SECRET – Minnesota Police Investigation of Officers Providing Drugs to Occupy Protesters

The following document contains files related to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s investigation into allegations that law enforcement officers participating in Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) courses provided drugs to sober people they had picked up from Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis where protesters connected with Occupy Minnesota had been located since April 2012.  The officers then used the intoxicated subjects for their training course, sometimes providing them with rewards like food or cigarettes, and then returned them to the Plaza. Though the investigation confirms many aspects of the story and a Sheriff’s Deputy admitted to the DRE course instructor that he had witnessed his partner in the course providing marijuana to subjects, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found that there was insufficient evidence to sustain charges and obtain convictions against any of the officers involved. This was partly due to the fact that 29 former officers and employees associated with the program refused to testify, blocking the investigation. For more information on the file, see Dan Feidt’s article on the documents and watch the video report he helped produced in May 2012 which played a significant role in raising public awareness of the issue and spurring the investigation.

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal

Apprehension Drug Recognition Evaluator Investigation

  • 513 pages
  • September 2012
  • 74.43 MB

Download

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has investigated allegations of law enforcement officers providing controlled substances to individuals as part of a drug recognition certification program. The investigation appeared to be professional and comprehensive. We have reviewed the allegations and for the reasons identified below have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to issue felony charges in this matter.

Background

The Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) course provides important training to law enforcement officers in Minnesota and throughout the country. DRE train officers to accurately identify specific drug impairment and, by observation, the characteristics and behaviors of drug impaired drivers. DRE helps officers detect and apprehend drug impaired drivers who endanger the public.

During April and May of 2012 the State Patrol conducted Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) training for law enforcement officers throughout Minnesota. The course began on April 2, 2012 with two weeks of classroom training. The classroom training occurred in White Bear Lake.

The classroom training was followed by certification training, which required students to go out into the streets to find people under the influence of drugs and evaluate them. The officer students were then supposed to persuade these individuals to voluntarily accompany them to a Richfield training facility where they would provide a urine sample. This sample would then be tested to determine whether the participant was impaired as the officer had believed, and if so, what drug had been ingested. To encourage cooperation, officers never recorded participants true names.

Source of Allegations

On May2, 2012 allegations were made in the local media that DRE officers were not just seeking already “high” people to participate in testing. Allegations were that officers were providing controlled substances to sober people so that they could become “high” and then participate in testing. One individual, Forest Oliver, claimed that he had participated three times in the DRE testing and DRE officers had given him marijuana on each occasion. Some of these allegations had appeared in previous days on YouTube.

In response to these allegations, instructors asked their class whether they had engaged in such conduct or had heard of any classmates doing so. They emphasized that DRE students should not provide potential test participants with controlled substances.

No DRE officer admitted in class to knowledge of such conduct. However, after class that day on May 3, 2102, Chisago Deputy Sheriff Andrew Mahowald told head instructor State Patrol Sgt. Ricardo (Rick) Munoz that he had witnessed his DRE partner, Hutchinson Officer Karl Willers, provide marijuana to test subjects. Mahowald coming forward with this information ultimately led to Hutchinson Police Chief Hatten requesting a BCA investigation of allegations regarding Hutchinson officers.

Unveiled – NYPD Occupy Wall Street May Day Advisory Bulletin

https://publicintelligence.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/NYPD-OWS-MayDay.png

 

 

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protesters are calling for a “General Strike” on Tuesday, May 1, urging workers not to go to work and students to boycott classes in protest of what organizers characterize as society’s economic inequality. No unions are expected to participate in the strike, and some have talked to reporters about the fact that they weren’t consulted in OWS’s decision to announce a General Strike. Nonetheless, some elements of organized labor are expected to participate in their own customary May Day rally (which has occurred since 2004), marching from Union Square to Foley Square to Bowling Green, with speeches at either end beginning at about 4:00pm and ending by 7:00pm. The union organizers involved in that march have sought a permit for it. Details are being worked out.

