New York police officers are being investigated over allegations they have used excessive force against Occupy Wall Street protesters.
A video, taped last Friday, has given grounds for one of the inquiries. An officer, thought to be a deputy inspector, was filmed apparently grabbing an activist from behind and punching him in the face so hard that he fell to the ground.
An independent agency that deals with complaints against New York police says it is also looking into an officer using pepper spray on a peaceful female protester.
The anti-corporate campaign has been going on for more than a month now, and despite the police handling and the continuing arrests, the numbers of demonstrators are growing.
Zuccotti Park in New York City has become the scene of thousands of demonstrators who converged over the weekend to show their support for what they called an ‘International Day of Rage’ – referring to the “occupations” and demonstrations that had spread across the world.
Thousands converged in Times Square where they were peacefully demonstrating, only to be met with an unprecedented show of force by the NYC Police Department. Approximately 90 people were arrested for taking part in those demonstrations. RT also witnessed instances of police officers on horseback riding into the crowd, and police officers on scooters injuring several protesters who had gathered peacefully.
As the demonstrations grow across the United States, so does the police response. On Monday morning, in Seattle, RT crew saw nine protestors arrested after about 250 of them refused to take their tents down.
Over the weekend, RT saw the arrests of more than 100 protesters in Arizona in two separate OWS demonstrations.
In Chicago, where thousands had gathered to show their support for what they call “a movement against corruption in Washington and on Wall Street”, about 175 demonstrators have been arrested.
Weekdays or weekends, despite growing police action, the number protesters continues to grow.
Meaghan Lenick, one of the organizers of 'Occupy Wall Street', told RT that NY police have been brutal many times in the past with protesters but they have never been held accountable for their actions.
When there are protests abroad the US government refer to them as ‘protests calling for democracy’, but when people protest in America the government focuses on ‘they do not have a message’ sort of thing. “It is a complete double standard,” Lenick concludes.
“People are out on Wall Street for a reason – they want to hold banks and financial capital accountable for what they have done to our country and our world.”
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