5-17-18 — “Police officers and their political allies have tried to respond to this upsurge of attention to and protest by claiming that there is a ‘war on cops,’ that being a cop is more dangerous than ever, and that such protesters are putting police officers’ lives at risk (rather than vice versa), and that criticism of police is leading to a surge in crime. All of this has been disproved by statistics.”
5-1-18 — During the May, 2012, Occupy Midwest (OMW) gathering, protestors were beaten for violating a curfew order. Then Captain Jerry Leyshock led the charge. Leyshock was promoted to Major a year later and now holds the rank of Deputy Chief Lt. Col.*
Scott O’Rourke was one of those protestors. His “suit, filed in 2016 by the ArchCity Defenders law firm, claimed that police pepper sprayed and arrested [him] during a May 24, 2012, Occupy St. Louis protest. His nose was broken and his face was permanently damaged by an officer in a police interrogation room after his arrest, and police then fabricated evidence to cover up the beating, the suit claimed.”
*It is a common practice for police departments to give commendations to and promote officers who’ve been accused of police brutality. – Human Rights Watch
Missouri Senate Bill 579 #CriminalizesDissent
Individuals convicted of resisting or interfering with arrest are also ineligible for probation or parole in certain circumstances.
For SB 579 Background & Talking Points click here.
Police have responded to police accountability protests both nationally and locally with an ever increasing military presence.
There has been repeated abuse of the “unlawful assembly” law, disbursing demonstrations and teargassing demonstrators without justification which prompted the ACLU of Missouri to file a lawsuit on Sept. 22, 2017 that resulted in an injunction.
On March 19, 2018, the Color of Change and the Center for Constitutional Rights “filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release the contents of the agency’s blacked-out memo referred to in government documents as the ‘Race Paper.’”
“Advocates argue that the existence of the ‘Race Paper’…confirms the targeted surveillance that many Black activists and organizers around the country have reported, and raises alarming questions about the agency’s approach to Black people engaging in protected First Amendment activity.”
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#CriminalizingDissent #RacePapers #CoIntelPro #Surveillance
2-16-18 — “Standing Rock protesters were also subjected to a wide-ranging surveillance effort underwritten by Energy Transfer Partners. For months, according to reporting by The Intercept, local and federal law enforcement worked alongside a private security firm called TigerSwan, which Energy Transfer Partners hired to collect information about Standing Rock participants and supportive groups.”
The introduction and passage of these bills to criminalize dissent is occurring simultaneously with the labelling of protestors as “black identify extremists” and “with the language of the War on Terror.”
#CriminalizingDissent #WarOnTerror #BlackIdentityExtremists
In November of 2016, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) created the US Protest Law Tracker to follow initiatives at the state and federal level that restrict the right to protest. This site is updated regularly.