Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Police violating rights at the Democratic National Convention?

P.Z. Myers has a post at Pharyngula about how the Democratic National Convention itself is prioritizing religious speakers who disagree with planks of the party platform over non-religious speakers who do not, which goes on to report allegations from an attorney that police from the Aurora, Colorado Police Department have been arresting peaceful protesters on bogus charges, apparently confiscating a compact flash card documenting police behavior, shooting pepper spray into the face of a protester who was obeying police instructions, and illegally not wearing badges or using means to obstruct their names and badge numbers.

Cops who act illegally should be fired and prosecuted, every time. They hold a position of public trust and need to be held to a higher standard than civilians, not a lower one.

UPDATE: Police claim protesters were carrying rocks. They arrested about 100 protesters. The group Recreate '68 says it was denied its use of a legal permit for the use of Civic Center Park, while police helped to protect and bring in Rev. Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church. About a dozen abortion protesters were arrested on Tuesday, so they weren't being given special treatment.

In the Denver Post's photos, I don't see any cops without visible badges, though in only a few photos of cops with riot gear are the pictures close enough to see the numbers in white on the front of their uniforms.

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