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This is, I solemnly swear, an unretouched (aside from cropping) screen cap from the video in this diary of UC Davis Lt. John Pike showering protesters with pepper spray at the recent Occupy rally there.  I did not modify the color, shift anything around, or anything of the sort.

What you see at the bottom of that golden shower of spray is protesters heads.  I think that the imagery speaks for itself.

Now that I have your attention, I want to talk about some general issues of interaction with law enforcement, because I see a lot of people getting them wrong.

Beyond that, I see a lot of people making reasonable assertions without seeming to realize that "being right" is not the only consideration.  The question will be: did the police act unreasonably under conditions in which they are allowed to believe exist.

Police can go beyond their bounds even given every benefit of every doubt, but it's expensive and risky to pursue.  The late lamented Ben Masel was great and pursuing cases against the cops -- but few people are in his league.  (I'm not -- despite that I'm an attorney and he was not.  I don't think that even many attorneys were in his league.  He was that good.)

So, unless you are the second coming of Ben Masel, whose name as written here means "Son of Luck" -- and if you are, please post your own diary on these events, because we feel his absence now more than ever -- it's worth knowing what cops can and cannot do, and what you legally can and cannot do, when it comes to demonstrations and occupations.

I'm only going to be able to write about general principles (aka "this is not legal advice") because the specifics may differ by state and locality.  But I'm going to try to focus on what I understand to be common rules of the road.  I intend this to be a supplement to Steven D's post on the rights under federal law of victims of pepper spray -- except what I'm discussing comes a bit earlier in the drama.

If you want a good example of what looks like "abuse of force under color of law," so far as I can tell from the video, you need look no further than what was described yesterday in Robyn Severn's post on a transgender woman who reports having been shocked by a taser shot to the genitals.

It will surprise no one here that what was reported to have happened here is Not OK.  But it became "not OK" -- in the "abuse of force" sense, not in the "slimebag being rotten to transwoman out of bigotry and addressing her as male once finding out her initial official gender" sense -- later than you think.

Beware, I am about to teach some Sociology

The reason that cops get to make people lie down on the ground or otherwise put themselves in situations where they are completely vulnerable to whatever the cop wants them to do or whatever force the cop wants to do to them is this phrase:

The state has a monopoly on legitimate violence.

I'm not making this up this phrase up or endorsing this view as ideal.  It comes from famous sociologist Max Weber theorizing, presented in lectures starting right after the end of World War I.  (Both of those links are worth reading, by the way, to learn how the State itself -- and the State's laws -- view the State.)

This quote from the above is probably worth your time:

According to Weber, the state is the source of legitimacy for any use of violence. The police and the military are its main instruments, but this does not mean that only public force can be used: private force (as in private security) can be used too, as long as it has legitimacy derived from the state. ... [T]he individuals and organizations that can legitimize violence or adjudicate on its legitimacy are precisely those authorized to do so by the state. So, for example, the law might permit individuals to use violence in defense of self or property, but in this case, as in the example of private security above, the ability to use force has been granted by the state, and only by the state.

The police have been licensed by the state to use violence.  You, when engaging in political resistance, have not.  Our laws regarding violence are largely laws against illegitimate -- not morally illegitimate, but formally not legitimized -- acts of violence.  That is why what seems to laypersons and average citizens like nonsense -- such as how linking arms and blocking traffic get turned by spokespersons for the state into acts of "violence" -- comes about.  "Violence" means "illegitimate" violence; violence by the state is, within bounds largely set forth by the Constitution and federal code as interpreted by the courts, legitimate and therefore not, paradoxically, "violence" -- even if it looks like it's magnitudes worse than whatever it attempts to suppress.

You don't have to agree with this -- which is a good thing, because you probably don't -- but you should understand the language that they are speaking.  When you challenge the ability of the police to, for example, clear people from blocking a sidewalk, you are challenging the state's entitlement to a monopoly on legitimate violence.  That is why protesters who see themselves as simply upholding human rights and human dignity get called "anarchists."  The architecture of the state depends on people not doing that.

A brief detour into international relations

We might as well get into this.  Obviously, the notion of the state having a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence has its good and bad aspects.

Good: Those militias you keep hearing about don't have the powers they think they do.  Most of us reading this blog probably live in relative peace.  Plus some others.

Bad: the theft of land from aboriginal nations; the perpetuation of slavery; the Holocaust; the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II; American corporations using state power to convince other states to destroy their citizen rebellions so that our corporations could continue making obscene profits over the blood of their citizenry; state legitimization of marital rape and of men beating women (as with "the rule of thumb," which regulated the size of a stick a man could use in "chastising" a spouse) and its unwillingness to legitimize violent reactions by abused spouses to such violence; centuries of bashing gays for being gay; legitimizing violence against animals but not by protesters of that violence, etc.  Plus some others.  (Have I left anyone out?)

You know about that, but this might be new to you.  As Wikipedia notes from above:

One implication of the above is that states that fail to control the use of coercive violent force (e.g., those with unregulated militias) are essentially not functional states. Another is that all such "functional" states function by reproducing the forms of violence that sustain existing social power relationships, and suppressing the forms of violence that threaten to disrupt them.

Why is Somalia a "failed state"?  Literally, because it cannot fulfill the state obligation of ensuring that the only acceptable violence is state-sanctioned violence.  Why are some urban areas called "failed cities"?  Because the wrong people are too able to get away with unsanctioned violence.

(Why aren't areas where racial and ethnic minorities or gays or women are subject to abuse also described as being "failed"?  I don't know.  I didn't see the answer in Wikipedia, but I'll bet that it has something to do with what interests the state sees are really worth protecting.)

This is how the state views violence.  This is what these state actors learn in school.  This is what cities and states and federal forces depend upon.  Our saying that people have a right to engage in militant protest seems as absurd to them as what they say seems to us.  Violence is the sole preserve of the sovereign, according to them, and what prevents the state from exercising this authority is itself violent.  The force linking protesters' arms together is, after all, "force."

Back to genital tasering

Well -- Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, Civil War Amendments, UN Declaration on Human Rights, Civil Rights Acts and all that.  The state had to back up a little in order to keep the peace.  So this is where we stand:

In the course of arresting you, the cop tells you to lie face-down in the dirt.  Can he do that?  Probably.  Not if he's doing it only to one ethnic group, etc., but usually he can.  How can that possibly be?

This may not be the official answer, but drill down far enough and you'll encounter it: it's because you might have a knife or a gun -- or pepper spray.

Remember: the state asserts that it has a monopoly on legitimate violence.  From the cop's perspective, that has one strong and basic implication: cops are not supposed to get hurt!

Given the allocation of ten chips representing 10% odds of preventing harm to a cop or a person whom the cop is trying to control, the person opposing the cop would be lucky to get even one chip of the ten.  Cops will -- and, I stress this, bravely -- put themselves in harm's way to benefit members of the public when they have to.  But when they don't have to, and the law permits them to avoid it, they will take by far most opportunities to arrange not to have to.

That is how you end up lying face down in the dirt on your own volition: it leads to very safe cops.  It also leads to very vulnerable you, but within certain constraints that is not viewed by the cop as the cop's problem.  Lie there, don't move, and let the situation take its course, is their view.  If your cop is honest and good, the idea goes, you can do this and risk nothing more than dirty clothes.  If not, you're in deep trouble anyway, because you won't get the benefit of the doubt.

This is also how people end up lying on the dirt after being tasered.  This seems very unreasonable to you, to me, and to pretty much everyone but the cops, who don't know whether you do have a knife or a gun or superhuman strength because you just took PCP.  I think it's reasonable to think, as the woman in the video did, that the cops had no reason to taser her at all because her hands were up even though she was not complying because it would mess things up.  I'm not a criminal lawyer, but my sense is that cops usually win that dispute in court.  In this case, if she can prove that the cart was acting primarily out of anti-trans bigotry -- and there's reason to suspect it here -- maybe she wins even at that early point.

Can the cops taser you in the genitals?  Sure -- if there's no other way to stop you from harming them.  (They can also shoot you, by the way.)  When you're already on the ground with your face in the dirt and your arms behind you, they have very little argument to justify it, just as they could not legally shoot out your elbows and kneecaps just to make sure that you could not run or reach for a weapon.

Blocking access, pepper spray, and abuse of force

This brings us to Lt. Pike's leisurely golden shower of pepper spray onto protesters, depicted above.  Was that "OK"?  A court will, I'm guessing, eventually weigh in on that one, but meanwhile it's worth trying to understand what's going on.

If you look at the video where Lt. Pike is warning people to disperse, you'll see that there was a line of people seated across the sidewalk and stretching a few feet onto the lawn.  However, Lt. Pike apparently only sprays people who are on the sidewalk -- people sitting on the lawn, contrary to various descriptions, are not sprayed. [Note: On repeated viewing, I see that I was wrong about this. See update.]  Is there some significance to this?  Yes -- obviously, or I wouldn't have mentioned it -- and again it's worth understanding as you figure out what your rights are compared to those of the police.

Why would Lt. Pike limit his use of violence -- in case anyone doesn't understand that that's what it is, ask a protester -- to those sitting on the sidewalk?  Based on research I've had to do for Occupy Irvine (and this is not intended as legal advice generally), it's simple: the sidewalk has a special place in the law (as would roadside paths where sidewalks don't exist.)  The sidewalk where everyone has a "right of way" as part of their right of travel.  You don't even have a right of way on a road for vehicles itself, let alone on grass, but you do on a sidewalk (and a crosswalk between roads.)  This is an ancient right coming to play here in a bizarre and unexpected way.

That's why when you "block" the grass, you are (except in unusual circumstances or when parkland is closed) just fine.  If you block the street, you're violating various ordinances that facilitate others' right to travel.  But if you block the sidewalk, you're violating others' right to travel directly.  That's why there are often special ordinances against blocking the sidewalk.

If this doesn't make sense to you, think for a moment about what someone with a motorized wheelchair has to do, if it can't easily travel onto, for example, muddy lawn.  The person literally cannot continue traveling.  When I raised this before, someone pointed out that, if asked by someone in a wheelchair to make room, the protesters would have surely cleared a path for them.  That, I expect, is true.  But under the law, that privilege is not limited to those in wheelchairs.  Anyone -- including the police -- can demand their right of way.  In asking people to move, which apparently is what happened at the beginning of the video, Lt. Pike was giving them a last chance to clear the right-of-way before he used violent force.  Lesson: if you don't want to have legitimized violent force against you, don't block the entire sidewalk.

