Now I know why those Los Angeles police officers looked at me like I was deranged when I thanked them for doing a good job back on November 22nd. It’s because they knew (they knew!) that one of three things was happening:
1. I was high on ecstasy.
2. I was being sarcastic.
3. I was completely forgetting the fact that some of them are sadistic, brutal thugs who (along side of silent colleagues) misuse the temporary shred of power their jobs have given them.
So, let me just tell you, I rarely employ sarcasm (it’s a form of contempt, you know), and I don’t do x any longer. In short, the answer is 3.
When I expressed my gratitude, I’d been thinking about what I witnessed on November 9th outside of UCLA (pictured above). The officers on camera appeared to peacefully clear Wilshire Blvd. without harming anyone. I haven’t researched what happened to the eleven arrestees once they were taken from public view, but a quick google offered no details. In contrast to the pepper spray and tear gas I’d been reading about in other cities, it seemed as if the LAPD was treating our protesters with some semblance of coexistence.
Really, they were just waiting for permission to strike. The firsthand accounts of last week’s raid in downtown Los Angeles sicken me. Here’s a link to one, offered by Patrick Meighan, a writer of Family Guy. Excerpt:
“I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.
“My hands were then zipcuffed very tightly behind my back, where they turned blue. I am now suffering nerve damage in my right thumb and palm.”
“They forced us to kneel on the hard pavement of that parking garage for seven straight hours with our hands still tightly zipcuffed behind our backs. Some began to pass out. One man rolled to the ground and vomited for a long, long time before falling unconscious. The LAPD officers watched and did nothing.”
To those who would respond by saying that people who are arrested in the U.S. are treated this cruelly on a regular basis, I ask, what can we do to change it?
To those who would respond by saying that people accused of crimes don’t deserve humane treatment, I ask, what is wrong with you?
To those who, in light of Occupy arrests, respond by raising awareness about the National Defense Authorization Act bill (S. 1867) which threatens the indefinite detention of people without charge or trial, I say, thanks, but, as Glenn Greenwald puts it, “as odious and definitively radical as the powers are which this bill endorses, it doesn’t actually change the status quo all that much. That’s because the Bush and Obama administrations have already successfully claimed most of the powers in the bill, and courts have largely acquiesced.”
To those who have noticed that this post is spiraling out of control, I say, yeah, I know. It’s just like the world’s problems: exponential fucked-upitude.