Jones Report | August 17, 2006
Elizabeth Ritter was shot four times with rubber bullets by police
while she was protesting a Free Trade Summit in Miami, August 10.
This horrifying example truly shows the disconnect between police and
the citizens they pose as protecting and serving.
These police actually laugh at their victims, in spite of news cameras
and hundreds of witnesses of which they were certainly aware. Arrogant
and unchecked power now threatens to be the norm for ever-increasing
They rule with faux violence and real threats (rubber bullets been
known to cause death, in certain cases). Here, Ritter was even shot in
the face in an archetypal showdown with goons dressed in black 'storm
trooper' uniforms, over-armed to handle a peaceful protest.
They shoot at a business woman repeatedly, even after seeing blood
drip from her body. Somewhere, behind a disconnected, under-informed
and wrongly influenced "peaceful" force, these instruments of terror
think they are protecting the populace rather than subjecting them to
tyranny, all the more terrifying for being out in the open.
Police demonstrated similar excessive force after the Red Sox's
American League Championship Series Victory in October of 2004. Police
tried to subdue a 'belligerent' crowd by firing upon them.
Twenty-one year old Emerson University student, Victoria Snelgrove,
was killed after she was hit by a rubber bullet in the crowd that was
merely celebrating a sporting event.
Police in the Boston case say they did not also beat the woman victim,
those that was apparently the case with other fans deemed rowdy.
The crowd was described as out-of-control and reportedly also set a
car on fire. However, police have clearly over-reacted when police
simply fire into a crowd and irresponsibly shoot the student in the
eye, who was otherwise not a particular subject of police control.
The weapons are 'meant to be non-lethal,' just as the police
themselves are meant to maintain peace in the society they serve. Yet,
it is the police committing the atrocities-- the forces that should be
scaled back, not re-inforced and escalated.
Boston mayor Tom Menino sees the need for such violent escalation,
"We're going to have to take some drastic measures since people won't
act responsibly. I as mayor will take it into my own hands, and
probably ban liquor being sold in bars and, once the game starts, bar
TV cameras in the bars during the games; try to do everything we can
to keep the peace," Menino said.
The point here is that these are not isolated cases, but an
unfortunate trend of an emerging police state, taking its first aims
at large public gatherings, like sporting events, deemed otherwise
difficult to control.
Police are increasingly equiped like armies. They have been unleashed
in full riot formation at both Democratic and Republican National
Conventions, at Mardi Gras festivals and other large events.
Police fired rubber bullets during Mardi Gras festivities in Austin,
Texas in February of 2001. When police determined the largely peaceful
crowd to be unruly, they opened fire, shooting University of Texas
Economics student Saif Siddiqui in the eye.
"They say that they're supposed to fire the pellets in the legs, not
in the face," Isram Siddiqui said. "There was no warning that they
were using bullets to dispose the scene if they can't control it, they
shouldn't have it."
35 people were arrested that night, including several injuries.
Jason Morgan says he was subdued by police, told to kneel on the
ground, after which he was beaten, hit with pepper spray and shocked.
Jessica Murray was subsequently struck in the chest when she protested
police action against her friend.
Similar actions took place in Seattle in February 2001, where police
again used pepper spray and rubber bullets to break up crowds after
the bars closed.
This is all demonstrative of unacceptable attacks against largely
unarmed, largely peaceful people by police who have over-stepped the
bounds of their role in society. They have completely lost touch with
their purpose and relationship with society.
In the aftermath and organization purpose of such forces, however,
police continue to justify themselves on the grounds of "keeping the
peace"-- how far out on a limb will they go?
view video: http://www.jonesreport.com/articles/170806_rubber_bullets.html
"For what are fifty, what a thousand slaves, match'd to the sinew of a single arm that
strikes for Liberty?"