I wasn't there myself, so I can't testify from personal observation, but there are a lot of accounts floating around of vastly excessive police behavior during the recent FTAA meetings. The city's power structure — never known for its enlightenment — is just tickled pink that no one was killed and nothing tangible was damaged. The intangible cost to our freedom is not something most of them seem very concerned about.
You can get a good flavor of what's going on — and what (in the sense of an independent investigation) is unlikely to happen — by reading these columns from the Miami Herald. Thank goodness for the columnists: other than this AP news story, AFL-CIO asks for probe of police conduct, the news coverage has been largely supine . Hurry, these may only be online for a few days:
- Jim DeFede, The power of the police needs watching
- Michael Putney, Citizens' panel should review complaints
- Jim DeFede, FTAA security review shouldn't be done by cops
- Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, ACLU: 'In the name of maintaining order, Chief Timoney suspended the constitutional rights of law-abiding people.'
Best quote is from DeFede,
Several people, including police officials, kept referring to the protesters as ''out of towners.'' They said the police correctly decided to ''prioritize'' the rights of local business owners over the rights of out-of-town protesters.
I was surprised to hear it articulated so plainly from police officers. I said I didn't realize they could choose who was deserving of rights and who wasn't. Shouldn't the Constitution apply to everyone? Isn't there some middle ground between the lawlessness that overran Seattle in 1999 and the police state that engulfed Miami last month?
Last month the police decided ''out of towners'' could have their rights violated.
Who's next? Poor folks in Wynwood? Overtown? Liberty City?