its existence was first reported by the Daily Business Review.
    The tape, recorded for training purposes, shows Major John Brooks -- then a captain -- addressing dozens of deputies in an outdoor BSO tent.

    ''How about yesterday, huh?'' Brooks says, complimenting the officers for their work during the protests. ``I would go to war with everyone here.''

    Brooks continues, ``I went home, I couldn't sleep, I was just so pumped up about how good you guys were . . . Nobody broke ranks. You're the best I've ever been with.''

    Sgt. Michael Kallman, a BSO counterterrorism unit officer, addresses the group next. A voice off-camera says, ``What about the lady behind the sign? We have intel on her?''

    The officers laugh.

    Kallman smiles and says, ``The good news about being able to watch you guys live on TV is that the lady with the red dress, I don't know who got her, but it went right through the sign and hit her smack dab in the middle of the head!''
    He raises his forefinger and zooms it toward his forehead.

    The cops all laugh.

    Another officer asks, off-camera, ``Did I get a piece of her red dress?''

    BSO'S RESPONSE
    No disciplinary action has been taken against any officers in the video, said BSO spokesman Elliott Cohen.
    ''There has been no Internal Affairs investigations involving FTAA,'' he said.

    Brooks left the Miami Police Department and joined BSO amid controversy over the removal of Elián González from his uncle's Little Havana home in April 2000. Brooks, an assistant chief at the Miami police department at the time, had accompanied agents on the raid to clear police through police barricades.

    Then-Mayor Joe Carollo criticized Brooks, saying his presence in the van gave the impression the raid had the city's seal of approval.

    In May 2005, Brooks was promoted to major, making him one of Sheriff Ken Jenne's highest ranking deputies.
    The Miami Herald left numerous messages for Brooks and Kallman through the sheriff's public information office. Three messages were left with Brooks' assistant and at Kallman's office explaining the story and asking for comment. The Herald also sent certified letters to both men. Neither responded. Jenne also declined to comment for this story.

    Miami police was the lead police agency during the FTAA. Miami Police Chief John Timoney declined comment for this article.

    Miami investigative panel attorney Charles Mays said the panel's ability to vet complaints was halted by one huge obstacle: While Miami officers wore identifying uniforms, BSO and Miami-Dade officers did not.

    ''It made it much more difficult to know who did what,'' he said.

    ''With multi-agencies running around, as an officer you won't know who's who,'' said Eugene O'Donnell, professor of police science at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former New York City cop.

    ''It hurts oversight, community and accountability,'' he said.

    However, he said it was nevertheless appropriate for law enforcement to prepare for the potential for violence -- like that seen in Seattle in 1999 when protests against the World Trade Organization grew explosive between cops and protesters.

    FEW INJURIES
    FTAA's injuries hovered around a few dozen and the week was far less violent. Miami police had 16 injuries, spokesman Delrish Moss said.

    It's unclear how many Miami-Dade or BSO officers were hurt.

    Commander Armando Guzman, a 25-year-old police veteran and leader of the Miami Police Swat Team during FTAA, said officers faced violence that wasn't publicized.

    Protesters set fire to freight pallets they placed on the street and fired ball bearings at police using ''wrist rockets,'' sophisticated high-velocity sling-shots, he said.

    Demonstrators also flung pieces of brick and rebar at cops, said Guzman.

    He was nearly hit in the head with a urine-filled Gatorade bottle.
    Guzman witnessed the Ritter shooting.

    ''Unfortunately there were people between us and them,'' he said.
    ``If you're in the middle, you're going to get hit.''
    O'Donnell added, ''I'm not excusing what they said -- and it probably doesn't sit well with the public,'' he said. ``But it's not unheard of for cops to talk in a kind of locker room way.''

    NOT A THREAT
    Ritter does not accept that.
    ''I was not a threat to them,'' she said.

    ''Referring to people as cockroaches is wrong. Saying they want a piece of my red dress is wrong. The law, I know, will agree with me,'' she added.
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  2. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    You can bet on one thing. If I decide to go to watch a protest or even take part in one and I am not engaging in violence and am targetted by some trigger happy cop, he or she will soon regret it. I will not settle for any other action beside that cop losing his job. The DAs in charge of these guys better get a hold of their dogs before someone tosses them some antifreeze. And they wonder why the public doesn't like these friggin' idiots hiding behind gear and attacking anything that moves. What if it's a 90yo lady waving a banner, would they be able to legally attack and shoot her? I'm sure the answer is yes in that it may help control the riot.

    Notice most protests never turn into riots until the cops show up? All you Police need to get off your butts and control your co-workers. I don't want to hear any excuse about 'Not all cops are like this'. Sure they aren't. They are just as good as you right? If you see this crap go on and you do not do anything to stop it, you are just as liable. Screw your head on straight and do what is right. So you have to stand up to your 'buddies'. You will do it or you will continue to live behind the badge of a coward.