Does that mean that this was good policing?  No, using pepper spray to accomplish this was both stupid and absurd.  If you want to clear the right of way, just drag them to the side of the lawn; there was no indication that they were going to resist violently -- and if they did, the police were well-equipped to deal with it.  The real threat to them, in fact, would have come not from the demonstrators, but from the rest of the crowd.  Would they have been justified in pepper-spraying the entire crowd?  (Please say no.)

Was it, however, "abuse of force"?  My guess is that a court will not find this to have been illegal -- despite being extraordinarily stupid.  It's the equivalent of the initial tasering of the transwoman in the desert.  The state gives police officers extreme discretion in deciding how to address such momentous crimes as naked photography in the desert and sitting down in a line across a sidewalk.  Trying to convince the state that it doesn't have that right will be a long, hard, and probably fruitless slog.  We're not talking about illegality here, but horrible judgment.

Luckily, people can be fired for bad judgment as well as for illegality.  Here, I think that they should be.  But in arguing for that, it's important to understand where the police are and are not on firm legal ground.

People who defend them, from University Chancellors to your relatives this Thanksgiving, will want to talk about the illegality of the protesters and the legality of the police response.  That's not the discussion to have with them, because generally, they will be correct: the law itself, unsurprisingly, gives much greater care to the rights of police than those of protesters.  If you have that discussion, you're going to lose.  The state has a home-field advantage.

The discussion to have instead is: if the state asserts a monopoly on legitimate use of violence, what restraints and constraints short of avoiding illegality can we expect from it?  Can we demand and expect that the state will limit itself to the minimal exercise of violent force necessary to secure the safety of those enforcing the law?  Can we demand that the force used to compel cooperation with the law not be used as an opportunity to punish?

We sure can.  And there, not with the tempting but shake assertion that protesters have the right to block the sidewalks, is where we will find the majority of the population on our side.  That is the secret and the allure of non-violent resistance.  It poses the questions that get us beyond the state's monopoly on legitimate violence and instead asks "what kind of society do we want to be."

That's where we win.

3:36 PM PT: For those who enjoy this sort of thing -- and I know you're out there! -- jpmassar, DeusExMachina, and opendna team up to school me about this decision, Headwaters v. Humboldt, which deserves a place in this diary.

Police officers have "qualified immunity" from prosecution; that can be broken, but it's not easy.  As opendna notes, this sort of decision is useful in training officers in how they can lose their house if immunity is broken and a jury does not think that their tactics were reasonable.


10:09 PM PT: Well, some commenters below are right and I was wrong.  Lt. Pike did indeed go to his left and spray some protesters on the grass, and there's a brief shot showing that he did the same to his right.  (I had thought this reaction was indirect.)  This doesn't change the overall point about sidewalks, but it does make it harder for him to use the "right of way" argument to protect himself (and his house.)

Originally posted to Doane Spills on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:21 AM PST.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and The Royal Manticoran Rangers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Our misstatements of fact and of law (239+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, DaveP, erratic, qannabbos, Lefty Coaster, ask, itzik shpitzik, artisan, lineatus, glorificus, just another vortex, Wee Mama, itsbenj, annan, Ekaterin, Rumarhazzit, PeterHug, think blue, glitterscale, Native Light, Tam in CA, Puddytat, some other george, dear occupant, Simplify, just want to comment, NWTerriD, Sun Tzu, RebeccaG, middleagedhousewife, greengemini, Blue Wind, joliberal, kartski, susakinovember, TechBob, jck, outragedinSF, AnnetteK, mofembot, SeaTurtle, bythesea, Toktora, MadMs, millwood, J M F, Dirtandiron, RF, Catesby, Involuntary Exile, Tonedevil, 88kathy, Sarah Ann, yawnimawke, phonegery, JekyllnHyde, worldlotus, ceebee7, Onomastic, Troubadour, SoCalSal, wxorknot, BarackStarObama, plf515, semiot, jacey, Otteray Scribe, Hawksana, ZappoDave, jabney, TheMeansAreTheEnd, WisePiper, ORDem, dewtx, bkamr, MKSinSA, anodnhajo, jeanette0605, profh, bearette, devtob, bakeneko, evergreen2, muddy boots, Naniboujou, implicate order, jedennis, petulans, SallyCat, opendna, nervousnellie, SilverWillow, sea note, Kinak, ca democrat, jennyp, merrily1000, JVolvo, zerone, GDbot, Siri, No one gets out alive, jayden, crose, barbwires, Alice Venturi, Bluesee, Empower Ink, blueash, zenox, ladybug53, kevinpdx, KnotIookin, bnasley, hester, SpamNunn, LeislerNYC, renska, DixieDishrag, Kurt Sperry, nzanne, IndieGuy, Snud, Susipsych, CT Hank, kathny, KenBee, kurious, james321, anyname, valadon, RhymesWithUrple, MadRuth, atana, JugOPunch, DawnG, Rick Aucoin, Catte Nappe, m16eib, dabug, skybluewater, alizard, ammaloy, Villanova Rhodes, drmah, where4art, Garfnobl, frisbee, Birdman, Susan from 29, randallt, tapestry, QuoVadis, Shockwave, crankyinNYC, wonmug, cyncynical, ringer, WI Deadhead, YucatanMan, grollen, luckylizard, Ellinorianne, LeoQ, RW, SherwoodB, edsbrooklyn, eeff, mookins, SSMir, NapaJulie, antirove, fcvaguy, Sapere aude, Alise, Horace Boothroyd III, Woody, ItsaMathJoke, zukesgirl64, kaliope, ginja, annieli, Debby, Randtntx, tin woodswoman, science nerd, noise of rain, We Won, Josiah Bartlett, Ignacio Magaloni, Heart of the Rockies, Nulwee, DebtorsPrison, kurt, LABobsterofAnaheim, marty marty, fijiancat, alnep, akmk, bluebuckaroo, Clytemnestra, mjfgates, Annalize5, Jeff Y, Youffraita, Heimyankel, peachcreek, CaliSista, Sean X, respectisthehub, quinoanut, 2dimeshift, LSmith, liberte, Tinfoil Hat, kestrel9000, Stwriley, ovals49, aitchdee, indybend, mujr, democracy inaction, redstella, elengul, KateG, jimreyn, Dreaming of Better Days, Therapy, greenbastard, 417els, MKinTN, BlueDragon, andrewdski, Oh Mary Oh, Xapulin, Steven D, davidincleveland, SadieSue, Mad Season

    will be used to dismiss us.  So lets avoid them, because they distract us from the conversation we should have, which is not about law but about justice.

    Democrats must
    Earn the trust
    Of the 99% --
    That's our intent!

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:19:02 AM PST

  •  Some really bad policing (62+ / 0-)
    Officers in pepper spray incident put on leave

    (CBS/AP)  SAN FRANCISCO - Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper-spraying seated protesters are being placed on administrative leave as the chancellor of the school accelerates the investigation into the incident.

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:39:44 AM PST

  •  with rights come responsibilities, even for cops (17+ / 0-)

    in addition, cops are not lawyers - cops will do what they think they can get away with - if, in fact, they think first

    Kick a "job creator" in the balls today!

    by memofromturner on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:42:20 AM PST

    •  Actually, cops have no rights, as cops. (14+ / 0-)

      They have obligations -- to follow the law.  However, that's not what they prefer.  Administrators prefer for them to follow orders and submit to the control of the hierarchy.  The emphasis on obedience is dehumanizing and abusive and the pattern of abuse tends to be transferred to the even less powerful.

      People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

      by hannah on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:52:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  something you may want to discuss w/ the diarist (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScienceMom, Heart of the Rockies
        cops have no rights

        btw, i think you're one of the brightest people on dkos

        Kick a "job creator" in the balls today!

        by memofromturner on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:16:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They also have immunities -- as cops (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, DawnG, aitchdee

        I'm not sure how to parse what you're saying, but at a minimum you should figure out how to square what you're asserting with police immunity.

        Most of the rest of what you say seems normative rather than descriptive.

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:25:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. Their immunities are conditioned (4+ / 0-)

          on them carrying out their duties and obligations, which are supposedly outlined in their manuals. If they follow established procedures and are under the control of their superiors, they are not individually liable for behavior which is often, perforce, negative--i.e. contrary to what a law-breaking individual prefers.  We can't have cops sued by crooks.
          There's a presumption of probity.  There's also a presumption that their testimony and the evidence they collect will be truthful.
          These presumptions are often not borne out by experience.  Our ability to deal with dishonest cops is not well developed. Justice Kennedy says it's up to the people to enforce the law when the agents of government fail.  How we're supposed to do that is not clear.

          People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

          by hannah on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:58:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is it your understanding that in practice (5+ / 0-)

            police immunity is as proscribed as you suggest?  Are you suggesting that our experience often allows us to negate police immunities?

            I'm not talking about "how it should be" but "how it is."  This is a "how it is" diary.

            Democrats must
            Earn the trust
            Of the 99% --
            That's our intent!

            "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

            by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:30:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's my sense that the remnants of (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Woody, greeseyparrot, kurt, Sean X

              immunity are jealously guarded because, in a sense, they represent what's left of the power that survived as "sovereign immunity," a prerogative of royal rule, despite having been abrogated by the passage of the Alien Tort Claims Act in 1789, until 1947 and subsequent rulings on what are referred to as 1983 claims.  Our public corporations carry insurance to protect public officials from civil suits and, like health insurance companies, the insurers set up all kinds of criteria as regards training and supervision to keep from having to pay claims.  Despite that, NYC is reported to have paid out almost a half billion in claims in the last year and the corporate counsel is talking about tort reform to save that expense. Many communities have gone to self-insurance and that may be the case in NY.
              While police officers have qualified immunity, prosecutors still enjoy absolute immunity per tradition.  According to a case before the SCOTUS, there is no statutory support for this tradition and some realization that the SCOTUS should weigh in on the matter to address what should be done when a prosecutor oversteps his ministerial role and skews the judicial process through misrepresentation.  A case in which it looked during oral argument that the SCOTUS would find against a defendant county was quickly settled to avoid a precedent setting ruling.
              The members of Congress have immunity for actions they take in their official capacity, especially when they hold hearings or vote. You'll remember that the fellow from Louisiana who had the cash in his safe tried to argue that he was immune but was eventually sent to prison.

              The legislative and executive branches have a rather cavalier attitude towards the law and count on the judges to sort things out and then, when they do, they yell about judicial activism or "technicalities."
              Police departments do not want their officers conversant with the law because ignorance gives them wiggle room.  They just "throw the book" at perps when they make arrests and hope something sticks. Prosecutors don't object because they like having something to bargain with so the case doesn't get thrown out.  Cops don't much care about results because all that counts in their shop is arrests. Nobody tracks the disposition of cases from start to finish.

