Video of Police Assaulting #OWS Protestor and Punching Woman in the Face

We’ve commented how the police kept the media far away during the crackdown in Zuccotti Park last night so as to prevent capture of images of the efforts to clear the square. There were reports at the time via the live feed of protestors being tear gassed and dragged away by their arms and legs, and later of the use of pepper spray and batons.

This video was from this morning, when the police were keeping protestors out of the park, an illegal violation of a court injunction. The protestors show a copy of the court order and are (predictably) denied access to the park. The woman was punched at around 1:45; the footage does not show the actual blow, but you can pretty clearly infer from her suddenly being on the ground in obvious pain what happened.

If this is what you see, imagine what happened last night, with no cameras and videos to constrain police aggression.

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  1. Marley

    Wow… particularly insidious in this episode is that there is a “police” officer videotaping protesters. Is there anyone out there who still doesn’t grasp the gravity of this??

  2. Freude Bud

    Notice the smile on the officer’s face at 0:45-0:50 … I think that’s telling in a pretty frightening way.

    I tend to be pro-police, but this is rather sad.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Police are mainly thugs with badges, as any casual historical review will tell you. There are exceptions, but even decent officers won’t testify against their “brothers”. When they won’t accept recruits who are “too” intelligent you know something is wrong. Your trust and support for the police is misplaced. They are important, and need to be watched and regulated closely, which of course they are not.

    2. billh

      To be honest, I think the woman in yellow is hit accidentally by her fellow protester with the flag. He loses his balance when grabbed by police at 1:41. After that point, I don’t see any police close enough to her to touch her face.

      I am outraged by the police behavior, but this clip isn’t the reason.

      1. billh

        I retract my earlier comment. I’ve now seen this from another angle, and the woman in yellow was hit purposefully by police.

        1. Ashley

          Would you please share with us how you saw this from another angle? That means there’s another video of this incident? Where can I see this from another angle? Thanking you in advance.

    1. Sufferin' Succotash

      That’s just exactly what the PTB are trying to provoke, an excuse to tag OWS as a terrorist organization.

      1. lambert strether


        To which the riposte is “But the police will crack down anyhow.”

        To which the response is: “So, who gets better public support after the crackdown? The non-violent, or the violent?”

        And we have, Oakland vs. NYC, a chance to compare and contrast. Eh?

        NOTE Not to say that the OccupyOakland, in the main, was violent/vandalistic. But the Black Block most definitely was, and so Oakland ended up with a lot less good will on the balance sheet than NYC.

      2. ambrit

        Dear Succotash;
        Yes as far as it goes. But, when you lose, you are a terrorist. When you win however, you are a patriot.
        The ‘authorities’ are going to enforce police state rules now no matter what. Their very exixtance is at stake. After all, they have ever been gamblers.

        1. Sufferin' Succotash

          OWS hasn’t won or lost anything yet. Since when have challenges to the existing economic order carried any gilt-edged guarantees of success? There’s one guarantee of failure and that’s letting yourself get defined by the opposition. And what better way to discredit the movement than to frame it as “terrorist”? Any–repeat ANY–lethal violence directed at the police would be jumping precisely through a hoop held out by the powers that be. You think Bloomberg gives a shit if NY police officers get killed? That’s exactly the excuse he and his employers are waiting for.

          1. ambrit

            Dear Sufferin’;
            I do get your point. However, I would suggest that a great deal of the dynamic playing out depends on the ‘Powers’ fearing public censure and or public outrage. This is looking less and less likely as time goes on. “Boss” Bloomberg has slowly but surely ratcheted up the level of official violence, seemingly independant of the general feeling.
            One of the great tragedys of the Jewish Holocaust was the endlessly repeated inaction of the generality of the European Hebrew population when faced with a similar ratcheting up phenomena by the ‘Authorities.’ The European Jews seemed unable to comprehend the enormity of the fact of Evil as manifested by the duly elected German government. Hitler didn’t seize power, it was given to him.
            I may sound a little crazed, but this neo whatever movement here in America is taking on more and more of the characteristics of Evil. I am, frankly, worried. We all should be.

