A former Marine with special operations in crowd control notes that police in the US violated military standards in their recent assault on citizens in Oakland, California. He points out that shooting canisters such as the one that likely hit Scott Olsen is prohibited under rules of engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Videos of police assaults in Denver show police striking nonviolent bystanders and recklessly pointing rifles directly at the chests of unarmed protesters standing only a few feet away.
Marine Says Oakland Police Used
Crowd Control Methods That Are
Prohibited In War Zones Robert Johnson and Linette Lopez / Business Insider
(October 28, 2011) -- As the events that led to Oakland protester Scott Olsen's head injury continue to unfold and investigations begin, we thought it important to offer some perspective.
This comment is from a former Marine with special operations in crowd control.
He points out that shooting canisters such as those that likely hit Scott Olsen is prohibited under rules of engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Regardless of any political position on the Occupy protests, these are some Interesting insights:
Before gas goes into a crowd, shield bearers have to be making no progress moving a crowd or crowd must be assaulting the line. Not with sticks and stones but a no-bullshit assault. Three warnings must be given to the crowd in a manner they can hear that force is about to be used.
Shield bearers take a knee and CS gas is released in grenade form first to fog out your lines because you have gas masks. You then kick the canisters along in front of your lines.
Projectile gas is not used except for longer ranged engagement or trying to steer the crowd (by steering a crowd I mean firing gas to block a street off). You also have shotguns with beanbags and various less than lethal rounds for your launchers. These are the rules for a WARZONE!
How did a cop who is supposed to have training on his weapon system accidentally SHOOT someone in the head with a 40mm gas canister? Simple. He was aiming at him.
I'll be the first to admit a 40mm round is tricky to aim if you are inexperienced but anyone can tell the difference between aiming at head level and going for range.
The person that pulled that trigger has no business being a cop. He sent that round out with the intention of doing some serious damage to the protestors. I don't care what the protestors were doing. I never broke my rules of engagement in Iraq or Afghanistan.
So I can't imagine what a protester in the states did to deserve a headshot with a 40mm. He's damn lucky to be alive and that cop knows he was using lethal force against a protester he is supposed to be protecting.
Additionally: Jesse Davis mentions "The methods prohibited in war, and actions after the fact are also against war zone policy." Check out his infographic here. Specifically, these two transcribed directly from US Army Law of War/Law of Armed Conflict training.
The Military manual states: [US troops] have a duty to collect and care for the wounded. Prioritize treatment according to injuries. Make NO treatment distinction based on nationality. All soldiers, enemy or friendly, must be treated the same.
Second, the officer threw a flash-bang directly into a group of people trying to carry him away for medical treatment.
Here's the Military guidance on that decision: Medical Personnel Considered out of combat if they exclusively engaged in medical duties. (GWS, art. 24.) Doctors, surgeons, nurses, chemists, stretcher-bearers, medics, corpsman, and orderlies, etc..., who are "exclusively engaged" in the direct care of the wounded and sick.
(October 30, 2011) -- In this video you can see, or at least hear, rubber bullets being fired. The guy in the tree in the top right corner got hit.
Occupy Denver Holds Peace Vigil in Response to Violence OccupyDenver
(October 28, 2011) -- The weekly march at Occupy Denver deteriorated into a full-fledged standoff yesterday, resulting in several confrontations between police and protesters. The primary message of the Occupy Wall Street movement has become overshadowed in the past few weeks, as focus has shifted from demands for economic justice to 1st Amendment rights and outcries against police brutality.
The display of overt police violence at yesterday's assembly of peaceful protesters was entirely abhorrent. The overwhelming police presence was centered on a handful of tents in a public park. The unnecessary show of force by the Denver Police Department was not only disproportionate and inflammatory, but a vastly excessive expenditure of public funds.
We urge Denver's new Chief of Police, Robert White, to live up to his reputation for being reasonable and holding police officers under his jurisdiction accountable.
We openly condemn the Denver Police Department for using pepper balls, shotgun-propelled beanbag rounds, pepper spray and tear gas on an entirely unarmed and nonviolent group.
We have collected scores of unedited photos and videos depicting sheer brutality on the part of police on site: officers choking already restrained protesters, using a stun wand on a female arrestee who was already face down and pinned to the ground by an officer, verbally threatening protesters during the standoff, and recklessly and indiscriminately deploying chemical weapons on unarmed civilians, to name a few.
Police violence has never, and will never stop our movement's momentum. We will continue to organize and move forward, as have Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Boston, and countless other occupations across the nation and around the globe.
While the goals of Occupy Wall Street are myriad, the central message of the Occupy movement is specific–and clear to those who are willing to listen: this is a nonviolent movement seeking to bring economic justice to a sociopolitical and economic system that has consistently favored the 1% of citizens at the apex of wealth, while oppressing the beleaguered majority.
By allowing money to corrupt corporate responsibility and unduly influence the political process in the United States, our nation's current policies have undercut our fundamental rights as Americans to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
As a nonviolent movement, Occupy Denver utterly deplores and condemns the use of any and all types of violence by any individual or organization, whether of law enforcement or private citizenry.
Occupy Denver is a leaderless, non-hierarchical movement, comprised of autonomous individuals. Occupy Denver does not condone or endorse the behaviors of any individual claiming membership to or affinity for our efforts, and especially disdains individuals who promote, incite, threaten, or resort to violence under any circumstance.
Individuals promoting or resorting to violence of any form are explicitly not welcome at Occupy Denver and contradict entirely with the avowed core values of the movement. While the movement prides itself on maintaining public health and safety, and order within its ranks, Occupy Denver cannot control private citizens who choose to act against our sworn principles of nonviolence, and deeply regret their appearance alongside our tireless efforts.
In response to the volatile atmosphere created by the most aggressive raid of Occupy Denver to date by the police, we are holding a Sunset Peace Vigil at 6pm tonight. Please join us and help bring the focus of the movement back to its fundamental philosophy of peace and economic justice.
ABOUT OCCUPY DENVER
Occupy Denver is an autonomous group of concerned citizens aiming to bring awareness to the issues of corporate inequality and greed, and to empower the 99% of the citizenry that does not benefit from the policies that support this objectionable structure. For more information, please visit occupydenver.org, or contact Occupy Denver at email@example.com.
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