The “General Strike” was initially proposed by the Los Angeles node of OWS in November 2011, endorsed by Occupy Oakland at the end of January 2012, and subsequently endorsed by the OWS New York General Assembly on
February 14.

There are fissures within OWS, but a “respect for diversity of tactics,” which includes everything from peaceful protests to the kind of vandalism directed at Starbucks in April, when demonstrators tried to smash the windows at the Starbucks location at Astor Place, has been embraced by the movement.

Below is a list of events that are scheduled to be held on May 1. Although the list is comprehensive, various OWS postings have called for autonomous actions, splinter demonstrations, and flash mobs.

Event Assessment

The General Strike is the first of several major global demonstrations that the OWS movement has played a role in planning, including demonstrations scheduled for May 12, May 15, and May 17-21.3 As such, it should be expected that organizers have emphasized the importance of turnout and will be seeking maximum media coverage.

Political fissures that are present within the OWS movement may impact the strategies of demonstrators during individual protest actions; in particular, the Wildcat March is not an officially sanctioned OWS march and may attract militant elements from inside and outside the OWS movement that may seek to directly confront law enforcement officials using barricades, riot shields, and possibly weapons such as pipes and rocks.

Although OWS organizers have publicized a large number of the marches, demonstrations, and activities that will take place throughout the day, it should be expected that “pop-up” demonstrations, splinter demonstrations, and flash mobs may occur at any time, especially during “evening actions” that are planned for 7:00pm and later.

In their planning, the OWS NYCGA has endorsed solidarity based on a “respect for a diversity of tactics,” which suggests that autonomous actions of demonstrators using Black Bloc tactics may occur at any time.

Crpytome unveils – OWS Protestors Get 1A Camp at National Memorial

Notice of Temporary Change

Federal Hall National Memorial is announcing a temporary change to how the public will access the building. Taking this action affords visitors safe access to the site without interfering with those participating in 1st amendment activities at the site.

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17 April 2012

Occupy Wall Street 17 April 2012

The steps of Federal Hall National Memorial have replaced the sidewalks for the Occupy Wall Street
encampment. Located across Wall Street from the New York Stock Exchange, it is one of the most
popular tourist stops in NYC.

The protest is described by OWS as training for a worldwide General Strike on 1 May 2012. More:

Tidalhttp://occupytheory.org

http://occupiedmedia.us

Cryptome Protest Series: http://cryptome.org/protest-series.htm

 


 

Occupy Wall Street 17 April 2012

[Image]Members of Occupy Wall Street gather on the steps of Federal Hall after being evicted from the sidewalk early yesterday morning where they had been sleeping on April 17, 2012 in New York City. April 17, 2012. Cryptome

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US National Park Service (USNPS) police, which guard national Memorials such as the Statue of Liberty,
are monitoring the protest along with NYPD. An attempt by USNPS police to move the protestors to one
side of the steps was resisted by the protestor above while Cryptome photos and a video were made.
In answer to an inquiry about the resistance, the USNPS officer answered every question with
“they are exercising free speech.”

[Image]Members of Occupy Wall Street gather on the steps of Federal Hall after being evicted from the sidewalk early yesterday morning where they had been sleeping on April 17, 2012 in New York City. As temperatures warm, members of the global protest movement have reasserted their commitment to finding a permanent presence in the financial district following their eviction from Zucotti Park last November in a dramatic police raid. Getty
[Image]Members of Occupy Wall Street gather on the steps of Federal Hall after being evicted from the sidewalk early yesterday morning where they had been sleeping on April 17, 2012 in New York City. As temperatures warm, members of the global protest movement have reasserted their commitment to finding a permanent presence in the financial district following their eviction from Zucotti Park last November in a dramatic police raid. Getty
[Image]Members of Occupy Wall Street gather on the steps of Federal Hall after being evicted from the sidewalk early yesterday morning where they had been sleeping on April 17, 2012 in New York City. As temperatures warm, members of the global protest movement have reasserted their commitment to finding a permanent presence in the financial district following their eviction from Zucotti Park last November in a dramatic police raid. Getty
Following photos taken by Cryptome between 11:30 and 13:30, 17 April 2012.
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]US National Park Service police SWAT members. Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome

