Saturday, March 24, 2012

Protesters Speak Out Against NYPD Tactics At OWS Rally

Occupy Wall Street protesters sounded off against NYPD tactics at a rally Saturday in Zuccotti Park before undertaking a march to police headquarters.

Dozens of protesters have been arrested over the last week since the Occupy Wall Street movement marked its six-month anniversary last Saturday.

"In the last week we've seen more police brutality against the Occupy Wall Street movement than we ever have before," said one protester. "So we're standing up against that, in solidarity with other communities in New York who have been subject to police brutality."

Among those involved in the rally were family members of Inwood resident John Collado, who was shot and killed by police in September. Police say he put a plainclothes detective in a choke hold while the officer was trying to make an arrest, but family members say the officer never identified himself and are calling for a federal probe.

A grand jury decided not to indict the officer earlier this week.

"What really kills us is that everyone is really saying he did a good job, it's okay what he did, it's fine for him to continue shooting his gun on an unarmed person - which is wrong," said Collado's niece, Banayz Taveras.

"Lives have been taken, families are being shaken because of irresponsibility and officers not being trained appropriately and then being thrown out to the streets and not being able to handle split-minute decisions," said Michael Jimenez, a friend of Collado's.

Saturday's rally came a day after protestors clashed with police during their second of seven weekly Friday events in preparation for May Day.

Organizers say they've been working on various street theatrics and protesting tactics.

"The actual training is just to have some creative tactics," one protester said. "We have one where we all melt at once. We have one where we all jump around, and there's a really fun one where we charge, stop, and fall back. It's just kind of getting cohesive in our communication in the streets."

"That requires work," added another protester. "That requires getting in shape. That requires getting us to loosen up, to feel comfortable, confident, and empowered to be in the streets. But also to make sure that everybody is safe."

Occupy Wall Street protestors have had several recent run-ins with police, including last weekend's clashes in Zuccotti Park, where dozens of protestors were arrested.

By: NY1 News

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