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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:37 AM
Original message
Police Arresting Health Reform Supporters At Carnahan Meeting
Six people, including P-D reporter, arrested at Carnahan meeting
By Leah Thorsen

UPDATE: St. Louis County police say six people were arrested. Two of those were arrested on suspicion of assault, one of resisting arrest and three on suspicion of committing peace disturbances. Carnahan was gone when the ruckus started.

Kenneth Gladney, a 38-year-old conservative activist from St. Louis, said he was attacked by some of those arrested as he handed out yellow flags with Don't tread on me printed on them. He spoke to the Post-Dispatch from the emergency room of the St. John's Mercy Medical Center, where he said he was waiting to be treated for injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face that he suffered in the attack. Gladney, who is black, said one of his attackers, also a black man, used a racial slur against him before the attack started.

It just seems there's no freedom of speech without being attacked, he said.

MEHLVILLE -- St. Louis County police on Thursday arrested at least four people, including a Post-Dispatch reporter, outside a town hall forum held by Rep. Russ Carnahan, said Dawn Majors, a Post-Dispatch photojournalist who witnessed everything unfold.

It happened about 8:30 p.m at Bernard Middle School on Forder Road in Mehlville. Carnahan, D-St. Louis, had drawn a rowdy crowd that overflowed the school gym and left dozens of people outside. Many of those who showed up at what had been billed as a forum on aging carried signs about the national health-care debate.

Dozens of people were kept out because there was no room for them inside. Members of the local Tea Party Coalition, a movement that has emerged to counter President Barack Obamas policies, had urged their members to attend, which in turn spurred Democrats to establish a strong presence.

The event was winding down when Majors said she saw a police squad car turn its lights on and went to see what was happening. As she approached it, her eyes started to burn.

And that's when I realized I'd walked through remnants of pepper spray, Majors said. She turned her attention to taking pictures.

She said she saw a woman in handcuffs who was complaining about the pain of the spray and asking to wash her face and eyes. The response of the officer who was arresting her was, I warned you, Majors said.

Majors said the woman had been speaking very loudly and passionately in support of health-care reform earlier in the evening.

She made herself very visible, Majors said.

She also saw a man handcuffed and on his stomach. The man kept asking why he was being arrested, Majors said. An officer nearby said she wasn't the arresting officer, but she would let him know later. That response upset the man on the ground, she said.

Another man was sitting on the ground rubbing his knee, but was not handcuffed. Majors said she heard an officer tell him that he would be taken to jail and booked.

She also saw Post-Dispatch reporter Jake Wagman, who was reporting on the event and shooting video for He was standing on a sidewalk, taking video.

As she photographed everything, Majors said she heard Wagman yell her name and say that he was being arrested. She turned and saw he had been handcuffed and was being put in the back of a squad car. The officer said Wagman had been interfering, Majors said.

She said she did not see what led up to his arrest.

Efforts to get the police version of what happened have been unsuccessful as of 10 p.m.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Cops being the way they are, I sadly suspect a number of false arrests
of health care reform supporters, and few or no arrests (and DEFINITELY no charges) involving anti-reform thugs. Because this is what things are like in The Greatest Country On Earth (TM).
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SeriousEbony Donating Member (66 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Cops being the way they are
What way is that?
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comtec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 07:12 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Authoritarian asshole
not simply people trying to keep the peace, but being bullies about it.
my personal "luck" with police in general is actually positive.
but that's just traffic cops mostly.
in these cases I doubt they are going to send the police who are sympathetic,
but real assholes just looking for someone to pick on.

and it's predictable, that the peaceful supporters/protesters (always our side) are the ones being harassed and arrested, N E V E R the other side!
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imnKOgnito Donating Member (132 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 12:56 AM
Response to Original message
2. Predictable
Everybody with any kind of video recording capabilities needs to be at these things and documenting this. I fully plan on being on the front lines when the circus comes to my town and sending the footage to everyone I know. The MSM is complicit, so we simply have to go around them any way we can.
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. nm
Edited on Fri Aug-07-09 02:29 AM by masuki bance
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justgamma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-07-09 05:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. Sounds kind of like
Rovian tactics. Phil Parlock would be proud.

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