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Senior Park Service police overheard discussing how to corral the protestors without provoking resistance. 17 April 2012. Cryptome

[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
 

Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome

[Image]Side wall of Federal Hall National Memorial where OWS protestors slept overnight until evicted by NYPD. 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Sidewalk across from Federal Hall National Memorial where OWS protestors slept overnight until evicted by NYPD. 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]Occupy Wall Street, Federal Hall National Memorial, 17 April 2012. Cryptome
[Image]School children were led in a protest chant by their teacher.

 


	

Uncensored – Occupy Wall Street 13 April 2012

[Image]Occupy Wall Street protestors are taking up the movement in Manhattan again, sleeping on sidewalks around the New York Stock Exchange. Eric Michael Johnson for The New York Times

Occupy Wall Street 13 April 2012

[Image]Occupy Wall Street protestors are arrested by New York City police officers during a demonstration across the street from the New York Stock Exchange on April 13, 2012 in New York City. In preparation for massive May Day demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to hold weekly ‘Spring Training’ demonstrations. Getty

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[Image]Occupy Wall Street protestors stage a demonstration across the street from the New York Stock Exchange on April 13, 2012 in New York City. In preparation for massive May Day demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to hold weekly ‘Spring Training’ demonstrations. Getty
[Image]An Occupy Wall Street protestor holds a sign during a demonstration on April 13, 2012 in New York City. In preparation for massive May Day demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to hold weekly ‘Spring Training’ demonstrations. Getty
[Image]New York City police officers monitor an Occupy Wall Street protest on April 13, 2012 in New York City. In preparation for massive May Day demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to hold weekly ‘Spring Training’ demonstrations. Getty
[Image]Members of the Occupy Wall Street hold a protest rally in the financial district in New York April 13, 2012. Reuters
[Image]New York City police officers stand guard in front of the New York Stock Exchange during an Occupy Wall Street protest on April 13, 2012 in New York City. In preparation for massive May Day demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street protestors continue to hold weekly ‘Spring Training’ demonstrations. Getty
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters chant during a demonstration at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange in the Financial District in New York April 13, 2012. Reuters
[Image]Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement hold a banner along Wall Street after spending the night sleeping across the street from the New York Stock Exchange April 13, 2012. Reuters
[Image]Members of the Occupy Wall Street wake up from a night of sleeping on the street in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York April 13, 2012. Reuters
[Image]A member of the Occupy Wall Street movement yawns after waking up from a night of sleeping on the street in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York April 13, 2012. Reuters
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters sleeps at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
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[Image]Occupy Wall Street protester Yoni Miller (R) hands out flyers to people at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]A police officer inspects Occupy Wall Street protesters sleeping at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters read a book on the steps of Federal Hall, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner Wall Street and Nassau Street, near the stock exchange, for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters chant during a demonstration at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protester Brandon Crozier holds up a sign at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]A woman walks past sleeping Occupy Wall Street protesters, at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]A man walks past Occupy Wall Street protesters at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protestors have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protester Ray Leone (C) holds up a sign at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters

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[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters hold up signs at the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, in the Financial District in New York April 12, 2012. Occupy Wall Street protesters have slept at the corner for the past three nights. Reuters
[Image]Occupy Wall Street participants occupy a sidewalk near the New York Stock Exchange, background right, Thursday, April 12, 2012. (Richard Drew)

New York Times, April 13, 2012:

For the third consecutive night, Occupy Wall Street protesters used a tactic that many of them hope will emerge as a replacement for their encampment at Zuccotti Park, which was disbanded by the police in November. Norman Siegel, a prominent civil-rights lawyer who visited the protesters on Wednesday night, said a decision by a federal court in Manhattan arising from a lawsuit in 2000 allowed the protesters to sleep on sidewalks as a form of political expression so long as they did not block doorways and took up no more than half the sidewalk.The protesters first cited that ruling last week while sleeping outside bank branches near Union Square, but said this week that they wanted so-called sleep-outs to occur nightly around the New York Stock Exchange. An organizer, Austin Guest, said protesters had scheduled such events for Friday night at four other spots, each related to the Occupy Wall Street message that the financial system benefits the rich and corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens. The protesters’ presence on and near Wall Street has drawn the attention of the police, but officers have not dislodged them.

