Guest Post: Police Punch Protester In the Face

By Washington’s Blog

Police Punch Protester In Face

Here are more of today’s videos of police violence.

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About George Washington

George Washington is the head writer at Washington’s Blog. A busy professional and former adjunct professor, George’s insatiable curiousity causes him to write on a wide variety of topics, including economics, finance, the environment and politics. For further details, ask Keith Alexander…


  1. whatsup

    I think the video you’re referring to is this — and there is another video out there, from another angle, which more clearly shows this officer approaching this person from behind, grabbing them by the shoulder to turn them around, and essentially sucker punching them

      1. Yves Smith

        Thanks, I’ve corrected the headline, since I had seen footage of a HIV positive man being punched and he was also wearing green. I thought it might be the same incident. I asked GW if he was sure it was a woman, and he said:

        99% sure it’s a woman. If you look at the still photo before the video loads, her clothes hug her derrier tightly. And in the video, you can see she is wearing a very colorful flower-like dress.

        Note again it’s one of those white shirted cops.

        1. Carla

          In stark contrast to what police are doing in NYC, Boston and Denver, when Occupy Cleveland put out the word that more tents were needed for the Occupation, the Cleveland Police Department showed up with tents.

          Perhaps since we were really ground zero for mortgage fraud and our neighborhoods have been absolutely decimated, the City of Cleveland has responded really well to Occupy Cleveland. So far, so good.

          1. nikhil

            Here in LA too. The first day I was there the cops were being pretty cool and showing organizers where to setup tents. It rained two weeks ago and Villaraigosa was handing out ponchos. That guy never saw a photo-op he didn’t like. Not too much financial industry here, though I wonder what it would be like if it was Occupy Burbank or Occupy Studio City.

  2. YankeeFrank

    The person who was punched was actually a guy, but damn, does it really matter? That cop just cold-cocked him out of nowhere. What a fucking thug. I hope they find out who that scumbag was so he can prosecute the shit out of him.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Yankee Frank;
      Maybe someone could get the boys who ‘took care’ of Henry Shu to take care of the Gestapo Goon in White. I hear they’re available for a price.

    1. YankeeFrank

      The NYC gestapo protects its own. The scumbag who maced those girls several weeks ago is still “protecting and serving” the public as we type.

      1. rotter

        He probably got time off at with double pay. so he could recover from the trauma.and get back to getting paid to do the critical work of,of um,…. Ahhh, help me out here.Ah yes. Protecting and serving his corporate master on wal st. and maceing everyone else!

      2. HTML Reader

        Don’t forget the district attorneys. Why haven’t they filed charges? Is there anyone in the justice system who stands for justice?

      1. LeeAnne

        It doesn’t matter. Police have no right to put their hands on anyone. They have the right to arrest.

    1. Jackrabbit

      Whether he was run over is under dispute. There have been reports (apparently some from independent observers/press) that he put his feet under the wheels.

      1. reslez

        He “put his feet under the wheels”? You gotta be kidding me. Next you’ll be telling us about the protestors who threw themselves at a policeman’s fist and the ones who telekinetically opened a can of pepper spray and impelled it into their own eyes.

        The authoritarian types are sure stretching it today…

        1. Jackrabbit


          The authoritarian types are sure stretching it today…

          I think I was appropriately reserved in my opinion when I said: “Whether he was run over is under dispute. There have been reports (apparently some from independent observers/press) that he put his feet under the wheels.

          Furthermore, if you had bothered to check, you would’ve found that 1) I’ve been an NC reader for over a year, and 2) I have been supportive of OWS.

          Now let me add this:
          1. I saw a video, shot by a protester, of the officer inching forward on the motorcycle. The picture is blocked by people (mostly press photographers) at the time that the man is “run over” – but only for a few seconds. It SEEMS unlikely that the man could’ve been “run over” when the officer is inching forward moments before.

          2. There are a number of clear incidents where the police have gone too far. Clearly the protesters make use of that for publicity. In this case it is possible that the man who was “run over” went too far in seeking such publicity.

          3. If the reports are true, such behavior is not helpful to OWS (in my opinion).

  3. rotter

    Thanks for posting this BTW. These images are going to a long way in deconstructing the post nineleven saint/warrior/poet aura surrounding armed, uniformed NYC/Merril Lynch employees.