              But, the law has always been used to subordinate. After all, from the start, slavery was legal. And children are still considered the property of their parents and have no human rights.

              People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

              by hannah on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 05:11:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  First, "sovereign immunity" is alive and well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sean X

                (unfortunately); this was a major push in the latter period of the Rehnquist Court, using primarily the 11th Amendment.

                Second, that New York paid out lots in settlements does not mean that the police were themselves held individually liable, which they care about a whole lot.  For that, look to a Bivens action or other ways of defeating qualified immunity.  Yes, the NYC Corporate Counsel is talking about tort reform -- i.e., a license to violate civil rights with impunity.  This should be a huge cause of uproar.

                Mostly agreed on the rest.

                Democrats must
                Earn the trust
                Of the 99% --
                That's our intent!

                "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

                by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:14:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  As i understand it, the FTCA was passed (0+ / 0-)

                  in response to official malfeasance in the awarding of military contracts during World War II.  It was a Harry Truman achievement.  I expect it was not anticipated that it would be applicable to all official acts, even the decisions taken by legislative bodies, especially in land-use cases where developers discovered that they could now charge favoritism if decisions against them seemed arbitrary and capricious and favored cronies.  Much of the land-use planning mania was driven by efforts to avoid decision-makers being charged with favoritism, if the decision wasn't based on objectively arrived at land-use criteria developed after public input into plans.
                  Much of the public planning that had been so vociferously decried in the communist dictatorships was adopted hook, line and sinker by communities throughout the nation, not to promote the common welfare, but to enable public officials to CYA.

                  Still, the "sovereign immunity" people are in push-back mode.  They're fighting a rear-guard action against government by the people. "Community service" is for miscreants; not for elected potentates.

                  Btw, Bologna, having been reprimanded is now liable to being individually sued.

                  People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

                  by hannah on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:18:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  What about the Ninth Circuit decision (36+ / 0-)

    restricting the use of pepper spray?  Wouldn't the police therefore be violating the law, regardless of sidewalks vs. non sidewalks and whatnot?

  •  Thanks for the informative article, SD. (10+ / 0-)

    Always helpful to know how the protential thugs may be thinking.

    He's a walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction. Kris Kristofferson

    by glorificus on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:54:05 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this Seneca. I already know that (14+ / 0-)

    this Thanksgiving is going to be a rambling free for all at the table. This helps to clarify my strategy for confronting the two RepublicanTeaPartyConservatives in the crowd.

  •  Thanks for the distinction.... (12+ / 0-)

    .... between the legitimate use of force by the public servants we authorize in that regard, and the reaction we have when it is used stupidly or excessively.

    OWS vs. the police is not the message that 98% of the 99% will respond to.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:56:14 AM PST

  •  It seems to me that people who have locked arms (18+ / 0-)

    with each other prima facie can't be a risk to police officers; their arms are not free to do harm. That doesn't address the blocked right of way, but it does suggest that the people don't present a risk warranting pepper spray.

    Thanks for the dissection.

    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:56:20 AM PST

    •  Locked arms can be unlocked (8+ / 0-)

      and reach for weapons.  If the police were walking towards a crowd of protesters with locked arms, I would not say "oh, the protesters are safe!"

      At some point, the objective reality has to overwhelm the supposed subjective fear -- when someone is lying face down on the ground, for example, and not moving.  Short of that, I'm not sure that "locked arms" changes things much.

      The "violence" of locked arms is really that it is construed as "resisting arrest" in that it requires forceful unlocking of arms in order to arrest people.  I'm sure that there's some cop somewhere who has been injured while doing so.

      Does this make pepper spray appropriate?  Only as an alternative to bullets!

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:17:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they block all of the sidewalk except for (6+ / 0-)

        one space space wide enough for one person at a time to easily pass through, and there is no one at all attempting to use the sidewalk, would the pepper spray be legal?  Are they  forced to immediately yield to the police in that event?  If one of the blockers gets up to leave, thus unblocking the sidewalk at least partially, must the police let him leave before spraying the rest?

        The logic gets murky.  Thanks for the clarifications.

        Democrats - We represent America!

        by phonegery on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:14:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've had some interesting discussions (11+ / 0-)

          with the Irvine police about that.  Their initial position was that anyone blocking any part of the sidewalk was "blocking the sidewalk," just as blocking any traffic lane of an expressway would be "blocking an expressway."  They would probably still take that position if we went to court -- but I think that they'd lose.

          My opinion is that if someone can pass with minimal effort, their right of way is being respected.  I'd happily press that idea in court.

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:18:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pike stepped over the line of protesters (6+ / 0-)

            just before he did his pepper spray strut. Didn't seem to take much effort or put him into danger.

            To what extent does blocking vehicles from a sidewalk apply?

            And it's a campus sidewalk, so I'd expect different laws applying than for public sidewalks. To that extent, since it isn't next to a road, I'd question calling it a "sidewalk" -- it's a wide paved path on part of the UCD campus.

            Is the "state has a monopoly on legitimate violence" principle also applicable to security forces? Pike is a campus cop, not a city cop. This is potentially complicated by UCD being a public university.

            •  I started writing something about "curtilage" (5+ / 0-)

              here, but I think that I'd have to do too much research to figure out how it applies.  My guess is that public university means public right-of-way, but I can't give you cites for that.  I think it would be considered a sidewalk.

              Your last paragraph asks good questions.  I think that UCPD forces have some official status with the state, but again I am working with wispy memories there.

              Democrats must
              Earn the trust
              Of the 99% --
              That's our intent!

              "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:41:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  generally people can still be banned from campus; (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane, Wee Mama

                at least they can be banned from public universities in Canada. I work at one and we've had an occasional person who has been banned, with notice to staff and students that this included the open spaces on campus as well as the buildings.

                However, I don't remember what the administration had to do to bring this about -- it may have been a legal restraining order. It's been very infrequent. But ultimately I haven't had the impression that a public campus is the same as a public right-of-way, at least not in my country.

              •  UC police are police. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kurt, Seneca Doane, aitchdee

                I worked for the UCSD police dept, many, many years ago. All of their officers were formerly police in some local city, or the county. They just have a specific jurisdiction that's not a city, but the campus.

                "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

                by ogre on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 06:45:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Right of way. If you're blocking it, it means (5+ / 0-)

            You're not ceding the "right." Doesn't  that ipso facto mean someone was denied the right?

            Technically and legally,  on a hiking trail, I, as a hiker, have right of way over mountain bikes, but if I do not claim it -- I step aside when I hear them coming -- are they still to be ticketed for not slowing, dismounting or otherwise ceding the right of way to me?

            Does the "right of way" float in the air regardless of whether it is claimed?

            If a person in a wheelchair or a pedestian who needs (or simply wants)  to walk om a concrete sidewalk approached and the protestors didnt move, I'd understand it. But barring evidence that someone was denied the right of passage, I think it's harder to make the argument.

            I know this sounds naive. But groups of people often block sidewalks. Just walk by a popular restaurant on a weekend night. And often they DON'T move even when asked. So barring evidence that there was a public safety issue or the rights of someone else were compromised, I'm not sure a jury will buy it.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not.

            by grover on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 04:38:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I know Oregon law defines resisting arrest (8+ / 0-)

        as actually fighting back, not merely squirming or going limp or even running away. (IANALBIWOAJWDHPOTQ — I Am Not A Lawyer But I Was On A Jury Whose Decision Hinged Partly On This Question.) Do you know if that's typical?

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

        by Code Monkey on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 04:53:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a spot early on in the video where (0+ / 0-)

      an officer pulls on a young women (I think) to remove her and probably arrest her. She "wins" and regains her position in the group. It looked to me like the officer shrugged and thought "have it your way" and went for the pepper spray. I don't think it's entirely reasonable to expect the police to wrestle 30 people apart to clear the pathway using brute strength. I am quite sure officers would have been hurt in that process.

      I see there unreasonable action as "quick" method to gain compliance with least risk to their own physical safety. I can also imagine being in their position, being asked to maintain order in the face of endless ranks of people determined to make it hard for them. If I were them I would be discouraged, I think there actions are a symptom of that.

      The question will be who has more resolve and exactly how far will they be allowed to go and whether the protestors will be willing to accept that price.

      "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

      by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 12:25:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  great diary (11+ / 0-)

    and useful framing for people to keep in mind, especially for any folks who are going to be coming into direct contact with law enforcement as a result of protesting activities. someone on the scene there who could have explained the 'sidewalk principle' to those students before they settled on it as a tactic could have really changed the outcome of the situation.

    •  I think the students *did know* the 'sidewalk (4+ / 0-)

      principle', and the students' purpose was to provoke police action. Most students observed from the safety of the lawn, only ten (?) sat on the sidewalk.

      The pepper spray was disturbing, imo, but not completely a surprise for the reasons SD notes in this diary. Which leads to questioning how much these confrontations, if ongoing, focuses the movement's purpose on mere occupation instead of financial and political equality.

      I  don't have the answers, do believe the conversation is important.

      The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

      by SoCalSal on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:36:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah, Woody, greeseyparrot, Seneca Doane

        in that first sentence you're saying you have an answer to something you don't necessarily know, so...

        can't agree with much of your comment. using pepper spray in the manner shown at people partly blocking a sidewalk is absolutely astounding, completely unnecessary, stupid, pig-headed, violent and wrong. immoral. technically legal too. it's also technically legal for me to walk up to a sweet ole lady and tell her she looks like shit and smells like rotting flesh. but you don't do it because it's wrong and completely uncalled for no matter what - as was the behavior of this "officer of the law."

        you sound hostile towards the demonstrations in a manner I don't comprehend, and I seriously doubt those students had anything in mind on par with thinking that blocking a sidewalk was a good course of action because it was more likely to provoke a police reaction. that is a nutty thing to believe, IMO.

        •  I didn't get that hostility from her comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal

          I presume that this was provocative -- a response to the cops (as I understand it) having torn down their tents.  I don't see "provocative" as a bad word.  Sometimes you have really good reason to take a stand.

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:18:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If it was your job to clear the sidewalk, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sean X

          how would you do it?

          Would you cash in and go tell your family that you were going to stop paying the mortgage and go on assistance?

          Would you bodily lift the protesters (after wrestling them apart) and risk your back and your health?