UNCENSORED – Belarus Protest Photos

[Image]Belarus plainclothes policemen detain protesters during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]Belarus plainclothes policemen detain a protester during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]Belarus plainclothes policemen detain protesters during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.[Image]
[Image]Detained protesters show V-signs as they sit in a police van during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]A detained protester showsa V-sign as he sits in a police van during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]Belarus plainclothes policemen detain a protester during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]Belarus plainclothes policemen detain a protester during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]A Belarus plainclothes policeman, left, detains protesters during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]A woman protects her husband from a plainclothes policeman, left, during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]A woman argues with plainclothes policemen as they push back protesters during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]Belarus plainclothes policemen push back protesters during an action “Revolution via social network” in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Police in Belarus have violently quashed a peaceful anti-government rally, detaining dozens of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko. (Sergei Grits)
[Image]Youths applaud as they participate in a peaceful rally to protest the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko, Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, June 29, 2011. Belarusian police violently dispersed a peaceful rally Wednesday by thousands of people protesting the authoritarian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko and the country’s worst financial crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago. (Sergei Grits)

Revealed – SOPA Blackout JS Utility

Earlier this week, Reddit.com announced that they would be blacking out their site on January 18th. Likewise, many of us should take similar action versus this bill. The damage it would cause to our internet infrastructure would be irreparable. What we propose is a simple, but effective message for any webmasters to use on their site on this date.

How to use

The following will present a blackout banner when users visit your site, which can be circumvented by clicking anywhere:

<script type=”text/javascript” src=”//js.sopablackout.org/sopablackout.js”></script>

The following will blackout an element of a specific id:

<script type=”text/javascript”>sopablackout_id = ‘sopa’;</script>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”//js.sopablackout.org/sopablackout.js”></script>

WordPress Plugin

Sasha Gerrand kindly created a wordpress plugin to easily implement this. Check it out on github.

Created by @sirpengi and Jacob Miller

 

What is SOPA?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) is on the surface a bill that attempts to curb online piracy. Sadly, the proposed way it goes about doing this would devastate the online economy and the overall freedom of the web. It would particularly affect sites with heavy user generated content. Sites like Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, and others may cease to exist in their current form if this bill is passed.

What is PIPA?

The Protect IP Act (PIPA, S. 968) is SOPA’s twin in the Senate. Under current DMCA law, if a user uploads a copyrighted movie to sites like Youtube, the site isn’t held accountable so long as they provide a way to report user infringement. The user who uploaded the movie is held accountable for their actions, not the site. PIPA would change that – it would place the blame on the site itself, and would also provide a way for copyright holders to seize the site’s domain in extreme circumstances.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation laid out four excellent points as to why the bills are not only dangerous, but are also not effective for what they are trying to accomplish:

  • The blacklist bills are expensive. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that PIPA alone would cost the taxpayers at least $47 million over 5 years, and could cost the private sector many times more. Those costs would be carried mostly by the tech industry, hampering growth and innovation.
  • The blacklist bills silence legitimate speech. Rightsholders, ISPs, or the government could shut down sites with accusations of infringement, and without real due process.
  • The blacklist bills are bad for the architecture of the Internet. But don’t take our word for it: see the open letters that dozens of the Internet’s concerned creators have submitted to Congress about the impact the bills would have on the security of the web.
  • The blacklist bills won’t stop online piracy. The tools these bills would grant rightsholders are like chainsaws in an operating room: they do a lot of damage, and they aren’t very effective in the first place. The filtering methods might dissuade casual users, but they would be trivial for dedicated and technically savvy users to circumvent.

