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ACLU: Police provoked first DNC arrests

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The ACLU has uncovered a police report which reveals that the first gassing of protesters at the DNC was in response to actions by an undercover provocateur. The police explain their ruse was to extract the infiltrator from the crowd without blowing his cover, but those who were there saw the maneuver’s real purpose. The Denver Post wrote DNC police staged confrontation that prompted pepper spray

After two trouble free marches that day, this incident began when a group organized by Unconventional Denver stepped off the curb at Civic Center Park. Police who had been encircling the group on the grass, formed a phalanx to block their passage and immediately donned gas masks.

The demonstrators were confronted from the North and West, to keep them from leaving the park area. At any time members of the crowd could opt to step back unto the grass. This fact challenges how the Denver Police are attempting to explain their actions with the protest infiltrator.

Because the report brought to light by the ACLU revealed that the first target of the pepper spray was an undercover officer, DPD offered this story. They were trying to extract their officer without arousing suspicion. When another officer misinterpreted the scuffle, he unleashed the pepper spray. Protestations and more spraying ensued. That’s the official story.

Witnesses can attest that there were plenty of other undercover agents in the crowd, the rest of whom were able to melt away. Why the special treatment for this one?

Well, there’s another hypothesis for the police actions. It’s textbook crowd management. I’d say “riot control,” but it means inciting a riot in order to control it. Police use infiltrators to start fights in order to justify their use of violence to intervene. Often this can be as simple as an infiltrator to play stool pigeon while the police jump in to make the arrest. The crowd moves to protect what it thinks is a member unfairly targeted by the officers, and this reaction gives the police justification to crack down.

It that what happened at the DNC on Monday? Not even. While the undercover officer struggled against being “arrested,” before there might have been a reaction from the crowd, another officer “mistook” the event for a protester resisting arrest. His assault with pepper spray led to the crowd reaction which prompted indiscriminate spraying.

I can attest to two details which reinforce the likelihood of this latter scenario. Number one, all protest participants were always free to retreat from the street. It’s the path I chose in fact. My photographs illustrate my vantage point from curbside. Two, DNC activists were always savvy to the police infiltrators. We gave them as wide a berth as possible at all times. It’s likely the crowd never fell for the one who provoked the escalation of violence at Civic Center Park. In fact by the DPD’s own admission, the step up was a “mistake” on the part of one of their men.

Here’s raw surveillance footage which shows the chronology of the spraying.

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