Video of Sergio Ballesteros’ brutal Art Walk arrest
Since the raid, arrests have been frequent, and the majority have been from protesting peacefully on public property which only days earlier had been accessible to all.
Last night, On December 17th, two protesters were plucked out from an OLA crowd hanging art and protest signs on the fence skirting City Hall, and arrested. One - Omar - was given a ticket and released after two hours. One was brutally beaten by the arresting officers, jailed, and this afternoon The Legal Committee found out that he has been charged with a felony and his bail set at $25,000. The man who was beaten and jailed - Stephen Marcus Releford - is an African American in his twenties renowned for his calm, peaceful and controlled temperament. His arrest, documented by citizen journalists, was arbitrary, vicious and pointless. Omar, a man in his early twenties of Libyan descent, overheard officers concocting a story to justify Stephen’s arrest on the grounds he was violent. Video evidence unequivocably refutes this absolutely. This indicates the kinds of corruption LAPD has instilled in their ranks. It is hard not to see Stephen’s arrest as racially motivated, given that he was one of the few African American males visible in the predominantly white and Hispanic crowd, and yet was one of the most peaceful participants participating in the art-hanging protest.
Stephen was part of a crowd defending their right to free speech and holding a vigil for Bradley Manning, and a vigil for sex workers who have suffered from violence. Officers trying to prevent protesters from hanging their art and participating in the vigil refused to give their name and badge numbers - which is against penal code 830.10. Officers tried to obstruct citizen journalists from filming and questioned protesters’ right to observe, violating their First Amendment Rights under the Constitution. Protesters were told they were obstructing a public walkway under 647c - they were not: traffic on this sidewalk is minimal, and the only obstruction occurred by a police line. Penal code 647c does not give police or other authorities the power to regulate conduct in a public place or sidewalk, which is the basis upon which the LAPD have been citing this code - wrongly, in an effort to justify continual harassment of protesters and abuse.
Other arrests made that evening included six protesters - 5 female and one male - for trespassing into Solidarity Park, wearing orange Guantanamo jumpsuits in protest against the NDAA, and in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. These protesters expected to get arrested, and expressed their desire not to be bailed out before they did this action. Their bail has been set at $5k.Source: occupylosangeles.org
(Not) Talking to Cops
Anything you say to the police can be used against you and your friends. Whenever the cops ask you anything besides your name and address, it’s safest to say: “I am going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer.” The cops are then legally required to stop questioning you. They probably won’t, so just keep repeating it. Say it loud enough for witnesses to hear.
Don’t wait for the cops to read you your rights. They usually won’t. Law enforcement agents are legally allowed to lie, and they’re trained to be manipulative. The only thing you should say to them is, “I am going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer.” (Don’t sign anything, either, without showing it to a lawyer first.)
Any time the police try to search you, say: “I do not consent to this search.” This may not stop them, but it could get evidence thrown out in court later. This is important, because you might have something on you that is technically illegal (like a pocketknife that’s too long), or the police might plant evidence on you. However, don’t physically resist when cops try to search you, because you could get hurt and charged with assault.
Any time the cops try to search anything connected to you, say: “I do not consent to this search.” Keep saying it, loudly enough for witnesses to hear. This is true for your body, your car, your house, your garage – anything. It’s also true if the cops have a search warrant. There might be a technical problem with the warrant that only comes up later.
Keep your hands in view and make no sudden movements. Avoid passing behind police officers - nervous cops are dangerous cops. Also, never touch the police or their equipment (vehicles, flashlights, animals, etc.) — you can get beat up and charged with assaulting an officer.
Whenever you talk to or observe the police, write down their names, ID #s and physical descriptions. Get as many specific details about the incident as you can. Get names and contact info of any witnesses. Cameras and cell phone are great for observing cops, too.
Invictus captured Officer Navarro - the officer from the video below who pushed her - refusing to give out his name and badge number to protesters who wished to report the brutality and misconduct of the police last night. Officer Navarro refused all requests, and seemed to find the situation amusing.Source: ustream.tv