          What type of force would you use? I think these questions are important because they are the ones that folks will be asking themselves if this ever goes to trial.

          Honestly, I don't think your beef is with the UC police at this scene it's with the folks that sent them out.

          The other question I would have to ask is, what did this disorderly behavior on the part of the protestors that initiated a disproportionate police response serve? Are we expected to like disorder for the sake of disorder? How is that message going to sell?

          Yippee! We broke a stupid law today, now we have "Protest Cred" (TM)?

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

          by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 12:35:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Negotiate. (nt) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            2dimeshift

            What if they gave a war and no one came?

            by Sean X on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:26:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sean X

              How do you negotiate with the civilly disobedient? What did the police have that the protestors wanted?

              If it's negotiation of the level of force then the police may be open but the civilly disobedient protestor WANTS a disproportionate use of force to make their point.

              There is NOTHING to negotiate about since both sides are approaching a maximalist position.

              "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

              by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:09:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I meant talk and listen. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                2dimeshift

                I can't presume to know the minds of the protesters in regard to what the protesters might want. Maybe they would have wanted the police to send their helmets and batons back to the station or something. Maybe the would like receipts for their stolen tents.

                .

                What if they gave a war and no one came?

                by Sean X on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:32:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  RICO act for PERF? (10+ / 0-)

    If they're advising police to over-use pepper spray, might they hit this piece of Title 18?

    §114, makes it a crime within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States to, with intent to torture (as defined in section 2340), and provides that whoever shall "maim, disfigure, cuts, bites, or slits the nose, ear, or lip, or cuts out or disables the tongue, or puts out or destroys an eye, or cuts off or disables a limb or any member of another person; or whoever, within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and with like intent, throws or pours upon another person, any scalding water, corrosive acid, or caustic substance shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both."

    If a RICO charge could get any traction at all, that alone should cause terminal embarassment to police who are involved with PERF.

    •  Lots of things seem susceptible to RICO, but (7+ / 0-)

      in practice it rarely seems to get used to advance civil rights and liberties.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:19:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sort of like the 14th amendment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, kaliope

        --rarely used for purposes that seem to be what it was for.

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 06:47:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure I get your point here (0+ / 0-)

          The Due Process clause and the Equal Protection clause are doing heavy lifting.  Of course, much of it should have been done by the SCOTUS-gutted Privileges and Immunities Clause, so if that's your point then I agree.

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:20:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  COULD it be used, though? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        That seems to me the real question. Assuming there were an enterprising, crusading attorney (like a combination of Ben Masel and yourself) with time and money on his hands, do you think that it could be done? It's quite an inversion to see a police officer or a whole department charged with the Racket Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, but given the thuggish way that too many cops are acting lately, do you think that the case would have legs, if a competent, talented attorney were arguing it?

        Love your signature, btw.

        •  One would think so, but (0+ / 0-)

          I've seen RICO invoked lots of times in private cases and in my experience it always seems to be jettisoned by the end.  Maybe others here have different experiences.

          (Thanks -- I'm enjoying this sig too!)

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:22:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  pepper spray (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, martini, drmah

      is neither scalding water, corrosive acid, or caustic substance. It is an organic acid, but not strong enough to be considered corrosive.

      •  It is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        martini

        when sprayed directly into the eyes, as this officer was careful to do.

        The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

        "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

        by Punditus Maximus on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:10:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not saying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          martini

          the action wasn't excessive force, horribly cruel, even perversly sadistic.

          I think it was all that. I do not however think that pepper spray will fit under RICO using any conventional definition of the words corrosive acid.

          •  In all honesty, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            martini, kaliope

            I'd like to see that one argued in a court.

            The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

            "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

            by Punditus Maximus on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:20:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Coughing up blood 45 minutes later, still (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greeseyparrot

            --not close enough to organ failure for you?

            "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

            by ogre on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 06:48:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can cough until I cough blood. (0+ / 0-)

              That's a different mechanism than having my brachia begin to profuse blood due to massive inflammation due to a foreign substance. Unless there was an underlying condition I'm guessing it was the former reason and not the latter.

              One is "organ failure" the other is caused by coughing brought on my extreme irritation.  That might seem trivial, but it is a big difference if I were assessing the patient.

              "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

              by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:27:13 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Not in the Davis situation, at any rate. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, Woody, Seneca Doane, aitchdee

      UCD is not "within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States." Nor would the state and local authorities typically be operating in the SMTJ. That's why the Federal Protective Service made the arrests on the federal property in Portland.

      Jurisdictional complexities: we haz 'em.

  •  When I served in West Germany a meme we were (9+ / 0-)

    taught was that there was no such thing as police brutality. The police were allowed to be brutal. As a consequence they weren't brutal most of the time as compliance was good.

  •  What an excellent diary, SD! (14+ / 0-)
    Can we demand and expect that the state will limit itself to the minimal exercise of violent force necessary to secure the safety of those enforcing the law?  

    The "out" for the use of pepper spray is undoubtedly that the non-menacing protesters appeared menacing to the police.

    Which leaves protesters in a no-win situation, it seems. If the police FEEL afraid of an 80-year-old woman, they can use violence against her and get away with it.

    It's a disgrace. I'd like to hear our President at least comment on these multiple instances of police violence against peaceful protesters.

    We either add to the darkness of indifference ... or we light a candle to see by. -- Madeleine L'Engle

    by Ekaterin on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:04:52 PM PST

  •  Anyone else (5+ / 0-)

    Read the words golden shower in the title and were both relieved and disappointed this was what the author was talking about?

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

    by dankester on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:06:28 PM PST

  •  I'd love to hear your thoughts (12+ / 0-)

    on the dividing line between protesters who are walking on the sidewalk and pedestrians, on kettling, and on the legality of the police restricting the movement of protesters/pedestrians by not letting them cross the street legally, etc.

    Great diary.

    •  So long as you're walking and allowing people (10+ / 0-)

      who are walking faster to get around you, I think you'd have a good argument that you aren't obstructing the right of way.  At some point, this probably becomes a requirement to go single file, if you're going slowly enough.

      As for kettling, it's obviously worse, but: "The state has a monopoly on legitimate violence."  (At least that's the state's story.)

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:26:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   Does not the 2nd amendment seem to present the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonedevil, drmah, aitchdee

        idea that the state does not have the monopoly of the  use violence in all cases?  

        "I reffuse to eat Satan sandwiches or wraps."

        by hangingchad on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:54:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It depends on how you conceive of it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hangingchad, KenBee, aitchdee

          Remember, the "state" is usually considered to be the level at which there is sovereignty, which is sometimes described as the ability to declare and make war.  (Seriously, it is.)  The "nation" is a concept for a coherent populace; put them together and you have the old "nation-state."  So there's an argument that the Second Amendment was really put there to allow the States in America to put a check, through their militias, on the federal government -- supposedly of a "nation," but wanting the prerogatives of a "state," which it didn't have securely until after the Civil War.

          In any event, Weber came later, and he was German, so he would have a different perspective.

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:15:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  When was dueling outlawed? NT (0+ / 0-)

            "I reffuse to eat Satan sandwiches or wraps."

            by hangingchad on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 05:45:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The criminalization of dueling was slow (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Seneca Doane

              The criminalization of dueling was a slow process, and because the national government was still weak at the time, it was done on a state by state basis. New York had already outlawed dueling by 1804, when Burr and Hamilton had their duel; that's why they went to New Jersey to do it, because it was still legal there. In general, the custom persisted longer in the South and West than in the North. Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, John Calhoun were all duelists, and Abraham Lincoln was challenged to a duel and accepted, but chose terms of engagement that were so much in his favor that his opponent backed out gracefully.

              By the 1850s the custom had fallen out of favor and had been banned almost everywhere. It is asserted by some that an unintended consequence of this was that politicians no longer felt enjoined to exercise prudence when speaking in public, because it was so much less likely that someone would demand satisfaction on the field of honor. The result, according to this, was the overheated rhetoric that occurred with increasing frequency in the decade before the Civil War. It sounds absurd, but I have often thought that there was something to this. You are much less likely to say something outrageous, vile, and slanderous if you know that not only will you be called out on it, but that you will be challenged to put your life on the line to back up your words or else retract them and apologize.

              •  As barbaric as it was, dueling served a purpose. (0+ / 0-)

                It brought about the end to otherwise unresolvable conflicts in an era when most of those were settled by violence. In essence it was a violence reducer which formalized it and kept it from being men ambushing each other from behind logs and trees starting feuds.

                "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

                by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:34:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  This needs more public commentary. (8+ / 0-)

        During Occupy marches, the NYPD block intersections with their vespers, put kettling on either side of the intersection, and when they want to, prevent anyone from crossing the street with the light.  I was standing at an intersection, watching tourists cross from the other side towards me, and yelled at a cop, who do I have to be to cross the street?  I wouldn't have understood the visceral wrongness of being told that I couldn't go somewhere, or being surrounded with kettling and vespers, if I hadn't felt it myself.  

      •  Kayvan Sabehgi (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, Woody, kurt, aitchdee

        was one man, standing -- that's about as "single file" as you can get. Yet the police still acted as though he was somehow obstructing them.

  •  What *is* the minimal exercise of violent force? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic

    Let's accept that the police are going to remove protesters who are sitting on the ground and linking arms across a street or sidewalk.  What's the least violent approach?

    •  If the arms are linked well, then someone (8+ / 0-)

      probably is going to get hurt.  I don't think that cops reasonably have to use the small amount of force that one would use with taking a jacket off of a child.  Then, if they don't walk, they get dragged.  It's pretty unpleasant, but -- aside from wishing that they didn't try to enforce the law at all -- I would have a hard time arguing with this method.

      In situations like this in the future, I'm afraid that we'll see more sonic guns.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:33:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wait till they have to go ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sean X, godlessmath, Wendy in FL

      Eventually they will need to use the bathroom.

      Maybe the police should offer them big glasses of ice tea, or even a few friendly beers. Allow anyone t leave, but no one else to get close and join them.

      As argued above, patience will resolve many "incidents" but the police are too impatient to win the easy way.

    •  A Constitutional question (4+ / 0-)

      My friendly suggestions above for police nonviolent tactics notwithstanding ...
      I have a Constitutional question.

      The First Amendment plainly states that the Government shall "make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      Doesn't that imply some pro-active obligation for government to allow space for people to peaceably assemble without threat of arrest?

      If Occupy Wall Street, or any group, is denied the use of the parks, sidewalks, streets, and bridges to assemble, that seems like a bunch of Government rules in the way of exercise of our Constitutional rights.

