I was filming the weekly "torture protest" at Pioneer Courthouse, when I noticed a mass amount police not far from where I was and then just around the corner on Washington street
So I walked down to film from across the street. As I did, people gathered (over a dozen) to watch the "show', most of the comment were directed at the police to 'catch real criminals" etc
I don't exactly know what was going on? ...but it looked like with all the "police man-power" it was real serious.
3 horse cops, 3 unmarked cars, for a total of 8 officers ...It looked like a "raid'.
As seen in the video there are four cops wearing t-shirts and jeans with no "name tags" they looked like some type of "gang" them selves...just not sure "what kind of cops they are".
The use of so many cops and the way they parked on sidewalks and surrounded them etc to me seemed like it was an uncalled for use of intimidation.
Two people arrested ...one tells me as I film "it was for littering" ...the other person (arrested) was a girl. I seen here when I was walking away, when it was all over with and everyone was gone (she was released within 10 min) that she was arrested for having an open container.
When I asked the police (horse cop) why (on-film) the man was arrested and he declined to tell me, saying it was "no big deal."
As a citizen, human rights activist, and a copwatch observer I ask the following questions:
1.what was this use of police resources all about
2.why use so many police for this particular (sic) crime
3.why the no name T-shirts on officers (and who are these t-shirt guys?)
4.why not tell the citizens watching, when it's over /going on, what happened or why this is happening (public relations)
5.why did everyone have to "move along" and no longer could be on the sidewalk
6.how many tickets were written and what for
7.who requested, or what prompted these police to take action in this manner
8.does the community understand and know the police are doing this to homeless folks
From what I can assume based on comments I heard the arrests and tickets were for:
littering, open container of alcohol, dogs not licensed, warrants
It was VERY unclear on the specifics ...I did see lots of "yellow ticket like papers" being distributed to most of the folks sitting by the t-shirt cops.
I question the harassment of the homeless, I question the use of manpower being deployed, the use of horses was not needed, the blocking the sidewalk was unnecessary and caused people to have to walk in the street(MAX train tracks) or j-walk to just get around the "blocked off sidewalk. The sidewalk is for folks walking not "Cop Cars & Horses (shitting)"
The police drove (when leaving) the wrong way down the street / max track. They also had blocked a curb sidewalk crossing, and had a horse shit on the sidewalk, the crap was discarded in some bushes, and there was fly's & stench lingering long after it was all over. Had a dog shit on the sidewalk and then if the owner dumped the shit in a bush it would of been a crime. The smell at lunch time was horrible.
The irony is ...bust a man for littering...and then leave Horseshit residue and smell behind in his place
Seems to me I would rather have the litter any day
Seems to me when I was at the Police and Human Rights meeting just two days prior there was all this talk about community relations, trust, respect, etc between the community and the police. In the meeting we were all shaking hands and sharing a pizza... two days later it's a whole different vibe on the streets. At that meeting the police shared on how nice the horses are and how they brought then to a neighborhood "open house" fun stuff ...pet the horses etc... To me it seems they show off the horses one way ...then use them in another way ...as a "force" or a "tool" and also in intimidation.
Tell me why this 8 man operation was worth it to the community and maybe I will understand, but it looked like an overuse of power applied to a group of poor people for very trivial reason. The police circumvented many laws...so they could apply "laws on the books" to a group of people that have very little but what they were carrying on their backs.
By the way I went home and had an open container in my home, as did <I bet> all those cops...
A poor person cannot do that "ANYWHERE" ...they have no place to enjoy their drink....If they dare try the cops are coming to get them and my tax payer money is funding all this cat n mouse high-jinks. As the cops jail and ticket for "no drinking allowed ANYWHERE" for the poor people.... (read poor/homeless can not have a legal drink ANYWHERE)
To me this is whole event is all "horseshit" and the police could be doing allot more to stop real crimes than what I seen them using their resources on and at the same time I reflect to the comments I heard at the Human Right Meeting on building trust and respect between the community and the police.... to me ....this is Horesshit!