UNCENSORED -Occupy Wall Street Photos 10 January 2012

[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters read books in Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in Zuccotti Park as security guards stand next to stacks of barricades,Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, in New York. The barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters make signs in Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park Tuesday, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Police officers guard the perimeter of Zuccotti Park As Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in the park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, Tuesday, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Security from Brookfield Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park, watch as Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in the park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by the owners allowing access into the park by the protesters on Tuesday. (Louis Lanzano)

Uncensored – Occupy Wall Street Photos 10 January 2012 – Courtesy of Cryptome

[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters read books in Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in Zuccotti Park as security guards stand next to stacks of barricades,Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, in New York. The barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters make signs in Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park Tuesday, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Police officers guard the perimeter of Zuccotti Park As Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in the park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, Tuesday, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in Zuccotti Park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by Brookfield Properties, the owners of the park, allowing access once again into the park by the protesters. (Louis Lanzano)
[Image]Security from Brookfield Properties, the owners of Zuccotti Park, watch as Occupy Wall Street protesters gather in the park, Tuesday, Jan.10, 2012, in New York. Barricades were removed by the owners allowing access into the park by the protesters on Tuesday. (Louis Lanzano)

NEWS – New York Police Circulating Mysterious Government Guide to Criminal Tactics of “Protest Extremists”

https://i1.wp.com/publicintelligence.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/protesting-is-not-a-crime.png

An image from the first page of a manual on criminal tactics of “protest extremists” shows a legal, First Amendment-protected event occurring on the National Mall. The guide then lists a number of issues and beliefs such as “environment” and “peace” which can provide an agenda for protest actions.

An email contained in the latest AntiSec release indicates that law enforcement agencies in New York have been circulating an out-of-date manual that was previously criticized by the ACLU to instruct officers about issues related to Occupy protests.  The brief email from December 5, 2011 was circulated to a number of law enforcement agencies affiliated with the Mid Hudson Chiefs of Police Association and contains several document attachments that describe tactics used by protesters, including basic guides on how to conduct your own “Occupy” protest.  One of the documents is a police manual titled “Civil Disturbance and Criminal Tactics of Protest Extremists” that describes “illegal” tactics used by protesters and so-called “protest extremists”.  The document, which was last revised in 2003, does not list its originating agency or author and is marked with a number of unusual protective markings indicating that it is not intended for public release.

The existence of the document was first discussed in a 2003 article from the Colorado Springs Independent which quoted a representative of the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force discussing the manual:

In a written statement recently obtained by the Colorado ACLU, an agent of the Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force describes how he has used the manual to instruct local law-enforcement officers.”Beginning in 2001, I began using a training manual created by the U.S. government, which identifies civil disturbance and criminal protest tactics and instructs on how to respond to those tactics,” states the agent, Tom Fisher. The manual, he states, is “part of a program offered by the United States government on criminal protest tactics.”

According to the statement, the training manual is “law-enforcement sensitive” and not to be released to the public.

Fisher also states that he has been teaching the Denver Police Department about “terrorist issues,” including “criminal tactics of protest extremists.”

The manual contained in the latest AntiSec release is further confirmed to be this document by a spokesman for the Colorado Springs Police Department who quotes from the document and refers to it by name:

A spokesman for the Colorado Springs Police Department said he’s not sure whether the department received the Oct. 15 FBI memo. “We have no record of receiving that intelligence bulletin, although that’s not to say we didn’t,” said the spokesman, Lt. Skip Arms.Springs police have not received training from Fisher, though they do use a manual titled Civil Disturbance and Criminal Tactics of Protest Extremists, Arms said.

“It’s something that our tactical people would look at and compare to their tactics,” he said.