      If citizens are obliged to rent Madison Square Garden in order to hold a peaceable assembly, because public places are closed to them, then we really do have rights only for people with big money.

      •  Here you get into "time, place, and manner" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aitchdee, Woody

        restrictions and such, the status of which is both accepted and hard to derive.  Essentially, if you can show that such a restriction is unreasonable under the circumstances, you may be able to defeat it in court.

        Of course, that too is expensive!

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:27:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great information. (18+ / 0-)

    I always love a good dose of jurisprudence.

    That being said, I think there's a simpler way to win that argument with Uncle Bob on Thanksgiving: Just show him the pepper-spraying video. The long one, the one that's eight minutes and something. Make him watch all the way through when the cops leave.

    Either Uncle Bob will stop railing about dirty effin hippies, or you will know there is no hope for him, and you can return to your regular holiday festivities without feeling a vague moral obligation to try to educate him about politics.

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:21:42 PM PST

  •  Two officers suspended from (7+ / 0-)

    pepper spray incident...

    http://news.yahoo.com/...

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in the pepper spraying of seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, as the school's chancellor accelerated an investigation of the incident and made plans to meet with protesters amid calls for her resignation.

    UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said she has been inundated with reaction from alumni, staff, students and faculty over the incident Friday in which a riot gear-clad officer fires pepper spray on a line of sitting demonstrators. The protesters flinch and cover their faces but remain passive with their arms interlocked as onlookers shriek and scream out for the officer to stop.

    The officers placed on leave have not been identified. In a news release, the university said, "Videos taken during Friday's arrests showed that the two officers used pepper spray on peacefully seated students."

  •  nicely written (13+ / 0-)

    this should be part of a primer for anyone interested in civil disobedience

    i've been in PR battles with small town police, including one in which police tasered a small, 66 year immigrant for basically "talking with his hands".  The police argued (correctly IMO as far as the law goes) that such gestures could be taken for a threat.  But they lost that argument in the court of public opinion.  A review of the dash-cam made available after getting a copy through discovery showed there was no threat to the police officers involved.  Any fool could tell that.  The police knew who the man was and they knew his cultural differences but hey, when "you people", s they addressed him, annoy the wrong cops... watch out.   Police abuse through stupid escalation of the "continuum of force" might have legal cover even when the world knows the Emperor is stark naked.

  •  My thoughts... (9+ / 0-)

    There's
    what's legal.

    Then there's
    what's moral.

    This legalized brutality bullshit by cops against citizens exercising their rights as guaranteed by our Constitution needs to be stopped. Period.

    •  Well, that's the issue, isn't it. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, renska, Catte Nappe, kaliope

      The Supreme Court has held that certain restrictions on free speech are perfectly in line with the Constitution, because free speech can sometimes impede on the rights of others.

      One of those restrictions would certainly be that you don't have the right to block the entire sidewalk, because you're then impeding the right of others to use a public right-of-way.

      I agree that the pepper-spraying was brutality, and I hope the officers are fired and the police department sued for a substantial sum—but I also think that when that's removed from the equation, the cops wouldn't have been violating the protesters' First Amendment rights by using the minimum amount of force required to remove them from the sidewalk.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:13:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  OTOH... (0+ / 0-)

        And that's where I have a problem...

        One of those restrictions would certainly be that you don't have the right to block the entire sidewalk, because you're then impeding the right of others to use a public right-of-way.

        I don't consider my right of way impeded if I can simply walk around them. You see, I have enough respect for them, and what they're standing up for that I don't mind minor inconveniences. Especially if it means the protestors will be brutalized just so that I can walk on a freaking sidewalk.

        •  That doesn't change the fact... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane, renska, Catte Nappe

          ...that you, and everyone else, have a right to use that sidewalk for its intended purpose—to get from one place to another.

          If the sidewalk were on your private property, you'd be free to choose to abrogate your right to use it for transportation and allow anyone to occupy it, but you don't get to make that decision for the public at large.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:53:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The restriction on, say, yelling "Fire" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greeseyparrot, Seneca Doane, aitchdee

        --is legitimated because it puts other people's physical well-being and lives at risk.

        But that's never been used to argue that someone (cop or not) would have the right to shoot the yeller.

        The argument that someone blocking a sidewalk should be tortured (which the indiscriminate use of pepper spray clearly is, particularly when it's used in violation of the standards of use of any US police dept) is absurd. It's not merely excessive force, it's grossly excessive force, utterly disproportionate to the violation being confronted.

        Presume that pepper spray (etc) didn't exist.

        Would the cops then be be justified in brutally beating the passive resistors unconscious, or shooting them?

        Clearly that's absurd. So the question is what is reasonable force when faced with non-resisting (but non-compliant) people?  Someone goes limp--they pick him up and carry him. Risk to cops? Sure, some. It's quite small. If they're concerned about someone injuring a back, get stretchers and do it right. Inconvenient? Yep.

        Pepper spray is legitimately a non-lethal means of dealing with serious threats, not of torturing people who are being annoying.

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 07:01:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. I think the pepper spray... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          ...was inappropriate, and an unreasonable use of excessive force.

          But it wasn't a violation of their First Amendment rights; I've seen convincing cases that it was a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights (as it's an improper technique used in seizure), but the police were justified in using some kind of force in stopping protesters from blocking the sidewalk. They do not have a First Amendment right to do that.

          Had the police chosen to simply break up the protesters by forcing their arms unlocked, and then taken them to paddy-wagons (and dragged them by their armpits if they went limp), I wouldn't think that an excessive use of force. Arrest is not in and of itself a violent act.

          I don't think they deserved pepper-spray; I've made that plain throughout. I hope the victims sue the pants off of the UC Davis police department. But that doesn't mean they had the First Amendment right to be there; they didn't. If the police had removed them without using excessive force, I wouldn't have any objection.

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 07:16:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  After seeing this I wouldn't be shocked (0+ / 0-)

            to see police start to employ other non-lethals that they haven't yet invested in. Don't be surprised to see L-rads and pepper foam. I don't know what other tricks they may have but they will get compliance somehow, be sure of it.

            "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

            by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:42:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Apparently you've never picked up "limp" (0+ / 0-)

          folks and put them on a gurney.

          I've had folks on the gurney/stretcher and have come away with a strained back (and others that have helped), and we aren't talking about bariatric patients, just normal non-resisting folks.

          The risk is greater than you suppose.

          "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

          by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:39:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Senaca hits another home run (9+ / 0-)

    TnR

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:46:43 PM PST

  •  I think I understand the concepts... (14+ / 0-)

    you are laying out.  I even think I can see why the state has the monopoly on all legitimate violence.  I just think the amount of violence the police are allowed in the USA today is far beyond legitimate.  

    This makes about as much sense as Mike Huckabee on mescaline. - Prodigal 2-6-2008

    by Tonedevil on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:58:09 PM PST

  •  Are they doing lawn maintenance or (6+ / 0-)

    police work?

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 12:58:47 PM PST

  •  look at the spray bottle, is that a (11+ / 0-)

    Counter Assault Bear Spray bottle with the labels peeled off?

     http://counterassault.com/...

    Is that even legal on humans?

    Why peal off the label in advance if it is? Would that show premeditation or conciousness of guilt?

    Look at the spray on the video. Look familiar?

    •  I believe it is legal to use on humans in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      self defense (like if you have a can of it in your car and someone pulls a knife/crowbar and is coming at you with it).  It might not be legal for police use  as there is a difference between defending yourself with an improvised weapon and routinely using it as a regular weapon.

      There is no saving throw against stupid.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:30:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, KenBee, kaliope

      It's NOT bear spray.  This was addressed in other threads.  It's what's known as a "Riot Extinguisher" in cop-speak.  It's a regular O.C. Pepper Spray but in a very large container for riot and crowd control applications.

      "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." -- Carl Sagan

      by jtraynor on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:40:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here is the OC product they used (10+ / 0-)

      http://www.defense-technology.com/...

      Defense Technologies is the largest police OC pepper spray manufacturer in the US.  Click that link and look at the top row, 2nd from the right to see the exact pepper spray that was used on the crowd.  There is even a bigger one the size of an actual fire extinguisher next to it.

      Also, this company makes a lot of CN (tear gas) and less-lethal projectiles that riot police have been using.

      "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." -- Carl Sagan

      by jtraynor on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:46:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tear gas CS is mixed in with OC in this spray. (5+ / 0-)

        No wonder kids were having serious respiratory issues.

        This particular line of CS/OC compound tear gas/pepper spray is intended for use by officers "in extreme situations."  Their line of OC sprays come in .2%, .4%, .7%, .9% and 1.3% strengths.  I would hope officers are using the lowest strength appropriate for non-combative but perhaps boisterous young protestors.  Another vendor, UDAP, is sellling 3% OC Mugger Fogger billed as the world's hottest pepper spray.  And their Grizzly Bear Spray is also 3% OC.  And so this 3% OC spray that's calibrated to stop a charging 800lb grizzly from 25-30' away -- well something half that strength should be perfectly fine for humans at point blank, right?  I suppose the police would also argue that a 3% OC spray doesn't really hurt the bear one bit...it's just momentary.

        Found something helpfulon defence-technology.com after browsing a bit.  They offer a quick handy treatment for OC spray called Cool It.  And UDAP also offers Pepper Spray Reliever for only $12.95.  Might want to pick up a case or two.  I think we should consider donating some to the budget-constrained police departments.

        I personally haven't yet seen reports or on the ground video of cops using Cool It or Pepper Spray Reliever to give some relief to those hit with the OC/CS spray.  I'm sure that's just a media omission.  Worse, a quick remedy like that just isn't being carried by officers entrusted with using OC/CS spray on noisy humans of all ages.  Must be budget cuts or too heavy to carry, or something like that.  Maybe taking the time for using it would require too much 'overtime' expense--there's so many protesters faces and throats to spray and so little time.  Hate to think they just callously don't care to end the suffering and punishment they've caused our fellow citizens for minutes, hours, days, perhaps for life...

        When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

        by antirove on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 08:11:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yikes! When pepper itself isn't enough? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee

          Thanks for the calculations.  We need more bears in sit-ins!

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:30:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And we'd be exercizing our right to bear arms (0+ / 0-)

            and bear legs and fuzzy heads, cold noses and furry bodies.  

