Who will watch the watchers?

On May Day in 2007, immigrants and their supporters around the US rallied in major cities to announce their support for immigrant rights. In Los Angeles, police said protesters threw “plastic bottles and other projectiles,” according to Democracy Now! Police decided to clear the park of protesters, and in the process used rubber bullets, tear gas, and batons (cubs).

Many nonviolent, non-resisting participants were assaulted, along with news crews from local TV stations and an observer from the National Lawyers’ Guild. Police Chief William Bratton said (in 2008) he planned to discipline 11 officers and terminate four others. The city this year agreed to pay $13 million to people injured or mistreated in the melee.

Now the district attorney’s office says it can’t prove any police officer broke the law, so no charges will be filed against any officers.

This is not a surprise, since police are rarely punished for violence against non-prominent, and especially non-white, protesters. But the failure to hold police offices to the standards they claim to enforce is a major flaw in our legal system. It leads many to the conclusion that laws are intended to control the general population. Except for that purpose, they seem not to be taken seriously by the authorities.

Posted under America, General, Immigration, Police, Power

This post was written by admin on October 31, 2009

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