Day in court for police brutality

The recent CS Independent update on the St Patrick’s Day Seven left the unfortunate impression that police brutality has become a less significant component of the events that day. In reality our lawyer wants his defendants to answer for our guiltless actions without demeaning ourselves making counter accusations of excessive force.

While the upcoming trial concerns only the specific accusation that we seven intended to obstruct the parade that day, in fact the actions of the accused were most certainly influenced by the repressive manner of the police. If our lawyer is unable to raise the issue of the unnecessary violence, the attempted humiliation, the illegal physical coercion and reckless injury at our trial this week, a remedy will most certainly require further legal action.

The CSPD learned nothing from their misdeeds at the 2003 anti-war protest. Now that people recognize my face from the parade incident, I find myself besieged by accounts of police brutalization of the city’s homeless and less fortunate.

If the Saint Patrick’s Day Seven are making too much fuss for your taste, please consider that it has less to do with our treatment suffered at the hands of the police. We stand for all Americans who expect their civil liberties to be respected, particularly those who may not have a parade audience in broad daylight to insure they will be treated with civility. Somehow we must impress upon the CSPD to adopt a culture of respect for the dignity of all the people it serves.

The ACLU has chosen to defend us because the police should not conduct themselves as if they have the license to curb free speech and inhibit the freedom to assemble. And certainly not by means of force.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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3 Responses to Day in court for police brutality

  1. Avatar The 13th says:

    Thanks for the “inside” update, Eric.

    While your tract above concerns the obvious per the parade event’s secondary unfolding, I’m wondering if initial issues of jurisdictive respect for the police in your city (by the city government and private contractors for the event) are being considered/debated as “causal” to the event’s escalation. What about the city’s role in “abusing the police”? i.e. encouraging the police to act as political guardians in a non-partisan public event? or using the police as “representation” of a private party contract’s revoking? I’m very curious to see how these questions will be addressed, if addressed at all.

  2. Avatar tony logan says:

    The Justice and Peace Commission has failed to deal adequately with the political issues involved in the police attack on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, they are doing everything absolutely wrong at this point, and have hidden away from the public, and even their own supporters, key pieces of information regarding negotiations with the police and the City of Colorado Springs.

    Instead of taking an adversarial position that would demand the right to participate in city staged marches and parades on an equal level with the Pro-war and pro-military crowd, the J&P has taken on itself the role of hugging up to the police in the name of our supposed infatuation and love with ‘non-violence’.

    Further, they have allowed a conservative lawyer from a conservatized local ACLU chapter to derail any political and public defense of the Peace movement, and to push the trial into being strictly an esoteric charade where the defendants will most likely be convicted of being naughty with the police and John O’Donnell. In find, some of the defendants think that charges will be dropped this Thursday, when it is much more likely that the prosecution will hang you guys out to dry.

    At the rally held this Sunday for the St Pat’s Day 7, it was even mentioned that you felt that you were in a win-win situation. What a terrible misreading of reality, Eric. Right now, the J&P is in a lose-lose situation, where you will most likely be convicted, and then later will attend a forum to be held where the Chief of Police will walk hand in hand with key members of the J&P talking about ‘non-violence’ after a police attack on us. How pathetic!

    The public picture being painted of the J&P is that of being a group of powerless losers incapable of anything more than getting many of ourselves arrested and then convicted. Would you want to march or protest against The War in the days ahead with a crowd of these losers? Not I.

    Most of the public will think twice and more about doing this, too, since the group has shown itself incapable of being a secure forum of opposition to militarism. The group is unable to guarantee the security of citizens wanting to protest against The War, incapable of defending people when victimized, and even incapable of understanding key political aspects of what is being done to stop protest from occurring in this city.

    This idea that it is progress to pose as martyrs all the time is not what is needed to advance either the local or the national Antiwar Movement. What is needed is mobilization of people, and this strategy of constant victimhood through arrests actually works against that. The message of the St Pat’s Day 7 so far has been that of being proud of being arrested, rather than true outrage that it did happen. This is not what the general public wants from us. They want power, not weakness. They don’t want to hear from self-satisfied people playing the Jesus role.

  3. Avatar The 13th says:

    The people want people, Tony. That largely entails having a sense of compassion as well as justice. Even from the eyes of a distant stranger I can tell you that not every one of the 7 were “asking to be” victims, leaders, nor martyrs – nor should this trial be used as evidence against nor to rally towards such broad stereotyping expectations. As to Eric’s unique situation in this matter I’m certain only an idiot would not be feeling the weight.

    First, obviously and reasonably, is to recognize everyone that is involved as unique individuals, as citizens within a group, especially since this is largely about the necessity of free speech as benefit to a community. (Thank you ACLU.) Save the future political power speculations about your J & P for after the trial’s outcome, and for those inclined to speculate, but first…

    first, save the 7 and the community! Good luck today, Springs!

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