            Who would dare pepper spray protestors with armloads of Teddy Bears?  They could be the ones kept in tents, holding up signs, going limp during arrest.  It could be a win...call the overnights at an Occupy Camp a 'sleepover' with story times--featuring stories of brave workers and unions winning the concessions on compensation, benefits, job security, and the working conditions they deserved.  Bring poor and homeless orphans and kids and books, invite the cops to read to the kids.  This could be a rolling show, take it on a bus, visit neighborhoods, schools (pre-arranging would be helpful)

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:54:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Did they tell the Doctors when 2 were hospitalized (0+ / 0-)

          that the students had been sprayed not just with pepper spray but with a mixture of pepper spray and tear gas. Asthma attacks are sometimes fatal.

          Was this Frankenstein Combo spray authorized?

          •  Whether authorized or not, I'm most angry that (0+ / 0-)

            the remedy sprays/foams are not hanging from police belts, at the ready, not ever being considered for use after protesters are 'subdued' and cuffed, and left in agony for many hours.  These heavily armed police are generally far larger and stronger than the protesters targeted for spraying.  I can't imagine it'd be that great an effort for 1 to 3 of them to cooperatively separate the protesters one by one for arrest, using commands and pressure holds--just enough to obtain compliance, but apparently that wasn't attempted...too labor intensive?  It looks to me like a 'shock and awe' approach is what police think they need to use against large groups of boisterous protesters, more than 99% of whom are peaceful, non-violent and usually chant nothing worse than "You're cute, you're...take off your riot gear!" to police, until perhaps being harshly beaten and sprayed.  It's not working out for them...and they need to grasp why.

            We could direct our media to pay attention the city police chiefs who understand that harsh police brutality is generating iconic martyrs and increasing public sympathy for protesters as well as increasing the resolve of more people to participate next time to stand with those unfairly and disproportionately punished.  One example was in Milwaukee last Friday. The chief's approach to Occupy Milwaukee taking the North St. bridge was to just keep his forces at the far ends of the bridge directing traffic around it, allowing the protesters to say and do whatever they wanted, and waiting them out.  Curious press asked why he didn't send in police to 'clear out the protesters' for blocking the bridge and forcefully remove them. He told them it would take much longer to clear if he started making arrests and risk too much harm to officers and protesters.  He predicted the protesters wouldn't last long isolated on the bridge exposed to the incoming wintry weather--Wisconsin weather requires a fair amount of preparation for long periods outdoors on top of a windy bridge.  After an hour, due to the increasingly near freezing temperatures, wind and incoming wet weather, the crowd declared victory, and disbanded for that day, with a few dozen hanging around another 30-45 minutes.  No arrests, no blasts of pepper spray, rounds of tear gas or rubber bullets, no bloodied batons and bodies, no protesters put in life-threatening health situation (ok, maybe a small hypothermia risk), no clogging of the county jails and court system with hundreds of minor arrests, no issues transporting hundreds safely, no huge bill for police overtime, and no multi-million dollar lawsuits.  This chief also serves as an officer in PERF so perhaps he'll be citing his experience for the next rounds of unorganized, spontaneous 'conference calls' with other chiefs and mayors.

            When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

            by antirove on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:12:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  CN was quickly replaced by CS as the preferred (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        crowd control agent in the 1960s

        I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

        by annieli on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 08:14:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The students sitting reminded me of the (11+ / 0-)

    monks in Vietnam, knowing the pain was on it's way, but above it.  

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:04:36 PM PST

    •  Those students reminded (0+ / 0-)

      me of my son. Especially the few that were wearing hoodies, because that is what he always wears. We had him watch it last night, and it's the kind of thing that rips you apart to watch, but you realize that it's important to see. Those were kids. That a$$hole was spraying KIDS like he would spray weeds in his lawn.

      We told our son that it was his generation that was leading this movement (even as leaderless as it is, they are the ones on the streets, especially on college campuses). It's a big responsibility.

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:05:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The hole in this argument (13+ / 0-)

    is where the police officer causally steps over the students on the way where he started torturing them.

    It is clear that he did not view himself as being in any danger whatsoever.

    Good diary in general.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:09:43 PM PST

    •  unfortunatly (0+ / 0-)

      the officer wouldn't need to prove that he felt in any actual danger at the time, he would just have to make a retro-active case that one could conceivably have felt that way under the circumstances.

      •  Good luck with that argument. (5+ / 0-)

        Peaceful protesters calling for peaceful action... threatening to people... how? Cops? How? By sitting, hunched over, holding each other tightly and pulling hoods over their faces and with their eyes closed, mostly.

        If that's a plausible public danger,the cops should be running around with backpacks of the stuff, spraying down anyone on the street, at any time. That person might have pulled a gun or knife and attacked me, or someone--if he'd had a knife or gun, which I had no reason to believe....

        There's a point where the argument is pure fantasy. Someone sitting on the ground like these people were is one step short of being belly down on the ground.

        "Be just and good." John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

        by ogre on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 07:06:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great informational/action diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, KenBee

    and republished to The Royal Manticoran Rangers, of course.

    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.” ~ Charles Dickens, from Oliver Twist

    by ozsea1 on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:18:14 PM PST

  •  Two policemen were put on leave... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, kaliope

    today... is asshole Lt. Pike one of them?

    “I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.” President Obama 11/2/11

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:21:46 PM PST

  •  Tremendous insights! (7+ / 0-)

    I had never even considered the "monopoly on force" angle in my thinking on police behavior, but it makes perfect sense - you have substantially added to my understanding of this matter.  The guy is still toast, but I now have some perspective on how police departments have such difficulty keeping people like that out: Because violence isn't considered defensive on the part of police, but as a tool of compliance.  

    You hit on the proper prescription, I think - insisting that regulations (and preferably statutory law as well) require that force be the minimum necessary - with specific guidelines on what that means in terms of a given tactic - and with reasonable margin if suspects are legitimately considered dangerous.  And, of course, adequate training on these requirements - I know that otherwise good cops might be bewildered by the thicket of regulations governing their jobs, most of which they're never asked to follow or penalized for overlooking, so sometimes they run into situations covered by them and default to their street experience when that isn't appropriate.  That's not this guy, obviously - a podunk college town cop getting his jollies torturing kids, fuck'em.  But some of the cops in like Oakland or New York, that might be a problem.

  •  I am reading Steven Pinker's latest book (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, sillia, Woody, KenBee, aitchdee

    The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined and he makes frequent mention of the line from Weber that you quote.

    He notes that the fact that the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence is tied directly to the decline in violence over the centuries.  I won't try to summarize his arguments - it's a long book and I'm not finished reading it and, long as it is, it's full of data and interesting arguments - but wondered if you (or others here) had read it.

    Founder Math and Statistics Geeks . Statistics for progressives

    by plf515 on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:29:21 PM PST

    •  I have not -- but I've read Weber! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, Woody, KenBee, aitchdee

      I think that it's also interesting to consider what goes into and what is excluded from the definition of "violence," though.  Was that pepper spraying "violence"?

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:47:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If not, then what is? (5+ / 0-)

        Here are the first two definitions of violence at dictionary.com

        1. swift and intense force: the violence of a storm.
        2. rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment: to die by violence.

        Pepper spray is surely rough and injurious, is it not?

        (And I highly recommend the Pinker book. I don't agree with all of it, but he's a highly intelligent and erudite person, and a good writer)

        Founder Math and Statistics Geeks . Statistics for progressives

        by plf515 on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:58:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They would probably argue that it isn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515

          for some of the reasoning that surgery isn't violence: it ain't illegal.

          I'm not saying I agree, but that's what I'd expect them to say.

          Democrats must
          Earn the trust
          Of the 99% --
          That's our intent!

          "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:33:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  If the feds don't investigate police brutality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drmah

    Get the UN involved to investigate police brutality and the suppression of human rights. That should get the Feds hopping to intervene in the human rights travesties experienced by OWS.

  •  All of this legal babble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knarfc, kurt

    Doesn't make what the officers did an objectively reasonable use of force.

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the effort you made here and from a strategic perspective this is good to know. That said this, at it's most base, is self masturbatory, comically ridiculous legal babble.

    This babble is part of the problem. Lawyers, congress persons, "business leaders" and the rest of the people in the classes with access to the seat of power, high on self import, create create these nebulous constructs with the express purpose of obfuscation. With the obfuscation, they have what they need to make excuses as to "standard police procedure." Honestly, if a police spokesman can't define without question why the use of force was justified, they can't be looked to as a source of clarification.

    So we know a lot now about something on the level of jaywalking, it sounds like to me, and it's still patently clear that this was an excessive use of force.

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:34:42 PM PST

    •  Yes, and see also my comment below. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      averageyoungman, Seneca Doane

      Weber was a fan of the legal bureaucratic state. No wonder other fans of these sorts of states quote and study him.

      However, he is certainly worth studying, regardless.

      H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

      by Knarfc on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:06:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You did see my cautionary language, right? (6+ / 0-)

        I'm not endorsing his view, I'm describing it.  I'm quoting him because he is worth studying, and the ideas that dominate modern criminal justice enterprises, so far as I can tell, trace back partly to him.

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:44:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I understand you but remember: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      averageyoungman

      The diarist's motivation for writing in the first place (it surely seems to me) was to suggest that we lift the discussion up from the "obfuscating" mire of legal-speak--as you say--to the higher ground of ideas and ideals and to spur reflection upon our notions of justice that for many Americans are a major point of national pride, however eroded or romantic perhaps altogether fictive in legal terms such notions may be.

      In other words, I understand SD to be saying, lets understand some of the legal underpinnings relevant to the situation so that, in discussion with (potentially pepper-spraying-cop sympathetic) friends and family at our Thanksgiving tables, we precisely do NOT bog down in speculative, dead-end legal wranglings but focus our attention (and thus others' attention) instead on what appears to be the deeper, harder questions of justice, e.g., just what kind of country do we wish to have here?

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:24:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just like a casino (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Woody, kurt, aitchdee

    the house has the advantage. Yikes!

    Thanks so much for spelling this out, but I am curious. The way the law is outlined their appears to be some gray area on the level of force.

    The "officer felt threatened or in danger" covers a pretty wide set of circumstances and is used as a get out of jail free card far too often it seems.

    Is this a slippery slope when it comes to the police and their use of force? It's as if we keep decending into darker and darker areas when it comes to when and how much force is applied.

    "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

    by wxorknot on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 01:50:43 PM PST

  •  What about the police blocking a sidewalk? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litoralis, Woody, KenBee, aitchdee
    Based on research I've had to do for Occupy Irvine (and this is not intended as legal advice generally), it's simple: the sidewalk has a special place in the law (as would roadside paths where sidewalks don't exist.)  The sidewalk where everyone has a "right of way" as part of their right of travel.  You don't even have a right of way on a road for vehicles itself, let alone on grass, but you do on a sidewalk (and a crosswalk between roads.)  This is an ancient right . . .

