Video by inkensoul
February 25, 2012
First Occupy Sarasota Arrest
The General Assembly at Five Points Park was over. The Reject-Citizens-United Working Group had finished meeting. A disgruntled citizen had walked through the park telling everybody how useless they were. Finally, a few folks settled in, creating sidewalk chalk drawings on this cool and sunny afternoon. officer had him lying face-down on the sidewalk and was handcuffing him. It was not excessive force, but it seemed pointless and needlessly rough for someone who seemed willing to leave on his own. The officer then walked Christopher over to a police car that had pulled up onto the sidewalk, leaving the cane behind.
Video by inkensoulMany police arrived on the scene. More spectators gathered. Most folks were left with the impression that Christopher was arrested for chalk drawing. But based on my observations at the scene, I feel certain that Christopher was arrested because he did not follow the officer's orders soon enough, when the police officer told him to stop what he was doing and leave. I came away with many impressions and at the moment I don't have a sense of what is most important. Here is what comes to mind. The arresting officer, Officer Neri, operated by the book, as far as I could tell. He seemed to have a mission as he came into the park. He seemed to have a sense of exactly what was about to happen and how he would control the outcome. Officer Neri interviewed one bystander, who turned out to be the disgruntled citizen who had walked through the park earlier telling everyone how useless they were. Officer Neri took notes in a small memo pad as he spoke with this man. Officer Neri did not ask any other bystanders what had happened. It left a bad taste in my mouth that Officer Neri left Christopher's cane behind, even after Christopher said he needed it. A man came out of the library, after Christopher was driven off and said that he had watched the whole thing from the library's second floor expansive windows. He felt that Officer Neri had been overly aggressive. At Officer Neri's suggestion, he went down and filed the following complaint at police headquarters.
Video by inkensoul