  3. ambrit

    The gloves are comimg off. I suggest that “Boss” Bloomberg is the bell wether for the rest of the State and Local Authorities. He is ‘pushing the envelope’ against the protestors. The more he gets away with, the more he will try to ‘accomplish.’ The sinister ties of the NYC police administration with the Feds suggests a stepping stone approach will be implemented nationwide. (Or already is so being engaged in.)
    The previous comment about the ‘police’ taping protestors should come as no surprise. It is standard procedure in police states world wide. Next usually come the ‘visits’ in the night. The usual enabling factor in this scenario is supine innatention in the public at large. That’s why no ‘undomesticated’ journalists were allowed near the park during the ‘cleansing’ operation. (Where have we heard that phrase before, hmmm?)[No S—! I heard you, I know, I know.]
    The comment about the smile on the policemans face during the confrontation is indeed ominous. It shows that the authorities are selecting their Praetorian Guards for arrogance and ingroup mentalities. I would strongly urge vigilance concerning some sort of near term expansion of one or more of the myriad ‘State Security Services’ focusing on recruitment of returning Iraq and Afghan War Vets. With the ‘phasing out’ of the Iraq Adventure, a lot of battle hardened men and women will be at loose ends. Any adventure against Iran will be a truly immense fiasco. Believe me, there are plenty of smart people in the Pentagon who know that a failed Iran intervention will mean the public humiliation of Americas elites. If we manage to avoid a true nut case in the White House next time, that won’t happen. So, Johnny, you need a job. One that gives you a feeling of belonging, a feeling of being part of History. A job that makes you a respected and feared member of society. Well son, we here at the American Plutocrat Security Directorate have just the berth for you!
    Finally, about the gloves coming off; that poor blonde woman who got punched has paid her dues. She can proudly tell future generations: “I shed my blood for this country!”
    The mere fact that those police did such a reprehensible act in full view of cameras tells the tale. They feel invincible and righteous. Classic authoritarian mind set. It also tells reams about the authorities that they all, from “Boss” Bloomberg on down to Smiley the Cop, don’t give a s— about the courts and thier ‘d—-d pieces of paper.’
    The Plutocrats are sowing the wind. As Hosea tells us, “they shall reap the whirlwind.”

    1. Cal

      Will someone please make a citizen’s arrest on Bloomberg?
      Five or six men dressed in business suits at a function should be able to pounce on him and get the zip ties on
      him before his bodyguards can react. Make sure to get it on video for the world to see.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Cal;
        Good idea! Better yet, how about a New York City Committee of Vigilance to clean up the mess! Just like all our favourite Cowboys in the Westerns. “Saddle up buckaroos! We’re goin to pay “Boss” Bloomberg a little visit and run him out of town on a rail! (Preferrably the Third Rail.)”
        See ya at the (Madison) Square Dance!

      2. Amateur Socialist

        Sure. Just find me a judge willing to arraign him on charges once the zip ties are on. Hint: You may need to skip the Giuliani appointees.

  4. Diogenes

    Although various right wing fascists seem to have appropriated this wonderful quotation, I think what we are seeing before us today in Liberty Plaza (and elsewhere around this country) is exactly what Thomas Jefferson was talking about when he wrote the following words:

    The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion. The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13 states independant 11 years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

  5. Pitchfork

    Can someone please explain why cop heads aren’t getting busted at this point? I’m not speaking from bravado — it’s just that I can’t imagine exercising the kind of restraint and self-control that flag man does here. (I come from a long line of belligerent red necks, so maybe it’s just genetic ;-)

  6. Creplow

    Bloomberg did the movement a favor. It would have fizzled over the winter, and nothing looks worse than failure. Now they can regroup, and pretend to be something other than the communists and nihilists they really are in the spring.