    Seneca, can you explain how this does not apply to the police themselves blocking a sidewalk, as they were today in NYC outside the mayor's residence? This comes as they enforce a "free speech zone."

  •  Key phrase (6+ / 0-)
    People who defend them, from University Chancellors to your relatives this Thanksgiving, will want to talk about the illegality of the protesters and the legality of the police response.  That's not the discussion to have with them

    That is an excellent point, and one that I think everybody who reads this should take with them.

  •  Couple questions... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Woody, KenBee, kurt, aitchdee

    What is a sidewalk?

    Is a paved plaza a sidewalk?

    If blocking any part of a sidewalk constitutes "blocking the sidewalk," does blocking any part of a plaza meet the definition of blocking a sidewalk?

    If people are generally and routinely allowed to sit in a plaza, is not the prohibition of same when restricted to those who are protesting their government a violation of the First Amendment?

    "Honey, don't hit your sister. And, pick up those socks. I love you." - my Mom

    by WisePiper on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:10:02 PM PST

    •  Another good question (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, Woody, KenBee, 2dimeshift, aitchdee

      I knew the answer at one time, but I haven't dealt with this in eight years.  I think that a sidewalk is defined as a path for foot transportation between two areas.  A plaza would not be categorized as a sidewalk so long as some right of way was left through it.  I'm not 100% sure, but that's pretty much what I recall.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:49:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

        I guess my third question still stands.

        At one point, though I'm not sure it's still being enforced, the Seattle PD were prohibiting any protestors, at any time of day, from sitting anywhere in Westlake Plaza (the site of Occupy Seattle).

        Prior to the OWS movement, sitting there (at least during our increasingly rare sunny days (thanks climate change)) was a common occurrence.

        Seems to me, this not-a-lawyer, that there are 1st Amendment issues here, given the disparity of enforcement.

        "Honey, don't hit your sister. And, pick up those socks. I love you." - my Mom

        by WisePiper on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 04:00:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  no comment, but I like this....and it's apt. (24+ / 0-)

    Photobucket

    "I'll tell you, if there's anything worse than dealing with a staunch woman. S.T.A.U.N.C.H. There's nothing worse, I'm telling 'ya!". Little Edie

    by vintage dem on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:17:25 PM PST

  •  Awesome diary (11+ / 0-)

    Really well written. I'm super impressed with the way you hooked us in, set up a thesis, and then paid it all off in the end with a really compelling argument. Best of all, thank you for arming me for the upcoming holidays with my right-leaning relatives.

    It seems like not everyone here is getting your argument, which surprises me since it's very clearly laid out.  But I for one definitely feel more informed and ready to take on the argument not of the illegality of the cops actions, but how we as a society must limit the state's response to something responsible and moral.

  •  This Video Clearly Shows The Pigs Spraying (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, kaliope

    citizens who are not on the sidewalk.  In fact there is a second pig who comes up behind the citizens on the grass and sprays them.  One could argue that those citizens who were on the grass had chained arms with those on the sidewalk, but in this video they had actually already unchained themselves from those on the sidewalk.

    Notice how several pigs easily moved through and back and forth between the citizens, so Annette the head pig lied when she told the media the pigs were blocked and couldn't get out of a circle created by citizens.

    Who is that second pig who was spraying everyone?

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:53:10 PM PST

  •  This quote can be misleading. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee
    The state has a monopoly on legitimate violence.

    As it begs the question of exactly what, where, and who the "state" is, how that state determines what "violence" is, and under what sorts of circumstances its use is "legitimate".

    The inverse of the quoted sentence, for example, implies that any time a group or physical location gains a monopoly of the use of violence, legitimate or otherwise, that group impliicitly becomes a "state".

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 02:57:20 PM PST

    •  Of course, you can't infer the inverse (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Knarfc, KenBee, kurt, aitchdee

      from a proposition.  Otherwise, Daily Kos would be blogging on me.

      You're absolutely right -- it does beg all of those questions.  And Weber can be wrong here and -- even if not wrong -- his words can be misused.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:47:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Looking at it in a different way (0+ / 0-)

      In terms of psychological or emotional "states," your formulation may be rather insightful, with respect not only to monopolized violence (or, in my twist, overwhelming feeling that seizes the mind) but to self agency in general. Actually, when you think about it this way and then turn back to notion of "nation state," its standard definitions become at once ominous and rather more clear. Deeper, anyway. :)  

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:32:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! I do have a question I hope you can (9+ / 0-)

    help me with. You mentioned in your diary that only the kids on the pavement were sprayed. I have watched several different views of the event and noticed the following

     If you watch the aggie tv video (linked below) you can see Lt Pike call over another officer to spray the kids sitting the grass at  to his left (the right of the screen) (at .22) and the officer sprays them from behind. In another video taken from another angle you can see Lt Pike spray a couple of kids at the end of the human chain sitting in the grass to his right. In the aggie tv vid you can also see Lt Pike spray the kids in the grass, almost as an afterthought, shortly before he calls over the other officer but it was much more obvious in the other video I saw taken from a different angle

    How does the argument apply to the kids sitting in the grass, not blocking access, aside from the fact they were part of the chain? I get that they may be concealing a weapon but he went out of his way to spray the kids in the grass to his right and actually called another officer to spray the kids in the grass to his left.

    Here is the link to the aggie tv video

    •  I hadn't seen that video (7+ / 0-)

      I had seen the long 8-minute one that was in the diary to which I linked, and which seems to have gotten the attention.

      I suppose that they could throw out charges of "conspiracy" or something, but if I were one of the people sitting on the grass when I got sprayed, I think that I'd have a substantially better case.  It makes no sense that he was trying to clear them from the grass to respect people's rights of way.  In that case, the pepper spray would be used just to soften them up before carting them away.  They might as well have used chloroform.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:50:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that they didn't spray the crowd (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, aitchdee, SoCalSal

        a much more mobile and potential 'enemy' that they had just aggravated by spraying the innocent immobilized harmless sidewalk blockers kinda defeats any argument from them that there was any threat from the people they did spray. IE: 'if you raise your voice and sound emotional and angry we feel you may be a threat and we will spray you too'   would be their specious warning...

        Their only argument can be to force compliance...something denied by the Humboldt decision.

        And what legal twist can they use to deny the Humboldt Decision, done in 2005...is there an appeal to the USSC that prevents their compliance?

        Or what?

        great stuff SD, a real service here.

        ..squinting all the while in the glare of a culture that radiates ultraviolet consumerism and infrared celebrity...Russell Brand

        by KenBee on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 08:57:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is clearly not correct. (9+ / 0-)
    However, Lt. Pike apparently only sprays people who are on the sidewalk -- people sitting on the lawn, contrary to various descriptions, are not sprayed.

    At about the 15 second mark in the video on this page officer Pike can be seen walking of the sidewalk and onto the grass and spraying people 4 or 5 spots removed from the sidewalk.  At the 25 second mark he returns to the other side of the sidewalk and sprays two people sitting on the grass.

    You may argue that spraying at least 6 people seated on the grass was accidental or you may excuse it in some other way, but to assert that he only sprays people who are sitting on the sidewalk is factually incorrect.

  •  Using Wikipedia As A Source Is A Bit Flakey. (0+ / 0-)

    A wiki is fine for getting started but I thought attorneys had access to more accurate or legitimate source like nexis, weslaw and others.

    Wikipedia is only as good as the last citizen who updated it, which as we've seen have been tampered with for a variety of reasons in some situations making it suspect.

    You know about that, but this might be new to you.  As Wikipedia notes from above:

    A Good Peasant Is A Silent Peasant - Jesse LaGreca

    by kerplunk on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:04:01 PM PST

    •  For Max Weber? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Woody, kurt, 2dimeshift, aitchdee

      No, I am not going to use Nexis to look up Max Weber.  For something like that, I assess whether it fits with what I recall from my own study of Weber, and it did fine.  You can also tell whether some assertion was recently changed from something that was more reliable, which I would have done had I been suspicious or if I were doing publishing somewhere other than in a blog.  But by all means, approach those Weber summaries with as much apprehension as you'd like.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:54:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent point. I source Wiki (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane

        when I find it to be non-controversial and holds up against what I have learned in my own reading. Trying to ding you for citing it and not saying much about the structure of your argument itself I find telling.

        "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mohandas Gandhi

        by 2dimeshift on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:55:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I dunno, kerp (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      I think that's a bit of received wisdom you're repeating that simply isn't always so, particularly when one is using wikipedia merely as a handy repository of well known (or well enough known) quotations from historical personages of various disciplines whose utterances aren't particulary scandalous or sexy (contentious is a whole other matter, of course :)).

      I mean, who would be out to hoax-up Max Weber's words at this late (and largely Weber-indifferent) date, and how long could a smear-job of that nature survive without correction (for he is still widely read) even if there were such sabateurs lurking wikipedia's pages?

      God bless our tinfoil hearts.

      by aitchdee on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:37:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Gilmore

    The thing is, I agree with Weber.  I think most Americans do as well.

    Which is why your conclusion is so good.  Well done!

  •  Don't click on this link: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, KenBee, kaliope, aitchdee

    http://bit.ly/...   Because it will take you to the depths of mouth-breather hell, Free Republic, where they were discussing gleefully the pepper-spray assault.  One poster caught my eye tho, he simply said:

    "I would have used a water hose."

    There it is in a nutshell, all these years of teaparty hell, of a do-nothing Congress, the turning of America into a battleground, because they haven't gotten over having a black President. They would have happily elected a Steppin' Fetchit, Uncle Remus type like Cain because they could have told him what to do, made him properly submissive.  But, a strong black man (strapping young buck fear) in the Presidency...it drove them around the bend.  Well, I'm certainly off-topic....just thought I'd cheer you up with the image of young college students being water hosed...again.

    This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top....Lula

    by anninla on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:10:24 PM PST

  •  Good diary, SD. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Woody, kaliope

    According to the National Institute of Justice, most police agencies rank pepper spray on the use-of-force continuum "just after physical pain compliance and immediately before the use of impact weapons, i.e., batons.

    The National Institute of Justice recommends standard operating procedures that approve using pepper spray on "actively combative individuals who have resisted or ignored verbal commands."

    Those kids were not "actively combative".  "Linking arms", however, is not a free pass to block a sidewalk or to disobey an order to vacate public or private property.  

