The "Days of Rage" occupation of Wall Street in New York City has been underway for five days, and new videos show a series of arrests were made this week by the NYPD. Now, those videos and what they show are sparking a debate regarding how both the protesters and the police reacted.
At the heart of the largest stand-off were tarps erected by protestors due to rainfall in downtown Manhattan. NYPD officers informed the protestors the tarps constituted illegal structures, and gave the protestors five minutes to bring them down.
An on-site legal adviser for the protestors agreed with the cops that tarps tied to surrounding trees were in fact a violation of law, according to the activism site suite101.
Apparently, the protestors then held a meeting and determined that some of them would engage in civil disobedience and refuse to comply with the NYPD's request to bring down the illegal structures.
Arrests ensued amidst accusations of rough police treatment leveled by the surrounding protestors. There have been at least seven arrests since the protests began, most of which occurred over the tarp dispute.
As shown in the videos, the instant the NYPD began to effect an arrest, protestors swarmed, yelled insults, and tried to complicate and block law enforcement from doing their jobs. This created a dangerous atmosphere for protestors, police, and passerby.
Based on initial reporting and the videos, it appears protestors intended to exacerbate the situation, yelled and attempted to interfere.
For example, those who were being arrested complained loudly about their treatment despite continuing to resist arrest.
One protestor claimed his plastic cuffs were too tight, and the video showed one of his fingers bleeding. An NYPD officer can be heard saying that medical attention for the protestor was on the way.
Another protestor screamed " I can't breathe" multiple times.
Police also dragged several protestors to the curb. But while that makes for compelling footage, the reality is simple: if police can't drag a suspect, any fleeing felon could lie on the ground and just refuse to move.
The entire law enforcement system is premised upon the threat -- and use -- of force. Some of the "Days of Rage" protestors Tuesday may have found that out the hard way.
The Blaze will bring you more information soon on the protestor arrests and the status of the 'Days of Rage' Wall Street occupation (still not actually on Wall Street).
In the mean time, watch the arrest videos posted to Youtube and decide for yourself about the NYPD's actions:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/v/jYaA-34c-vI&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3 expand=1]
Here is an additional arrest of a protestor who repeatedly used a megaphone without a permit:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/v/7M186KXT3jE&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3 expand=1]