    1. F. Beard

      …other than the communists and nihilists they really are in the spring. Creplow

      What is it about our society that creates “communists and nihilists”?

      Could it be our fascist money system whereby the “creditworthy” are allowed to loot everyone else?

      1. Skippy

        Give it a break Beard, this is biblical neoliberalism…cough…everyone by their god gifted means rubbish economic template.

        Skippy…killers of humans and a world dying on a sacrificial for profit alter, how does it feel to be so.

        1. F. Beard

          this is biblical neoliberalism… Skippy

          No it’s not. Usury between fellow countrymen is forbidden in Deuteronomy 23:19-20. And theft is forbidden in the 10 Commandments. And oppression of the poor is forbidden throughout the Bible.

          killers of humans and a world dying on a sacrificial for profit alter, how does it feel to be so. Skippy

          The Earth is doomed anyway if there is no God. You know, them killer asteroid thingies or gamma ray bursters or perhaps just a wandering black hole. So we had best assume that there is a God in the hope He might save us.

          1. Skippy

            You mangle your own words “Countrymen” as you use it is out of biblical context…full stop.

            “The Earth is doomed anyway if there is no God”…. Oh my, time machines again, can I have a ride.

            “So we had best assume that there is a God in the hope He might save us.”… Why don’t you get a revolver with 2 rounds in it and engage in some assumption.

            Skippy..I gave up magic in my childhood, it only befuddles the mind, cripples thought processes, your world is intellectually flat.

          2. Lidia

            FB, you crack me up… Why would the God character in the Bible “save us” when (if you believe in such things) he already psychotically destroyed essentially the entire human population of earth once… What’s to stop him from doing it again? just the fact that he saw to it that another single, particular, exemplar of his offspring was tortured and killed in the meantime, that’s supposed to keep *you* “safe”?

  7. MontanaMaven

    Some men have real “issues” with women. Has anybody noticed how many male cops are punching woman in their wombs in these assaults? Between these incidents and Paterno, does anyone else think about Caligula and the fall of Rome?

      1. MontanaMaven

        Most assuredly. Also I was going to do a post a year ago after watching Visconti’s “The Leopard” again. “Is Obama Our Tancredi?” was its titled. Never finished it. Great movie about the transition between one system to the next system of governance. Ultimately the same thing with elites controlling everything. But for awhile everybody feels good. Vsconti’s “The Damned” is more literal. The decadence of the elites is spelled out and the back stabbing and throwing each other to the wolves is quite harrowing to watch although not much sympathy for any of them.

  8. SmartLibertarian

    ahahaha funny how these socialist idiots are out “GIVE US MORE BIG GOVERNMENT!!” and ….BIG GOVERNMENT GIVE THEM ON FACE LOL

    1. Skippy

      What crack in Hades did you issue forth from.

      Government is bought and payed for by neolibertarians, this is your utopia!

      Skippy…your tag – handle SmartLibertarian, is probably the the most egregious oxymoron…I have ever set my eyes upon, Psychopaths Inc.

      1. ambrit

        Oh my dear skippy! Obviously that great crack described by Chaucer in the Canterbury Tales from which “issued forth a myriad of friars in great riot.”

        1. Skippy

          “red in tooth and claw”

          lends too

          “Which masters Time indeed, and is Eternal, separate from fears.” – Tennyson


        2. ambrit

          Dear skippy;
          Sorry, the Prologue to the Summoners Tale.
          Chaucer is a wonderful testament to the old saying: “Everything that was old is new again.”
          What would be our modern Miltons: “Eyeless in Gaza, at the mill with slaves.”
          The banksters are indeed false alchemists! Not for them that esoteric creed; “As above, so below.” Their spinning gold has made leaden our days.

    2. ambrit

      Dear Sociopolitical Oxymoron;
      Interestingly, no, refreshingly incomprehensible bit of Trollery that. Looking forward to seeing you at the Anarchists Poetry Slam next Walpurgis Night.