    Proper police procedure would have required the use of "pain compliance techniques", i.e. submission holds, before the use of pepper spray. That cop could be in a lot of trouble.

    The proper response is to refuse the order, stand up and present your wrists for cuffing, then cooperate in entering the paddy wagon.  More people should be doing this.  

    They can't possibly arrest everyone.

    If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? - Psalms 11:3

    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:17:54 PM PST

  •  Seneca Doane (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, kaliope

    You get the government you deserve.

    You get the police state you tolerate. These many videotaped examples of police abuse of power cannot and will not be tolerated in a democracy.

    Sure it might take some time to make its way through the courts. People have voting power. But the cops know damn well they can't do their job without the authority of the people. And you know it too.

  •  Wow (6+ / 0-)

    What a wonderfully insightful, well-reasoned piece of writing! An ability to make complex issues understandable to others is very rare; I'm glad you have that ability.

    I'm even more glad that you're on our side.

    You are quite correct that illegality vs. legality isn't the conversation we should be having. That still leaves a whole slew of conversations available for our argumentative pleasures over Thanksgiving. Justice vs. injustice is the big one, but that can be sliced and diced into smaller, more swallowable bits for feeding to your obnoxious Uncle Fred the Tea Partyer over helpings of turkey and mashed potatoes. For instance, what does it mean that Congress shall not prohibit or abridge the right of the people to peaceably assemble? Are there limits to "peaceable"? Limits on assembly? What sort of grievances can the people petition the government for redress of? What does "redress" involve? As the more open-minded Tea Partyers are finding out, there are points of agreement they share with the Occupy movement. Yeah, well, there are also points of disagreement, I know. The trick is to steer obnoxious Uncle Fred away from those points and towards the shared ones.

    The whole point of society is to be less unforgiving than nature. - Arthur D. Hlavaty

    by Alice Venturi on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 03:42:28 PM PST

  •  Right to be secure in person against unreasonable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, kaliope

    search and seizure-4th Amendment

    Unreasonable measures of the police are clearly unconstitutional or at the least against the spirit of the 4th.

    We need to mobilize the law against rogue police methods.

    Once I had disputed a cops stated reasoning in pulling me over.
    I had a judge ask me 'does the officer have any reason to ticket you personally?'.
    The judge ignored my point and inserted his own red herring.
    The legal system is lazy, crude and unprofessional.

  •  Seems to me state *does* have that monopoly, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, kurt, Seneca Doane, aitchdee

    and in fact a working definition of the state could well be “that organization which monopolizes legitimate violence.”

    The crux, though, is that not all state violence is legitimate. As a math guy, I'd say that the state being the perpetrator of the violence is necessary but insufficient for the legitimacy of the violence.

    (That said, the whole point of civil disobedience is to break laws – if blocking a sidewalk is said to be violence, and the state calls it illegitimate, so be it. That's the point. People arguing they had the right to block the sidewalk are both wrong and misunderstanding the point.)

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    “If I can't dance to it, it's not my revolution.” ― Emma Goldman

    by Code Monkey on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 04:45:13 PM PST

    •  Very interesting diary. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, Seneca Doane, SoCalSal

      One point though: people on the grass were sprayed.

      Check this video, about two minutes in:

      And I have a question:  what exactly is the point of spraying people who are passively sitting?

      Is it supposed to make them...oh I don't know...passive?

      Or is it supposed to make them get up as ordered?

      That worked.

      I'm fully expecting The Daily Show to do a bit on its next show explaining why pepper spraying the passive is quite all right.

      "Pleasing everyone is impossible; p*$$*#@ everyone off is easy"

      by marigold on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 05:12:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Check this video as well (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena, Woody, kurt, Seneca Doane

        he sprayed folks on the grass on both sides:

        "Pleasing everyone is impossible; p*$$*#@ everyone off is easy"

        by marigold on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 05:42:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This diary deconstructing the legal minutiae (0+ / 0-)

          while the victims are likely still suffering from this police brutality is really out there. They were not sitting on a public sidewalk either, it was part of a campus grid.

          Thanks marigold for posting proof that the spraying was not restricted to the walkway.

          ❧To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 07:42:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're right -- see the update (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        I just missed that.  It was at the very beginning and the double sweep through the front row is what stood out in my mind by the time I finished the video -- though that's no excuse.

        Democrats must
        Earn the trust
        Of the 99% --
        That's our intent!

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinksy OCcupy!

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:40:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a well articulated explanation of this (6+ / 0-)

    subject.

    Can we demand that the force used to compel cooperation with the law not be used as an opportunity to punish?

    When committing an act of civil disobedience we should be prepared to be arrested, and if convicted, to be incarcerated.  An act of civil disobedience does not deserved to be punished by beatings, pepper spraying or the use of NLAD.  Any one of those would be in violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause of constitution, wouldn't it?

    So why, if the students blocking the sidewalk were breaking the law, were they not arrested?  Why are the police allowed to use a type of punishment that is not allowed our courts?

    There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. - Elizabeth Warren

    by Susan Grigsby on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 05:36:09 PM PST

  •  role of campus cops vs regular cops (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, Woody, aitchdee

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here, is that as I understand it the officer in the video spraying the students is an employee of the university. (That's why the Chancellor could say they had been put on admin. leave while the episode was investigated.)

    Now, if these students had been in town, blocking a sidewalk, then everything you've pointed out applies. However, they were on campus, in loco parentis, then I think the legal question of whether they were blocking a sidewalk or not really doesn't matter. The fact is, the students (or their parents) are paying the university to provide an education and reasonable care and protection. Those officers, as part of the university, have overreacted and caused injuries, and I think the injured parties could sue the university (though IANAL or anything).

    I think that is why it's so urgent that the Chancellor be pressured to resign. As you've made clear, you wouldn't make much headway in court challenging the state's power, or arguing whether or not you were resisting, but the university itself is a mini-government that you can topple.

    ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

    by sillia on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 05:36:46 PM PST

  •  extremely informative, thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Woody, Seneca Doane, aitchdee

    "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 07:17:03 PM PST

  •  there are Bears at Cal but really. at UC Davis? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    We Won, Seneca Doane

    "The students had encircled the officers," she said Saturday. "They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out."

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 08:12:10 PM PST

    •  Bear Spray was NOT used. It was OC. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      n/t

      "It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." -- Carl Sagan

      by jtraynor on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:08:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How Bear Spray Works (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seneca Doane, kurt, aitchdee
        Capsaicin and related capsaicinoids are the Active Ingredients within Oleoresin Capsicum.  Commonly referred to as OC, it is a natural, oily, resin-like substance derived from hot peppers, the same ones used in spicy foods. Bear sprays that contain OC induce an almost immediate but temporary burning sensation of the skin and a burning, tearing, and swelling of the eyes. If OC is inhaled, the respiratory tract becomes inflamed resulting in swelling of the mucous membranes lining the breathing passage and temporarily restricting breathing to short, shallow breaths.

        Counter Assault utilizes a sophisticated dispersal system to create an atomized fog, which produces a pepper cloud slow to dissipate. The most effective dispersal system is the atomized  fogger.http://counterassault.com/...

        I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

        by annieli on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 10:32:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Deepest sympathies to Pike's wife (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, aitchdee

    How can the poor woman watch any of these videos of Officer Pike and ever want him to touch her again? And his poor kids, can they ever be proud of their father? Of course, I don't know that he has a wife, or if he ever did, or if she divorced him long time ago for reasons we can all imagine.

    Really, UC Davis should offer counseling to all of his family, if any, and to other members of its force for that matter.

    Slightly off topic, sorry, but getting the notion off my chest.

  •  KSBW interview w/UCD spokesperson for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, aitchdee

    the head of the school said she didn't think Pepper spray was really harmful. She didn't think anyone was really hurt by it.

    Asthma attacks induced by pepper spray entering the lungs of a person with asthma are life threatening. It happened. She seemed to be ignorant of the harm done to those sprayed. If the interview comes up on line I'll post. Its worth hearing for the stupid things she said.

  •  Lt. Pike is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Lt. Pike is on sick fuck and too dangerous to be on anyone's police force.  

    Just like every other institution in this country, the police force has been corrupted and is failing the public.  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Sun Nov 20, 2011 at 11:28:22 PM PST

  •  "rule of thumb" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, vadasz

    No, "rule of thumb" never referred to a law permitting wife-beatings.

    See a refutation in The Straight Dope.

    •  thanks for posting this (0+ / 0-)

      History has certainly included its fair share of laws designed to "protect" (or not prosecute) spousal abuse, but I would really like to see this urban myth die - it's one of those things where repeating it can actually diminish an argument.

      And my baby's my common sense, so don't feed me planned obsolescence.

      by vadasz on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 01:29:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The People grant the monopoly to the State. (0+ / 0-)

    The State derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.

    When the People create a State, they vest it with the monopoly on the legitimate use of force.  That is what makes it a State.

    The People create the State for exactly this purpose: to justly administer the use of force.  

    The People entrust the State with the monopoly of force because they intend the State to protect their rights and act with justice.

    If the People do not create a State, and instead retain individual discretion over the use of force, then the strongest, meanest and wealthiest soon win everything and seize all freedom and power for themselves, and everyone else can only live from their scraps and become their toadies, slaves and cannon fodder.  After enduring such for thousands of years, people disempowered the tyrants and took back the power.  Then for the sake of peace they created States to hold custody of the People's right of force.

    Without the monopoly of force, there is no State.

    But the State is the creature of the People and must serve them.  The State must administer and exercise its monopoly of force in a way that benefits the People and earns their continually renewed consent.  

    The People have the right and responsibility to make certain that the State follows just processes and proceeds to just outcomes.

  •  whose rights were violated? (0+ / 0-)

    In the discussions of the kids blocking the sidewalk, and hence intruding other people's rights, I have to ask, which other people were these whose rights were violated? I mean, actual people. Did someone actually complain that they couldn't walk down their beloved sidewalk? This is why I think any force to remove the protesters is excessive in this case: the only people whose rights were actually any close to being violated here were the protesters.

  •  I'm trying to remember the term-- (0+ / 0-)

    the sociological term--meaning urban angst or malaise--or both angst and malise with alienation. The sorrows of big city societal atomization. GRrr...why can't I pull it up, it's on the tip of my tongue.

    Anyone know what I'm talking about? Got a guess? Another clue: I can't recall the sociologist who coined it either, but you can't take Soc 101 without hearing about both him and his term a lot. Google's been no help. :(

    God bless our tinfoil hearts.

    by aitchdee on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:59:26 AM PST

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