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Protesters & police clash: Staged performance?

Protesters & police clash: Staged performance?

The situation on Wall Street seems to be getting more tense by the day -- protesters eager for media attention are waiting for one good cop to snap under the pressure and do something stupid. The liberal blogosphere lit up this morning with news that an "innocent" protester was "run over" and then "beaten" by NYPD officers on police scooters. For those waiting to see an anxiety riddled battle for law and order, you'll have to keep waiting...

Take a fresh look at this video, courtesy of the New York Times:

OWS_PoliceScooter from The Local East Village on Vimeo.

From this angle, we can clearly see the unidentified protester either trip and fall or throw himself to the ground in front of the police scooters (~:18). Interestingly enough, we can also see the media's cameras poised and snapping pictures before the scooter approaches the man on the ground. At the :25 mark, you can see the protester's legs perched out IN FRONT of the officer's STOPPED scooter.  Turn the volume up and you'll notice that the man on the ground begins screaming before his legs even come close to the officer's scooter:

Here's another angle, taken from the video in our original report.  In this shot, you can clearly see the man's legs poised in front of the scooter's front wheel.  At this point in the video, the man is already screaming like a banshee even though the scooter is stopped (note the riding officer's foot planted on the ground):

The man's reactions are what initially piqued my curiosity with this video.  First, his screams are dramatic and full-throated and sound as if he's slowing being backed over with a pick-up truck, not a 300-pound scooter.  Secondly, with legs purportedly pinned under the scooter, the man flails his upper torso back and away (coincidentally toward the waiting cameras) instead of forward in an attempt to alleviate the pain and pressure on his legs.  This to me seems like the more logical instinctual response to such an accident, but I digress... Back to the video.

So now that we know the scooter's front wheel did not roll over the man's legs, how did he come to be in this position -- with his legs apparently pinned underneath the bike -- in such apparent pain?

Go back to the video.  With the officer's scooter stopped, the man can be seen swinging his legs to be positioned underneath the bike.  The final result (the picture above) implies that the cop's front wheel ran him over.

If you continue watching the video, you can see the police pull the man out from underneath the bike to place him under arrest.  Why would the police do this if the man had simply fallen down and been run over?  The only feasible answer is that the man purposefully put himself in front of the vehicle, disobeying the officers' orders to clear the street... that is, unless you're a gullible protester who thinks the police go trolling around just to make trouble.

Like I said, after about a month of these protests, the officers have been through a ringer of disrespect, disobedience and are probably just plain fed up.  I think this is exactly what the protesters are hoping for.  All it takes is one disgruntled officer and a camera for the left to reinvigorate their "movement."  They tried it today and I have no doubt they'll soon try it again.

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