    1. Jane

      Hi Pepe, I saw that link earlier in the day on the #occupywallstreet twitter feed. Very powerful stuff. What a bunch of hypocrites. Democracy and freedom to protest in the Middle East, but not here at home in the USA.

      I will keep passing on the link – hope you will too.

      Peace, Jane

  4. kirk murphy

    GW and Yves –

    Thanks to you both for covering OWS and the Occupy movement!

    Earlier today I shared this info in a comment at Firedoglake. Then I had to correct my comment: Boing carried a story about the victim of the white shirt’s attack. The victim’s a guy….

    ‘[Rivera-Pitre] tells us he was walking a little bit in front of the police on William Street, and admits he “shot the cop a look.” But then, according to Rivera-Pitre (and this is in line with what we witnessed), “The cop just lunged at me full throttle and hit me on the left side of my face. It tore my earring out. I remember seeing my earring on the ground next to me and it was full of blood. I was completely dumbstruck. I’m HIV positive and that cop should get tested.” ‘

    [PS – Great work on LeShow, Yves!]

    1. Yves Smith

      OK, thanks, this was the incident I saw earlier. The footage GW found is better than what I saw then, it was people screaming and the guy falling after he had been hit but no footage of the punch proper.

    2. beowulf

      “It tore my earring out. I remember seeing my earring on the ground next to me and it was full of blood. I was completely dumbstruck. I’m HIV positive and that cop should get tested.”

      I am sorry to hear of his medical condition, but I have to say +1 for mentioning it. There are no other words that could make that cop sweat more.

  5. Blues

    I’m trying to figure out what the City and NYPD is thinking. Surely they know that there are lots of cameras around? Surely they know that spokespeople issuing bland denials after videos are widely aired is pretty stupid and hurts any other future accurate denials? Surely they know that a broke city is going to face a hell of a lot of lawsuits over this event? Surely they know that they are fundamentally changing their relationship with the general public, and that in the long run, they should really want the general public to be on their side?

    This is very, very stupid and shortsighted behavior. Moreover, its pointlessly stupid and shortsighted–there is nothing to be gained in their actions, and plenty to lose. Whatever they thought at first, such pettiness is not going to dissuade protest (although weather conditions might)

    I’m not even siding with the protesters. I’m just really questioning the sanity behind these actions.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    1. Christophe

      This kind of action is clearly not the desired goal of the city nor the NYPD. Their problem is that so many people join the force because they so love using force. There just aren’t that many legal professions that schoolyard bullies can aspire to – policeman, soldier, bouncer, bodyguard.

      The state is in a bit of a bind in that it needs large numbers of very obedient, non-independent-thinking bullies with great self-control to suppress its disenfranchised populace. There are simply not enough “mature” bullies out there to fill the ranks, so they hire the immature loose cannons as well.

      It only takes one psychopath to ruin the whole pie.

      1. casino implosion

        Hm, I was psychologically disqualified by the NYPD shrinks after aceing all the entrance exams. I guess I should take it as a compliment…

  6. Patrricia

    Does anyone know who the White Shirts are? A special squad? Desk sergeants in need a little exercise? They have more authority than the rest, because the others come up behind/around them to finish the jobs they start.

    1. casino implosion

      I don’t know where this “White Shirt” meme comes from. Those guys are just the officers. Ie, management.

  7. Juneau

    Re: OWS punch
    they know very well who threw the punch, 1010 WINS radio station reported his name on the radio, he is a police commander but I cannot find his name in the local newspaper articles.

  8. Bam_Man

    Back in the late 1990’s he/she might well have been taken down to the station house and sodomized with a broomstick.

    This is clear evidence of the great progress made by the NYPD in “anger management” over the past decade or so.

  9. Lloyd C. Bankster

    Last night I invited Jamie (Dimon) and Bob (Rubin) to have dinner at my place, but they were not their usual cheerful selves.

    They seemed distracted by these OWS protestors. I tried my best to cheer them up: First I showed them the youtube of that protestor getting his face smashed by one of our cops, and this, at least, got a few chuckles out of Bob, but nothing from Jamie. “$4.6 million and that’s all I get?!”

