Something About International Conferences Brings Out the Worst in Police

There must be something about a boatload of visiting foreign dignitaries that brings out the worst in police. Miami's cops have had to pay out substantial damages for their civil rights violations when we had trade talks here.

And now the British police in London appear to have misbehaved rather badly in their attempt to clear out a peaceful static protest during the G20 summit. See Indymedia London | Videos | Show | film of police attack on G20 climate camp.

Spotted via The Magistrate's Blog, What Should We Make Of This?.

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6 Responses to Something About International Conferences Brings Out the Worst in Police

  1. The practice the British call “kettling,” reportedly practiced at the G20 demonstrations, is what Californians have called “encirclement” since the 1990s. In effect, it’s preemptive detention, whether or not the people trapped by police lines are eventually arrested. For a U.S. case of encirclement *plus* unjust arrest, see Collins v. Jordan, http://altlaw.org/v1/cases/1072567 . (This case was based on San Francisco arrests during the Rodney King verdict aftermath in spring 1992.)

    Cases like Collins, and objections to the Seattle WTO brutality, taught U.S. West Coast police forces not to use arrests or violence when they could substitute a kind of rolling preventive detention. During the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, large groups of demonstrators, sometimes on permitted march routes, would be bottled up for hours at a time in closed-off city blocks, without necessarily being arrested. This was unpleasant enough due to the massive show of force officially described as “saturation policing,” and the inappropriately hostile behavior of some individual officers, and the effect of 90-degree summer temperatures on asphalt. And there were a few score too many arrests at DNC 2000, and one group of demonstrators, bystanders, and journalists were gratuitously attacked with rubber bullets, and I won’t easily forget the sight of a gray-haired lawyer with a round rubber-bullet bruise in the exact center of her forehead. Still, considered dispassionately, the DNC convention policing was less violent than it might have been.

    This London stuff looks more violent than most of the large-group crowd control operations on the U.S. West Coast since Seattle. U.S. West Coast officers have mostly learned not to use violence against large groups where there are cameras. The London police are out of date on their tactics. Strange that such prolific users of CCTV would think they could hit people without being internationally observed.

    Unless they think they can afford to hit people shamelessly in full view? Hoping and expecting not.

  2. obamawatcher says:

    Why do you try to divert your readers attention to overseas civil rights issues, when right here your Glorious Leader is implementing policies you decried in Bush:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/06/BARP16TJOQ.DTL&tsp=1

    So put up or shut up. Either retract your previous position regarding Bush and telco immunity / wiretapping, or condemn the Glorious Bearer of the Ipod for his Special Olympics position on civil rights.

    I’m guessing you’ll be silent, and let your brownshirt LACJ attack all who dare challenge the Glorious one, inventor of the “Austrian” language:
    http://minx.cc/?post=285493
    (We all know what would happen if Bush had made the same gaffe).

  3. michael says:

    Because I have helped out EFF’s lawyers in this case, I mostly don’t post about it except to give pointers to useful documents — such as the article you noted.

    I still hold the view that EFF’s position in this case is right, and the government’s is wrong.

    I have no qualms about complaining about civil rights errors by Team Obama, see e.g. Ungood. Double-Plus Ungood.

    But, you know, this isn’t a full service blog. It’s a hobby. So don’t expect me to post about everything.

  4. obamawatcher says:

    “I still hold the view that EFF’s position in this case is right, and the government’s is wrong.”

    You mean the Obama government’s is wrong.

    “I have no qualms about complaining about civil rights errors by Team Obama, see e.g.”

    You mean civil rights *violations*, don’t you? Civil rights *disregarded*, don’t you? You sure weren’t calling them “errors” under Team Bush.

    “But, you know, this isn’t a full service blog. It’s a hobby. So don’t expect me to post about everything.”

    Not sure what that means. You allow comments on your “hobby” blog, so presumably you care what others have to say about what you are writing.

    Still haven’t heard anything from you on the Glorious One’s penchant for drone missile attacks into Pakistan, which if Bush were doing I can only assume you’d consider a violation of international law and a war crime. I guess that’s Obama’s hobby and I shouldn’t expect him to answer for it on http://www.change.gov either.

  5. Landover says:

    Okay, now I have a HARD time believing the British cops “behaved badly” while the foreign dignitaries were visiting. Have you ever seen those British cops operate while they’re on duty? My husband watches all those “cops” shows all the time. He’s taken to watching the ones filmed in the U.K. While American cops get all excited, yelling “Get on the ground!” “Get on the ground!” the British cops are all cool and collected. I’ve even heard them tell a perp “Now that wasn’t very nice, was it?” All in a mellow tone; no emotion showing at all. Those British cops are cool as a cucumber.

    Landover Baptist Church

    Landover Baptist Church

  6. John Flood says:

    The actual footage showing the police officer hitting and pushing Tomlinson, the man who died during G20, came from a New York fund manager. CCTV seems to have been of little use in this case. We are also getting film and pictures of prior beatings this man suffered before the last one. He was not at all involved in the demonstration, merely walking home. So it does appear as though the police were ordered to behave more demonstratively than earlier in the day. The subsequent investigation is being handled by monkeys. Having identified the officer who hit Tomlinson, he has yet to be interviewed by the so-called independent investigators. Tomlinson has also had to have a second autopsy to see if, among other things, he was attacked and bitten by a police dog! The police cover up is being shredded by a 1000 cuts. This is why now it is most important to support the opposition to the proposed legislation that would permit prosecuting people who take photos in public places.

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