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I’m getting more and more concerned about the excessive force that police departments are using against nonviolent participants in the Occupy Movement.
We all know about the Iraq War vet, Scot Olsen, who got his skull fractured in Oakland after police shot a teargas canister that hit his head, and shot another teargas canister into the crowd of people who went to help him. (Thankfully, Olsen has been able to leave the hospital.)
Then in Berkeley last week, police used their batons to jab and poke totally peaceful protesters and forced a professor down on the ground and handcuffed and arrested her.
And on Sunday in Chapel Hill, more than 25 officers, some brandishing semi-automatic rifles, stormed a building that protesters were occupying. Check out this photo to see what a police overreaction looks like.
They made people get on the ground and pointed guns at their heads. The police “put a gun in my face,” said Hannah Shaw. “That was terrifying,” she told WRAL TV.
The police arrested eight, and handcuffed a reporter from the News and Observer.
What we’re witnessing here is the increasing militarization of our police forces, which have gotten all sorts of fancy equipment and new toys in the post-9/11 era and seem itching to try them out, even against nonviolent protesters.
This has got to stop, before it gets uglier.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Police Bat Berkeley Students with Batons."