Arms said he doesn’t know where the department obtained the manual or who authored it. The introduction states that it is “the result of an extensive interagency collaboration to address a surge of protest activity worldwide,” but nothing in it indicates specifically that it was developed by the U.S. government, he said.

Lt. Arms quotes from the introduction which states “‘Civil Disturbance and Criminal Tactics of Protest Extremists’, was prepared in response to the increase of protest activity worldwide and the escalation of violence and property destruction that has occurred in the past several years. Information regarding the unlawful operational and tactical activities was collected and interpreted by multiple agencies. The information presented is for law enforcement and public safety officials to assist in effectively managing civil disturbances and large-scale protests”.

Policing First Amendment-Protected Events

Whether you are sympathetic to the complaints of Occupy protesters or not, the nationwide and now global movement to occupy civic spaces has had a much more tangible and immediate impact: demonstrating the increasing militaristic tactics of police around the country to suppress constitutionally-protected speech and dissent.  Though law enforcement is presented with a unique set of challenges in response to the Occupy protests, which include balancing reasonable protection of public safety while ensuring that citizens’ right to express themselves is honored, the tactics of law enforcement agencies around the country have helped to demonstrate the repressive nature of modern policing in the United States.

Throughout the country, predominantly peaceful gatherings in public spaces have been met with midnight raids conducted by black-clad phalanxes of often unidentifiable police, rousting them from their tents, tarps and other minimalistic structures to either arrest them or forcibly remove them from the space.  These raids have been coordinated at the national level, resulting in thousands of arrests that are sometimes without legal justification.  In many of these law enforcement actions, videos have later emerged showing police violating a number of core principles of policing First Amendment-protected events, including firing less-lethal munitions without provocation, indiscriminately beating protesters, storming protest encampments with live ammunition, ignoring or confiscating press credentials and arresting credentialed journalists.  Many of the actions taken by police are in violation of the Department of Justice guidelines for policing First Amendment-protected events and are often in contravention of the police department’s own internal policies.

According to the recently released Department of Justice guidelines for law enforcement responses to First Amendment-protected events, the role of law enforcement officers is to “ensure the safety of the general public” while protecting the “rights of persons practicing their First Amendment right to assemble peacefully.”  The manual states that police are not allowed to collect information on the event, its organizers or its beliefs without a clear “criminal predicate” necessitating a public safety response.  Though the boundaries of criminal behavior become murky when First Amendment-protected activities are involved, the guidelines make it clear that “membership or participation in a group or organization that has engaged in illegal activities in the past with respect to protests or demonstrations does not alone establish reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity with respect to each of its members.”  Acts that are considered to be part of “symbolic speech” such as flag burning are considered to be protected under the First Amendment.  A New York judge’s November decision to uphold eviction of Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park mentioned that the protests were successful “largely because of the unorthodox tactic of occupying the subject public space on a 24-hour basis, and constructing an encampment there” admitting that the action of non-violently occupying a public space was, for the protesters, a form expression that would arguably be protected under the First Amendment.

The Department of Justice guidelines state that “persons or groups communicating with each other or members of the public in any form in pursuit of social or political causes” do not alone provide justification for police investigation.  The rights of individuals and groups under the First Amendment may only be limited when the event in question interferes with other people’s constitutional rights or creates a hazard for public health or safety.  However, even in cases where public health and safety is an issue, police are required to work with protesters to mitigate the risks to the public without suppressing their legitimate right to protest.  The 2003 guide to “Criminal Tactics of Protest Extremists” violates many of the rules set forth in the Department of Justice’s guidelines by repeatedly blurring the lines between criminal activity, such as property destruction, and lawful forms of protected speech, such as banner hanging.  The 2003 guide also discusses the ideological beliefs of protesters and how they provide an agenda for protest actions, something expressly prohibited by the Constitution and the Department of Justice guidelines. Basic descriptions of protester tactics in the 2003 guide, including communications patterns and organizing activities, are also in violation of Federal guidelines as they concern actions that are not only inherently lawful, but are legally protected under the First Amendment.