    3. wunsacon

      “SmartLibertarian”? That’s your handle??

      I know a few smart libertarians. And you are no smart libertarian, sir.

        1. SmartLibertarian

          no matter how much you protest and whine you can’t change the simple fact that capitalism is the only moral system and human nature and a lot of intellectuals from Ayn Rand to Von Mises,from R.Dawkins(the selfish gene)to Ron Paul proved that again again and again

          so stop whine 24/24,if you are enrolled in some useless course like “sociology”(=marxism 101),”women study”,”liberal art” and all other shit you liberal love just drop out and find a REAL job or open your business or study something useful like an hard or some fucking economics

          1. ambrit

            Dear SmartLibertarian;
            (Oxymoron is to cumbersome, mind if we just call you Ox?)
            “Womens studies,” huh? I think you’ve just reinvented the ad feminem logical fallacy.
            As for moral system; well, that may be, but it sure fails the ethics test. Also, just what type of ‘studies’ do you think helped your sainted forebearers, whom shall remain nameless, to manipulate and despoil their fellow beings? Psychology and the sociology sciences may be more art than science, but they do indeed work. As an example, the continued use of the “Big Lie” strategy by such luminaries as Goebbles, Molotov, Reagan, Norquist, et. al. to gain and use power throughout history. As for economics being a ‘hard’ science; oh boy, don’t get me started!
            Your brother in Keynes, Ambrit.

          2. Rex

            Good boy, SL. Wish I had a treat I could give you. Has FOX taught you any other tricks you can perform for us?

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            People who open a conversation by claiming they are smart rather than demonstrating it are usually the dumbest guys in the room. Sort of like high school kids who’ve never been laid bragging about their sexual prowess.

        2. Skippy

          WOW link to study please or is this a case of I said so, the libertarians ultimate fall back. Heck lets go into the Bell Curve thingy again with RACE as its premises.

          The Bell Curve is a best-selling and controversial 1994 book by the Harvard psychologist Richard J. Herrnstein (deceased before the book was released) and American Enterprise Institute political scientist Charles Murray. Its central argument is that intelligence is substantially influenced by both inherited and environmental factors and is a better predictor of many personal dynamics, including financial income, job performance, chance of unwanted pregnancy, and involvement in crime than are an individual’s parental socioeconomic status, or education level. The book also argues that those with high intelligence, the “cognitive elite”, are becoming separated from those of average and below-average intelligence, and that this is a dangerous social trend with the United States moving toward a more divided society similar to that in Latin America.

          Much of the controversy concerned the parts of the book in which the authors wrote about racial differences in intelligence and discuss the implications of those differences. The authors were reported throughout the popular press as arguing that these IQ differences are genetic, and they did indeed write in chapter 13: “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.” The introduction to the chapter more cautiously states, “The debate about whether and how much genes and environment have to do with ethnic differences remains unresolved.”

          The book’s title comes from the bell-shaped normal distribution of intelligence quotient (IQ) scores in a population.

          Skippy…BTW I.Q. is being seriously refuted as a metric of intelligence… cough…environment from birth before genetics.

          1. Skippy

            Ilya Somin argues that there are numerous methodological flaws in the study: conflating liberalism with universalism, relying on self-identification of ideology, and a seeming assumption that being endorsed by intelligent people makes an ideology “correct.” The second point is especially interesting: “For example, more African-Americans describe themselves as ‘conservative’ than ‘liberal,’ even though this description fits neither their issue positions nor their voting patterns. In recent decades, the term ‘liberal’ has acquired a negative connotation, so much so that many liberals have taken to calling themselves ‘progressives.’ This makes it likely that some liberal survey respondents won’t identify with the term, especially among the less-educated and less politically knowledgeable.”

            Skippy..Fooking Chomsky…eh…I’ll call Jung.

  9. Cal

    Why all this concentration on an empty and now useless stone plaza? Most of Wall Street’s real players are up somewhere in Midtown aren’t they?