    I will have to look up the oath of being a cop. I'm just wondering what mention of morals it has or was that skipped at the academy. I don't care what you are protesting and how hot it gets. You see an unarmed individual you do not fire upon them, no matter how brain dead you are. It is not done and then they wonder why the cops are getting fire-bombed. It's because at the last protest that would have been peaceful some of the smucks used excessive force and people are now pissed off.

    There was this little town where I lived in the south. There was a Sheriff that anytime anyone protested something he would jail them and when they got to his jail it came to light that he would pay them a visit in their cells and while they were handcuffed, he'd stomp them and kick them around with his boots. Needless to say that he isn't the Sheriff anymore and he doesn't live a free life unless you count prison as free. That is what should happen to anyone using unjustifiable force.

    I don't want to hear any BS about I wasn't there so I don't know how heated it can get. If you cannot handle the pressure and still conduct yourself as an officer of the law then you need to either do the world a favor and kiss that pistol you carry or just resign the job. Anyone who uses any excuse to cover their mistakes is only bringing shame upon their heads and discrediting the years of service that their ethical brothers and sisters have given.

    There is no excuse for this and never will be. Anyone who can't control his dogs should be fired and possibly face charges along with the stupid. I don't care what you protest. If you do not get violent, then you should not receive violence, especially if you are unarmed. That is all I am going to say on that.
     
  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    You know the trouble with videotapes ? They show EXACTLY who the enemy is.......rather stupid of them to make it.
     
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The ability to protest and disagree publicly is a basic right guarranteed under the constitution. After all, anyone remember the Boston Tea Party? That was one hell of a demostration. I don't see it as a problem as long as it is done peacefully, I might not agree with it, but I don't see why any form of local, state, or federal gov. should step in as long as it is peaceful. Now when those crazy group of Jesushatesfags church show up at our soldiers funerals with signs and statements slandering the soldier that died, I can see where they could be removed for disturbing the peace, or inciting a riot. Actually I think the law should step away and let the crowd handle them.
     
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Yep. You see that WALL of cops? All in Black with riot screens over the helmets.. The second vid with all the cops laughing about it was the one that got me. Those LEOs are just like a HS football team after a game. They don't see a problem with any of it and these are the guys that will be fire lead bullets rather than rubber when they march to take your guns...

    Hell, they had 200 cops for a peacable protest. What makes you think they won't bring 500 to storm the home of, YOU, the DT....

    :flash:[finger][sheep][sinking][stoner][yukface]
     
  6. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Many ex-military have been joining police forces and they act very military-like now and that scares the hell out of me. You see it all the time with patrolling cops carrying rifles - I have never gone down to The Strip during a big event and never will. It's crawling with snipers and military-like police and to me nothing good can come from it.
     
  7. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Many ex-military have been joining the police forces. That is true as it has always been. Some cops are ex-Soldiers and some Soldiers were ex-cops. That in itself isn't a bad thing. What is bad is that the number of 'Oh my god, I went to war and it fried my mind so now I think I'm some kind of Nazi Stormtrooper and you are going to get treated without some kind of respect befitting a human being' types is increasing. The Police force is made up simply of a certain few types of people. Ex-Street Thugs who found that 'Legal' power was a good thing so they became cops. You have ex-military that were either let go due to mental fatigue, behavior problems that weren't 'officially' documented or idiots that had no business being anything close to a Soldier as they were just homicidal people that wanted to kill. You have young, untried cops fresh out of the academy that follow in the bad steps of idiot cops.

    And the final group you have is ex-military who served with distinction and conduct themself as so in every step of their life and fresh academy guys that are learning from the good ex-military. This last group is being more and more outweighed by the 'criminal' element that is signing up to be a cop. Whether it is 5 or 5000, if they come for me and I have not commited any crime other than not be a 'Liberal Boot Licker' I will be forced to give a good account of myself. I will let my hands be guided by a power that nothing on earth can stop and I will see how it plays out. I oppose any and all terrorists whether foreign or domestic and will always do so. It is who I am. I have never worried about my own safety, in that I am centered on me all the time. I have always protected others and will continue to do so.

    It's funny when I tell people that I not scared of man nor beast and they think I'm either psychotic or insane. Haha. Some people just know certain things about themselves and embrace them. You could know that you are a perfect judge of character and have proven so many countless times. You just know in your being that is what you do. I am, I guess you could call it, a Protector. Don't know where it comes from, it just is. Okay, enough of my ramble for now. Just had to get on one to calm down from this moronic display of cowardice. Just amazes me to no end. Those are my thoughts on it.
     
  8. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    To paraphrase Johnathon Swift " Let's kill all the old white guys"
    Bubbas don't want military stomping on our rights.
    Neither do most blacks, mexicans, or working people...the only ones that seem to desire this trend are old white guys, I suppose it makes them feel safer. My father is an old white guy. He truly believes that we need this to make him safer and more secure. I wish they'd just wake the f..k up! Dorthy, this ain't Kansas any more.
     
  9. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Acutally, she is. Just visiting though.
     
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    TSk, tsk. Anti me, is you? :lol:
     
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