    Next I treated them to a private film, something my team has been working on this week: what we’d *like* to see happen to the protestors. The first fifteen minutes of the film consisted of the unremitting explosion of OWS protestors’ skulls under the impact of shots from a high caliber revolver. I had envisaged it in slow motion, then with slight accelerations, anyway, a whole choreography of brains, in the style of John Woo.

    Watching this had Bob laughing hysterically and it seemed to calm Jamie down a bit, but he was still agitated.

    Finally, as a last resort, I told them if the protests continued much longer I’m sending the Wolf.

    That did the trick: cheers and high fives all around:

  10. sgt_doom

    Not to be repetitive, but this bears repeating as it’s current with what’s taking place there:

    As corrupt as this practice is, testimony from Stephen Anderson, a former NYPD narcotics detective, shows it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    According to Anderson, who testified at trial Wednesday, New York City police regularly planted drugs on innocent people to meet quotas. Anderson should know. He was arrested in 2008 for planting cocaine on four men in a bar in Queens. His statements are the first glimpse into a culture of set-ups at the Brooklyn South and Queens Narc squads where eight corrupt cops were arrested.

    Next, we learn — thanks to the ever wonderful Wall Street investigative guru, Pam Martens, of those nicely ongoing payments to Big Apple’s Finest:

    Corporate media are reporting that these white shirts are police supervisors as opposed to rank and file. Recently discovered documents suggest something else may be at work.

    If you’re a Wall Street behemoth, there are endless opportunities to privatize profits and socialize losses beyond collecting trillions of dollars in bailouts from taxpayers. One of the ingenious methods that has remained below the public’s radar was started by the Rudy Giuliani administration in New York City in 1998. It’s called the Paid Detail Unit and it allows the New York Stock Exchange and Wall Street corporations, including those repeatedly charged with crimes, to order up a flank of New York’s finest with the ease of dialing the deli for a pastrami on rye.

    The corporations pay an average of $37 an hour (no medical, no pension benefit, no overtime pay) for a member of the NYPD, with gun, handcuffs and the ability to arrest. The officer is indemnified by the taxpayer, not the corporation.

    New York City gets a 10 percent administrative fee on top of the $37 per hour paid to the police. The City’s 2011 budget called for $1,184,000 in Paid Detail fees, meaning private corporations were paying wages of $11.8 million to police participating in the Paid Detail Unit. The program has more than doubled in revenue to the city since 2002.

    The taxpayer has paid for the training of the rent-a-cop, his uniform and gun, and will pick up the legal tab for lawsuits stemming from the police personnel following illegal instructions from its corporate master. Lawsuits have already sprung up from the program.

    When the program was first rolled out, one insightful member of the NYPD posted the following on a forum: “… regarding the officer working for, and being paid by, some of the richest people and organizations in the City, if not the world, enforcing the mandates of the private employer, and in effect, allowing the officer to become the Praetorian Guard of the elite of the City. And now corruption is no longer a problem. Who are they kidding?”

    Just this year, the Department of Justice revealed serious problems with the Paid Detail unit of the New Orleans Police Department. Now corruption probes are snowballing at NOPD, revealing cash payments to police in the Paid Detail and members of the department setting up limited liability corporations to run upwards of $250,000 in Paid Detail work billed to the city.

    As we found out a few days back, JP Morgan Chase essentially bought off the NYPD with a $4.6 million contribution to their Police Foundation:$46-million

  11. David Petraitis

    One should not be surprised at the police (state) violence. That is in fact what they are there for: to be a source of better armed order keeping in service of the state. How the movement continues will be in large part how it responds to the state violence that is and will be directed against it.

    We can hope (and I do) that the movement will remain true to its non-violent beginning and show thereby the corrupt nature of the elite’s power use. Using weapons and brutality against non-violence will, in the end, topple the power structure that depends on it.

    In that way this time is no different from earlier peace, civil rights, and labor movements. We should expect state directed violence and respond just as the demonstrators have responded, with the eye of citizen surveillance watching over the police, and showing what is really happening. And continuing to Occupy Wall Street around the world until the financial elite is forced to cede its powers over government.

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