Police say more than half-a-dozen Occupy Denver protesters were arrested on Saturday after they say protesters wanted to occupy the capitol.
Denver Police say they knew there was going to be a protest on Saturday and wanted to keep the event peaceful. Officers say the protesters wanted protest inside the capitol, which is illegal.
“Unfortunately at one point, that group did try to occupy the capital, which is illegal. We made sure that they knew that, it was pretty clear that they were not allowed to do that, they tried to do it anyway,” Lt. Matt Murray with the Denver Police Department said. “We had to step in and push them off. Things escalated; we did have to call out city-wide for assistance.”
Officers say the incident escalated after police tried to get a man to take down his tent in Civic Center Park.
DPD says officers used “non-lethal agents,” like pepper spray and paintball-like balls full of tear gas, to subdue the crowd.
After police converged and started making arrests, officers say the crowd started to push in on them. They say the crowd even more agitated, spurring Denver Police to bring in more officers in riot gear.
Some protesters say police escalated the situation unnecessarily.
“They asked us to take a tent down. Some kid was standing too close to them. They just started attacking everybody. Spraying people with mace, arresting them. We did nothing. This is supposed to be a peaceful protest, and, they’re attacking us,” Sean Drigger, a protester said.
Officers say the protesters settled down when police were able to form a circle and separate the crowd.
Police are ordered out in full riot gear to hide their faces. Begin firing stun grenades and tear gas at crowds for no reason.
Upon detonation, these stun grenades emit an intensely loud “bang” and blinding flash of more than one million candela and 170–180 dB within five feet of initiation, sufficient to cause immediate (but temporary) flash blindness, deafness, tinnitus, and inner ear disturbance.
Stun grenades can and often do cause severe injury when tossed into a crowd.
The Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, pain in the eyes, temporary blindness, etc.
Tear gas can and often does cause permanent damage and even death in some people with asthma and other medical conditions.
Here’s a look at what’s taking place on the front lines at Occupy Oakland. The night after police break up the Occupy Oakland encampment, peaceful demonstrators stand off against police at 14th and Broadway.
Oakland police dispersed Occupy Oakland protesters from Frank Ogawa Plaza and Snow Park on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 in Oakland, Calif. 85 arrests were made when people failed to leave upon police orders.
MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell airs police brutality video, promises to air all such cases of police brutality.
The NYPD seems hell-bent on escalating Occupy Wall Street into something violent. The problem with that police strategy is that violence begets violence. One of these days, someone in the crowd now numbering thousands, is going to fight back and attack the police in retaliation.
If the Occupy Wall Street protests do indeed turn violent, history will show that it was because the NYPD attacked and became violent first.