Note: this is the 5th of multiple posts discussing the rally and issues that occurred on Wednesday evening in Bloomfield. I am going to write multiple short posts that talk about various parts of the whole of the evening. I know I will get negative comments on some (maybe all) of these posts. We all are entitled to our opinions. I thought about trying to write a single summarizing post, but it would end up being 8000 words long and no one would read it, so small posts about differing parts of the evening.

I’ve written about most parts of the rally band subsequent events last Wednesday, except for the time period after the arrests began. I walked around and through the group in Friendship Park a bit and it didn’t seem like much was going to happen. There was no real sign of the person with the megaphone or any attempt to get a rally-like event going again. The crowd for the most part was quite quiet and peaceful which makes the events that followed seem that much stranger and unexpected. At one point a guy and a girl each started a chant and ran around the outside of the group, but this didn’t seem to really catch on.

I made the decision that I was ready to leave, believing that the rally had happened and at some point the crowd would be dispersing soon. I walked over to where my partner and a friend were on their bikes, and we talked about what we were going to do about dinner. Then, out of the crowd a group of folks started to march up the road towards Penn Ave and Children’s Hospital. My first thought was to follow, but I was also tired and hungry, and so I didn’t. In my mind, I thought, they are marching, as long as they don’t block the sidewalk or the street, they will be fine and the march is a good thing. Earlier this summer, I was part of a rally where we had been told we had to keep moving or we would be arrested. The group quickly shifted to marching in a very large circle and everything was cool. I was surprised that the crowd didn’t do that on Liberty.

A few minutes later we heard lots of police sirens, and saw cars coming from all over. I could see that the marchers were stopped- no one was moving, and it looked like people were across the roadway as well as on the sidewalk. I handed my camera to my partner and he and Sean took off on their bikes, and I started walking. I caught up to them right as they got to Pearl St, and I never got much father than that.

There were lots of police cars and lots of police. Later I was told that there were 30 cops there. This included 2 police dogs and handlers. The atmosphere was extremely tense and chaotic. The police were clearly in full control mode, and in my experience, totally different from the way they had been acting earlier. I saw a large black police officer grab a kid in a grey Tshirt and shove him agains the police car and begin to arrest him. The crowd around was shouting that he didn’t do anything, and asking why he was being arrested, but the officer said nothing and continued to handcuff the kid. I had seen this kid a few times throughout the rally. He was tall and thin, and seemed very quiet. I was surprised to see him getting arrested. I turned my camera on to catches the arrest as much as I could. I’m not displaying this video at this time for reasons that I do not want to share.

As I was videotaping the arrest, another officer came running at me with a can of mace or pepper spray or something and told me to get the hell out or I would be arrested too.  I backed away but kept taping. I was inn the street, so I shifted over to the sidewalk. The black officer, by now had put the kid n a car, and he had been driven over to another car. The officer however started to shout at me that he hadn’t approved for me to film him and to stop. He threatened to arrest me if I didn’t stop, and he threatened to take my camera if I didn’t stop. I just repeatedly said in as calm a voice as I could muster, that I wasn’t doing anything that I wasn’t legally permitted to do. He then demanded to see my drivers license, and while I was afraid of what might be coming next, I gave it to him. He looked it and wrote some things down and asked me why I was shaking so. I told him that if he was my side and had a huge police officer bullying him, he would be shaking too. He chucked and said he wasn’t bullying me. I believe everything I saw this police officer do was unacceptable.

Days later I was told that the police officer claimed that the kid in the grey shirt had come at him aggressively, and that was why he was arrested. I don’t personally believe this. Others who were standing there were reluctant to tell me what had happened, so something had happened. One person did say that someone had said something to the officer, and the officer turned around and simply grabbed the closest person. I tend to believe this, although I didn’t see it actually happen.

850 words. I need to learn to write shorter blog posts. I’ll finish writing about this section of the event in the next blog post.

6 Comments

  1. What exactly was the purpose of pointing out that the cop was black?

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