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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The New Normal: LASD's Guantanamo Dreams - #OccupyLA, Day 78 #OWS

LA County Jail

[Update II (videos): Human microphone testimonials of abuse, below the fold. (h/t TarheelDem)]

[Update:Live Blog for #Occupy Movement: Undercover LAPD Infiltrated Occupy LA]

Some things do "trickle down." The voodoo economics of upwards wealth distribution - in the vain hope that worthy "producers" will use their lunatic gravity to swell a tide lifting all boats - has been pretty well clearly exposed as a scam. However, our treatment of certain categories of human beings (why are there categories of human beings?) has just as clearly infected the status quo of domestic detention procedure.

This violent country has always had its chain gangs, its Abner Louimas, its Clint Yarboroughs & Scott Norbergs (yah, that's a two-fer for serial prisoner abuser Sheriff Joe Arpaio there), and various other prison atrocities. But these have been considered (accurately or not) as fringe incidents, and generally receive the full weight of public and media disapprobation upon discovery, often accompanied by sanctions.

Now that torture and mistreatment of "terrorist" prisoners has been sanctified by the highest levels of our government, the immutable law voiced by pastor Martin Niemöller...
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
...has ensured that would-be spectacles like the treatment of the peaceful protesters of #OccupyLA (and many who were journalists, or simply nearby) are now worth nothing more than a collective yawn.

It will be your daughter next, arrested for one-too-many on that girls' night out. This is what a police state looks like.

  • I heard from two different sources that at least one busload of protesters (around 40 people) was forced to spend seven excruciating hours locked in tiny cages on a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. prison bus, denied food, water and access to bathroom facilities...
  • ...The whole time we listened to the screams and crying from a young woman whom the cops locked into a tiny cage at the front of the bus. She was in agony, begging and pleading... A police officer sat a couple of feet away... but wouldn’t lift a finger.
  • ...the zip-tie handcuffs they use—like the ones you see on Iraq prisoners in Abu Ghraib—cut off your circulation and wedge deep through your skin, where they can do some serious nerve damage... A couple of guys around me were writhing in agony in their hard plastic seats...
  • The 100 protesters in my detainee group were kept handcuffed with their hands behind their backs for 7 hours, denied food and water and forced to sit/sleep on a concrete floor. Some were so tired they passed out face down on the cold and dirty concrete, hands tied behind their back... I wound up losing sensation in my left palm/thumb and still haven’t recovered it now, a day and a half after they finally took [the zip-ties] off.
  • One seriously injured protester, who had been shot with a shotgun beanbag round and had an oozing bloody welt the size of a grapefruit just above his elbow, was denied medical attention for five hours. Another young guy, who complained that he thought his arm had been broken, was not given medical attention... he spent the entire pre-booking procedure handcuffed to a wall... staring blankly into space like he was in shock.
  • ...
  • There were 292 people arrested at Occupy LA... Most are still inside, slapped with $5,000 to $10,000 bail. According to a bail bondsman I know, this is unprecedented. Misdemeanors are almost always released on their own recognizance, which means that they don’t pay any bail at all. Or at most it’s a $100.
  • That means the harsh, long detentions are meant to be are a purely punitive measure against Occupy LA protesters–an order that had to come from the very top.

Excerpts from The BRAD BLOG (Ernest A. Canning on 12/2/2011):
Much of the good will and plaudits earned by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for their "minimal use of force" tactics employed to clear OccupyLA demonstrators from City Hall Park earlier this week has been quickly squandered in the hours and days since... hundreds of peaceful arrestees were kept in often deplorable conditions in the hours following their apprehension... and women alike were held without charges for hours on end, forced to urinate in their seats on a holding bus while handcuffed, cut off from attorneys, medical supplies and drinking water, and locked away with punitively high bails while being deprived of both humane and Constitutional rights.

At this hour, almost three full days since their arrest at the OccupyLA encampment in front of Los Angeles City Hall, more than 200 of the peaceful demonstrators... are still being held...

...[Mike Prysner, a 28 year old Iraq war vet] claims he "witnessed many people being beaten by police batons"...

Stories of arrestees being shot with rubber bullets, held hours on end on buses without medical care or without being allowed to urinate or drink water... are documented.

...with three young woman... describe how they were shackled with plastic cords for nearly eight hours on a bus as they were driven from station to station without being booked. Chilled by a continuously running air-conditioning system, they were subjected to loud music, relentlessly played to keep them from being able to communicate with officers or each other as their hands turned blue. They were deprived medical support for conditions such as asthma...

"One of the girls asked the [Deputy] Sheriffs can we use the bathroom and he said 'Well, we can't take you there, so you might have to piss on yourself.'"

"...At that point they had already stopped for a rest break for themselves. And we said 'Please, can we have some water? Please, can you make it so that we can go to the bathroom...And they laughed and said, 'What about us? We're in overtime at this point.'..."

" all together we surrounded her, because there were men in front of us and behind us. So we surrounded her with our backs to her, and helped her pee..."

Another one of the women adds, "And then the cop came and, what'd he say? --- Something like 'How did that make you feel?' Laughing."

...some eight hours later, officer said to them, while laughing, "Didn't you guys have fun? Wasn't it a fun ride?"


Another released arrestee, Kevin Recinos, interviewed by "Freedom", explained that "When I was in jail, it took for one guy, he asked for water, it took 9 hours for him to get a cup of water. ... They weren't even letting people go to the bathroom sometimes...They were really treating us like animals."

Tyson Zoltan Heder still detained as of this writing, bail set at $20,000

Updates (videos): Human microphone testimonials of abuse (h/t TarheelDem):

Deirdre: Abuse by LA County Sheriffs after Occupy LA Raid



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