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RTF webmaster (Sherman Austin) stopped/detained by police because of web site

by boomerang kid Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2002 at 8:00 AM

Sherman Austin ( webmaster) stopped/detained by police while riding his bike....

On July 15th, 2002, Austin was riding his bike down Redondo street, in Long Beach, at arpximently 1:15am when a police car passed him, made an immediate U-turn, then cut him off on the sidewalk just after Temple street.

The officer got out of the car and said, "Hey Sherman". The officer asked Sherman to get off the bike and then said "remember me". The officer then put Austin's arm behind him and ordered him to put his left hand on his head as he patted him down for weapons in what he called "standard procedure". Apparently the officer remembered Austin from a previous traffic ticket in which he was the passenger in a friends car.

The officer then got on his radio before questioning Austin about his politics and asking questions such as, "why do you hate cops so much?". Another 15 seconds went by before another police car arrived on scene. The officer got out of the car and said, "hey Sherman". Then a 3rd police car arrived on scene and the officer got out and yelled, "hey Austin!". The 3rd officer approached Austin with his hands till on the hood of the police car and proceeded to question him about his political views, along with asking him the same question, "why do you hate cops so much?".

A political debate between Austin and the police followed in which they argued back and forth about his anarchistic views and the Long Beach Infoshoppe. Down the line one of the cops again asked Austin what his name was. Austin responded to the officer saying, "I thought you knew, you just called me Austin". The officer then said, "I don't know your name, I just know what you look like." Austin asked, "Why is that? Do you have a picture of me hanging up on your police station?" The officer smiled and responded, "yes, we do".

The officers then accused Austin of making a post on his web site ( advocating property destruction and vandalism against LBPD and LAPD squad cars, police stations, and various other corporate venues. Austin told the officers he did not make the post. The officers told Austin "yes you did, it was posted under your name". Austin then told the officers it was someone impersonating him because he never posts under his full name, but instead under the username "rtf". The officers didn't seem to believe Austin. They told him if anything happens then he would be arrested immediately - hinting the fact as of why they had his photo hanging in the police station. Austin repeatedly told the officers that he did not make the posts to the site.

A political debate between Austin and the officers continued for several minutes until the officers got another call and had to leave.

Austin was apparently stopped for not having a Bike light on his Bicycle. This is obviously not the reason why Austin was stopped.

This was the second day in a row Austin had been stopped by police.

The night before, on July 14th, Austin was stopped while walking down the sidewalk as he passed another officer on a routine traffic stop. As Austin walked by, the officer said , "hey, come here". The officer then asked Austin who he was, saying he looked very familiar. He questioned Austin asking if he'd ever been arrested before, or was on probation..etc.

This is blatant profiling, and harassment by LBPD against Austin because of his anarchist views. Profiling of anarchists is increasing in Long Beach with a number of people reporting they had been stopped, detained, harassed, searched, and questioned by police who ask if they are anarchists or have any connection with the LB infoshoppe.

Austin said he's been noticing that police have been looking at him extra weird lately but couldn't figure out why. Now once again Austin faces possible arrest on false allegations because of his web site/action network "Raise the Fist", and will be lucky if he doesn't get stopped by police again whenever he goes outside. Apparently now every LBPD officer knows exactly who Austin is, keeping a special eye out for him, making sure they don't let this "dangerous" - as NY Post would call it - "would-be-teen-terrorist" out of sight.

In one of the few other recent reports of anarchist profiling in Long Beach, a man came into the Long Beach Anarchist Infoshoppe cyring and breathing hard. He told people at the infoshoppe that he lived down the street, and as he exited his apartment several cops were on the street in front of his apartment. The cops pulled their guns on him and made him get face down on the sidewalk. The cops then proceeded to question him about anarchists. They asked him if he was an anarchist, if he had ever been inside of the infoshop, ect. They also said something along the lines of "c'mon we know you must be an anarchist because you are wearing black".

On saturday an anarchist who frequently visits the shop ran into a fellow who told him that earlier in the week the police had stopped and detained his girlfriend while she was walking home from the market. They did not use their guns however they gave her the same line of questioning which they used on the previously mentioned man. "Are you an anarchist, been to the infoshop?, etc."

There have been many other such incidents thus proving and obvious case of anarchist profiling!

The long beach police have gone completely insane!!! Do they really think that they can get away with such blatant illegality?


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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 3 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
silence de zwijger Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2002 at 9:50 AM
these cops are out of control anonymous Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2002 at 4:38 PM
damn awake Tuesday, Jul. 16, 2002 at 4:42 PM

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