Most people saw at least a few of the videos that came out during the various Occupy movements, videos that showed police officers taking serious physical action against sometimes passively protesting citizens of the United States. They nailed men, women and children with pepper-spray, shot them with rubber bullets and assaulted them with fist and club - all in the name of freedom and democracy. Now, some human rights lawyers have put together a big fat report of all the abuses that went down in an effort to bring about either change or legal repercussions for the abusive officers.
The report was compiled from several sources, including twitter reports, videos, media accounts and eyewitness accounts. All the evidence amounted to nearly 200 pages of report that contains around 130 separate rights violations. And that’s just covering what happened in New York City.
Some of the violations listed in the report consist of the following:
- Unprovoked pepper-spraying
- Preventing the press from reporting on certain incidents
- Use of excessive force
- Arrests of journalists
- Obstruction of legal monitoring from independent sources
- Violation of laws regarding right to assembly
Despite the slowing down of the Occupy protests, incidents still continue to filter in. The most recent addressed in the report comes from early June, when a protestor was kicked in the face by an officer who then fled the scene without revealing his identity.
The report highlighted the difference in the way protestors were viewed in contrast to the actions of the police and expressed the general opinion that police brutality is more tolerated than protesting. What’s even worse is that the report also talks about how the international community changed their perception of the United States because of the poor legal handling of the situation. Many are using the actions take by the US to justify the suppression of their own people, holding us up as an example of what is acceptable given the situation. We are also being seen as hypocritical in that we voice protests over human rights violations but do not take the same concern with our own country.
The report only deals with the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City, but more reports are planned to highlight further abuses in other major cities such as Boston, San Francisco, Oakland an Charlotte.
If you want to read the full report, you can download it here.