I’ll have much, much more on the unbelievable conduct of the police in St. Paul. I’ve been following the reports all week, and it’s fucking beyond outrageous. But this tips me right over the edge:
Here’s the news from the streets of St. Paul and the cells of the Ramsey County Jail
Jason was tased seven times on the street, while completely unresisting. We just heard from him-he’s still pulling copper out of his hip from the taser gun, has a long, deep laceration in his leg that is still untreated, was beaten up badly and has a black eye, a hurt mouth and many lacerations, but says he’s doing great. Elliot Hughes, a sweet, nineteen year old who came to our day camp, was badly beaten when the cops knocked him off his bicycle. They stepped on his chest, and he was coughing blood all night but received no medical treatment. The guards were calling him ‘Princess’ and making homophobic remarks. We heard from Jason that last night, Elliot was making noises to protest not receiving any food for more than twelve hours. Twelve officers entered his cell. Screams were heard for over five minutes. He was tasered three times, maced, and beaten, then removed and the men were told he was being taken to a restraint chair.
To put it bluntly, uniformed “law” enforcement in St. Paul and Ramsey County:
- torture with electroshock weapons (Tasers)
- torture with chemical weapons
- stomp on a young man’s chest
- cruelly (perhaps fatally) deny medical care to a victim spitting up blood (the fancy medical name is hemoptysis) from thoracic trauma
- respond to calls for food with torture by beating, Taser, and chemical weapons: the same chemical weapons known to cause respiratory arrest and death in victims with pulmonary disease. “Spitting up blood” is a symptom of pulmonary disease so severe as to require emergency medical evaluation.
- then tie up the victim in “restraint chairs” known to exacerbate pre-existing breathing difficulties in some victims of thoracic trauma.
You know, I’d gathered a few items of police fuckery from Denver, but never posted them because I got distracted by other matters. I figured I’d save them for a larger post on our expanding police state. But I look at the contrast between the overzealousness in Denver, and it’s like comparing children with cap guns to a rifle brigade.
You already heard from PZ how the police have been conducting unlawful raids, how they’ve been shutting down protesters on the flimsiest of evidence, and how they’ve arrested journalists. Now they’re engaging openly and shamelessly in torturing detainees.
There’s just not enough profanity in the universe to express my outrage.
Much more on such matters later, when I’m less speechless. But in the meantime, if you’re inclined to phone some people and civilly yet forcefully advise that maybe it’s a little premature to bring Guantanamo tactics to the mainland for use against vegans, peaceniks, and a few window-breaking anarchists, Firedoglake’s got the contact list.