Spokane Police Abuses: Past to Present

The People of Spokane vs. Law Enforcement Abuse, Impunity, Corruption, and Cover-up

Archive for July 22nd, 2007

Arming Ourselves Against State Repression and Police Brutality

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 22, 2007

Spokane Police photo of July 4, 2007 Riverfront Park citizen armed with camera

(This photo is from a series of Spokane Police Department photos taken in Riverfront Park on July 4, 2007 just prior to the attack on protesters by the Spokane Police Tactical Unit and Riverfront Park security guards. The young woman with the camera is locked and loaded in an act of collective self-defense. Behind the woman with the orange pack is Spokesman-Review reporter Jonathan Blunt.)

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ARMING OURSELVES AGAINST STATE REPRESSION AND POLICE BRUTALITY

by David Brookbank

Your father killed his share of Vietnamese civilians ever-so-bravely flying the world’s largest bomber in internationally prohibited missions at 30,000 feet under cover of darkness, cloud cover, altitude, and fighter cover.

Your uncle — in the name of defending a piece of red,white and blue cloth — has kicked down untold numbers of doors of Iraqi families, elbowed elderly women out of the way, and thrown young men on the floor while threatening to rape their sisters. He even told you how he believes that since we decided not to nuke the whole Middle East at the start of the “war” that the only way to deal now with the “sand-niggers”, as he calls them, is to kill all their mothers.

Your best-friend’s sister was even part of a group of U.S. psychologists contracted by the CIA who determined that sodomizing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib was the way to win this unwinnable war of aggression and occupation.

You pay your taxes.

Your ancestors were brought to this god-forsaken land in slave-ships by Christian barbarians.

You are a free man or a free woman in a land of media lies, government propaganda, FBI spying, and police brutality.

What are you to do?

Fight the power. Stand your ground. Read and understand your history. Call a fascist a fascist. Strip away your illusions about the fundamental goodness of America and understand that there is no such thing.

Time to arm ourselves against state repression and police brutality.

And how do I propose that we do that? That is an individual matter.

Why do I say that? First, the people of the U.S. are misinformed and uninformed. Second, most people in the U.S. live in fear of expressing a public opinion on matters of state control and oppression as a result of the current national security apparatus put in place to allow such practices as spying on citizens, arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention.

In other words, the vast majority of us are so chronically disoriented in terms of political analysis and strategic thinking that we have no clear sense of how to proceed. Given that disorientation, you are not going to want to follow me and I am not going to follow you.

Therefore let’s go to the most basic level of collective self-defense.

And for the sake of the Homeland Security Nazis reading this, let us be clear — what I am proposing and all that I am proposing is:

Arm yourself with a camera. Whether that is a camera to take pictures or video, that is up to you. I prefer a video camera with the capacity to also take still photos or to derive still photos from the video footage.

Should every citizen carry a camera? Absolutely.

Would a citizen with a camera filming through the windows of the North Division Zip Trip in March 2006 have been able to prevent the murder of Otto Zehm by the Spokane Police Department? I believe so.

Would it be beneficial to public safety and the sanctity of the truth to have had video footage taken with a camera owned and operated by a Spokane activist or a little old grandpa of the moment in which the Spokane Police claim that Zach St. John attacked a Spokane Police officer and choked him to the point of gasping for air on July 4, 2007 in Riverfront Park?

Would it have been useful to have on video (as opposed to audio only) of Rick Mendoza of the Spokane Police Department’s Police Advisory Committee stating in early 2007 at the ACLU sponsored forum on Police Accountability that the Spokane Police Department is the best police department in the United States? Or NAACP President V. Ann Smith (also now a member of the Police Advisory Committee) stating at the same event that there is no longer a problem with racial profiling in Spokane?

We the people are in need of a reality check. Yes, we are very busy. Yes, life is expensive. Yes, time is short.

And in a “don’t worry, be happy” society like ours, no one wants to be tagged as “too serious”.

But let’s get real. If you are an anti-imperialist, anti-ruling class, anti-militarist citizen, neither your city council, your state elected officials, nor your U.S. congresspersons are going to defend you in any concrete way.

I can tell you by experience that you will be lucky to find adequate legal representation for your court case.

Liberal groups and progressive bloggers will be no where to be found or will be so confused by their own fear of the police and the apparatus of state repression in a time of war that they may do your cause more harm than good.

So what is next? Buy that camera. If it is a video camera, start doing local documentaries at the same time. Film candidate forums. Interview locals about their views on SERE, Wilbur Vault, Kendall Yards, and ASAP.

If nothing else, you can take footage for your insurance claim when you are hit by another car. As we all know, the odds of having the SPD respond to ordinary police matters is next to none.

However, keep one thing perfectly clear in your mind. Once you are armed, you are a target.

The Los Angeles Police Department’s militarized units were not deterred for one second in violently repressing the demonstration in MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007. Neither women and children nor reporters and cameramen from major national and international news organizations were spared. Reporters in Iraq have been targeted by and killed by U.S. forces over and over again. And as one might expect in this era, the U.S. holds journalists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Will the Spokane Police crack your head open for being a citizen in possession of a camera at a protest or arrest or other event of public interest?

Is a camera a weapon?

The answer to that question is also the answer to the prior question.

Beware the unchecked power of the Spokane Police Department, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, Riverfront Park security, Federal Protective Police and other law enforcement agencies.

Straight Talk: Video Taping Police

Videotaping Police — Flex Your Rights

Spokane Police photo of July 4, 2007 Riverfront Park citizen armed with camera

(This photo is from a series of Spokane Police Department photos taken in Riverfront Park on July 4, 2007 just prior to the attack on protesters by the Spokane Police Tactical Unit and Riverfront Park security guards. The young woman with the camera is locked and loaded in an act of collective self-defense. Behind the woman with the orange pack is Spokesman-Review reporter Jonathan Blunt.)

Posted in Freedom to Fascism, In Collective Self-Defense, Know Your Rights, Photographic Evidence, Protest and Free Speech, Spokane Police vs. Youth, War Abroad & At Home | Leave a Comment »

Spokane Police Brutality on Camera

Posted by Arroyoribera on July 22, 2007

Spokane Police officer choking protester Dan Treecraft on June 27, 2007

Video: Spokane Police officer choking protester at Alberto Gonzales visit to Spokane on June 27, 2007

(Author note: Anyone with information as to the identity of the dark-haired man in the suit and black moustache seen in the upper right hand corner of this photo and throughout this video monitoring the brutality against protester Dan Treecraft is asked to e-mail me at arroyoribera@earthlink.net )

Posted in Photographic Evidence, Videos | Leave a Comment »

 
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