    The solution to persecution is dissolution…

    There should be an OWS demonstration on every single intersection of Midtown Manhattan. Why aren’t the demonstrators in front of Goldman Sachs? How about the Federal Reserve bank of NY? It’s close by the plaza?

    Times Square being occupied would put a dent in tourism and would focus more attention on OWS than Zuccotti.

    1. Creplow

      Better question – why are the protesters not at the gates of the edifice that empowered the banksters to pillage the economy in the first place? An incoherent movement that sought to diminish the victims of their hero – Barack Obama – has been gives the winter off. Expect them to return in the spring, with the sole purpose in mind to get their golden boy reelected. Those who demonstrate with another idea in mind are being used by the Obama-Pelosi axis. They do not call them “Useful Idiots” for nothing.

      1. LucyLulu

        Expect them to return in the spring, with the sole purpose in mind to get their golden boy reelected.

        That’s funny.

        Somebody has been watching too much Fox News (or listening to Rush znd Lew). No wonder you don’t have a clue.

        1. Creplow

          Oh, right – these hippie communists are organized and master planners. And you think it is I who has no clue. That’s really funny. I can’t wait to see the master plan unfold.

      2. Antipodeus

        “… why are the protesters not at the gates of the edifice that empowered the banksters to pillage the economy in the first place?”

        Where? … You mean, like, outside the “Raygun Presidential Library” [with its three books?]. Or a ranch somewhere near Crawford.? Oh! … I know!! … Outside the Fed!?

      3. Lidia

        If you think Obama is the “hero” of OWS, that just shows how little you understand what’s happening here.

        1. Creplow

          Pol Pot is not running, so Obama is the closest thing they have got to advance their agenda, so he will get their votes.

  10. Abelenkpe

    Foolish moves by the authorities. OWS was beginning to fade in the news and now here it is revitalized. Violence against women? Never a good idea when trying to convince others of the righteousness of ones cause.

  11. Dan Kervick

    Are you sure it isn’t wasn’t pepper spray. The woman seems to reach for a handkerchief after a while.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      She fell backwards. With pepper spray, the reflex is to curl forward, to cover your face. Also, she was in a crowd. Pretty unlikely the cops would be able to hit one person and not others.

  12. Vic

    I wonder to what extent cultural identity plays a role in the moronic way the cops have been conducting themselves. I’m from New York and kind of straddle both worlds (ie, working-class, white ‘ethnic’, ‘native’ / well-educated, ‘non-ethnic’ white, ‘non-native’), so I think I know how all those blockheaded Guido cops see all those screeching skinny white liberals, and it’s sure as shit not as human beings. That has to change somehow. Signs of hope in that video from Oakland where an Asian lieutenant enforces policy when a wannabe Fedayeen-type under his command covers his name on his uniform. Bottom line: in the long run, we need more non-cro-magnons joining police forces.

  13. jake

    well maybe now the OWS people will start to realise that regarding the cops as part of the 99 per cent is a dangerous fantasy – they are what they always were the stormtroopers for the 1 per cent. as we say in ireland, time to wise up and act accordingly.

  14. EmilianoZ

    OWS has released 2 videos of the eviction. At the very end of the 2nd one you see the same incident as the one depicted here but from a different angle. The woman in yellow was clearly punched at about 3:22 in the 2nd video.

  15. steak

    She is a member of the OWS PR Working Group. She has a great doctor and great legal support. When she got to the hospital she was directed by the doctors to call 911 and file a report. Hopefully the officer will be prosecuted.

  16. Mike Silva

    Surprise, surprise. You tell a group of people they are ‘America’s Heroes’ because they wear a particular uniform, no matter whether they were munching donuts in Queens or Des Moines, rather than actually doing heroic acts at the towers, and they are emboldened to think they are special class of people that can treat everyone else like shit with impunity.

    Its called the Stanford Prison Experiment, and engaging in a real life version of it with our domestic police forces after 9/11 maybe wasn’t so smart.

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