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Harsh new police tactics on display at G-20

There seems to have been pretty good coverage of the G-20 protests last week, at least in the alternative press. If you want to read up I would suggest checking out the reports posted on Common Dreams.

In the meantime, I thought it’d be good to share a few of the more extreme and bizarre videos of the police crackdown from the summit.

First, and probably the most widely viewed, is the footage of the kidnapping of a protester by men wearing camo. This is really frightening, and reminds me of something you might see under a dictatorship, but not here. Check it out:

While some questioned its authenticity – probably because it seems so crazy – officials with G-20 security released the following statement regarding the event:

Military members supporting the G20 Summit work with local law enforcement authorities but do not have the authority to make arrests. The individuals involved in the 9/24/09 arrest which has appeared online are law enforcement officers from a multi-agency tactical response team assigned to the security operations for the G20. It is not unusual for tactical team members to wear camouflaged fatigues.  The type of fatigues the officers wear designates their unit affiliation.

Prior to the arrest, the officers observed this subject vandalizing a local business.  Due to the hostile nature of the crowd, officer safety and the safety of the person under arrest, the subject was immediately removed from the area.

The protester in the video is reportedly still locked up.

This next video is of the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) being used against protesters. If you don’t know about this latest non-lethal technology, it generates a narrow beam of intense sound that can be physically painful and even permanently damage hearing.

Originally designed after the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000 to help the US Navy repel unwanted approaching boats, and has since famously been used to ward of pirates.

As I reported here, the first time this thing has been seen on US soil (to the best of my knowledge) was earlier this month in San Diego, although it wasn’t used.

Well, it didn’t take them long to cross that line. It was apparently widely used last week at the G-20, and I suspect will be seen more frequently at future demonstrations around the country. Here is just one of many videos on YouTube that capture its use:

Third, is footage of police attacking students at the University of Pittsburgh and firing tear gas into the crowd. While I don’t really know any background to this incident, it appears that the police were unprovoked. Here it is: