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Friday, November 18, 2011

Video Roundup of Occupy Portland's Day of Action

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 5:09 PM

For the second time this week, Portland police today have released their own internal footage of a clash with Occupy Portland protesters—sending out one clip that shows another view of the pepper-spraying incident made infamous by the Oregonian and viewed around the world and another clip that highlights some protesters' non-peaceful response to confusing, simultaneous orders to leave the sidewalk/stay off the street.

First we'll show the pepper-spray video, with some added description to follow. The other video from police, plus two very interesting videos shot by occupiers, will come after the jump. (And be sure to listen, in the police videos, for something you won't actually hear: A warning that officers will use chemical munitions like pepper spray if marchers don't do what they say.)

Update 5:30 PM: Just added after the jump, a woman taken out by a bicycle officer's bicycle. Which actually pains a little me to post, because I have reliably and regularly found the bicycle officers all throughout Occupy to be the cheeriest and chattiest bunch out there.


So what just happened there? Here's how police describe it:

During this confrontation, police deployed pepper spray on 20-year-old Elizabeth Evon Nichols. Nichols had been told by police repeatedly to disperse. Immediately following the pepper spray, officers applied water to Nichols' face. She was then arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with a Police Officer.

Pretty basic. It shows that the most of the bodies in the streets were actually cops. And that protesters got caught against trees and other obstacles. But good on the officers for, as they say, flushing out Nichols' eyes. Update 11/19: Police have identified the officer who sprayed Nichols as Sergeant Jeff McDaniel. (McDaniel was a ride-along guide two years ago for one of our writers.)

Now here's what Laura Seeton, standing to Nichols' right, had to say to the Mercury today:

"She had a peace sign up. We were chanting "peaceful protest." I believe that's why her mouth was open.... Immediately she drops. I call out "medic, medic, medic," several times. Before I could even grab her, one of the riot cops grabbed her by the crown of her head and dragged her into their mesh of riot cops and she disappeared. She did nothing. She said nothing. She wasn't pushing. We were just trying to stay off the street. With those conflicting messages, I knew that was the only thing i could say: I could be on the sidewalk."

Lieutenant Robert King, police spokesman, tells me the whole operation arose to clear the way for the arrests inside the Chase branch on 6th and Yamhill. He also said the bureau is investigating whether individual officers issued pepper spray warnings and acknowledged that the directions given to some marchers, between the bureau's PA van and officers, may have been confusing.

Here's the other police video. This is one of the first good views we've seen of a few of the protesters genuinely acting like asshats—someone smacks one of the horses while trying to hold fast on the sidewalk. And, as I mentioned yesterday, others threw leaflets and water at some of the cops.

Of interest: One protester sent us footage of Officer Ryan Lewton pointing what looks like a tear gas gun at protesters who had gathered from a plaza above to watch officers haul off the nine people pulled from a Wells Fargo branch yesterday. (Lewton, you'll recall, is the cop suspended for shooting Aaron Campbell with beanbag ammo last year. Campbell flinched, and then Officer Ron Frashour shot Campbell with his rifle.)

I happened upon that scene, too. There wasn't much of a crowd, save for frustrated workers at the shops in the Standard Insurance building's atrium, so it was fairly surprising to see the big guns up and out. But, then, the protesters on the plaza did have the high ground.

And here's a video that shows a lot of serious batoning by officers outside the Chase branch. What's interesting is that it starts from inside the branch's ATM vestibule. The camera operator decided not to stay and get arrested, and got a front row seat for plenty of other action.


The bike takedown:

More on Occupy

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