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Counter-Recruitment Demonstrators Attacked With Tasers, Dogs

8/21/2005: In Oakland (PA) in front of the Army Recruiting Center on Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh Police and University of Pittsburgh Police fired tasers and other weapons at the crowd.
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Counter-Recruitment demonstrators shot with Tasers, bitten by dogs

by Lloyd Hart
Email: dadapop (at) dadapop.com (unverified!) 22 Aug 2005

Modified: 24 Aug 2005
From Pittsburg IMC:


They Need Bail Money.


Counter-Recruitment demonstrators shot with Tasers, bitten by dogs

08/21/2005

Today in Oakland in front of the Army Recruiting Center on Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh Police and University of Pittsburgh Police fought with protestors on the sidewalk. At least six people were arrested; police fired tasers and other weapons at the crowd, including restrained arrestees and bystanders.

During the rally at the station, a freelance Fox News cameraman who was aggressively filming demonstrators' faces was told to leave and started a minor confrontation with protestors. He returned with police officers, claiming that either he was punched or that his camera was broken (although he continued to use his camera the rest of the day). Witnesses confirm that neither of these things happened. On this pretense, police began chasing any masked protestors they could find, arresting several and firing weapons at the crowd. Several people have confirmed that they were hit with tasers and chemical weapons. Video cameras captured tasers being fired at people who had already been subdued and restrained by police officers.

Later, police dogs were used to chase away protestors on the sidewalk, and one woman was bitten from behind by a police dog. Some time later, after telling police she wanted to file a complaint, she was told the police would "take her information," but instead she was arrested and placed in the back of a police van.

pittsburgh.indymedia.org/

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Re: Counter-Recruitment Demonstrators Attacked With Tasers, Dogs

For Immediate Release

August 21,
2005

Contact: David Meieran, 412-996-4986
Nathan Shaffer, 412-720-9276

PITTSBURGH POLICE ATTACK NON-VIOLENT PROTESTORS WITH
TASERS,PEPPER SPRAY AND K-9 UNITS

Counter-Recruitment Demonstration Ends in Five Arrests
and Two Hospitalizations

Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Police Department
displayed an excessive use of force at a demonstration
yesterday outside a military recruitment station
located near the University of Pittsburgh. Five were
arrested, two were hospitalized and several others
received injuries as a result of police unwarranted
use of Tasers, pepper spray, retracting batons and K-9

units. Two others were issued citations when they
complained about police misconduct.

Yesterday's protest marks the first time in the city's
history that police used Tasers on demonstrators.
Dramatic Indymedia video shows police dragging a young
woman off the sidewalk and Tasering her mercilessly as
she lay on the street screaming—and this after she was
pepper-sprayed directly in the face. The video clearly
demonstrates that she posed no threat to the police or
anyone else when she was Tasered, marking a clear
violation of the city's official guidelines for the
use of these controversial weapons. The activist was
taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for treatment and
remains in police custody.

Police also used K-9 units to chase away protestors on
the sidewalk. A 68-year old grandmother was bitten
from behind by a police dog and then arrested and
placed in an unventilated police van in the hot sun
where she remained for 45 minutes before she, too, was
finally taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital for
treatment.

In addition, police pepper sprayed a four year-old
girl, toppled a man with Multiple Sclerosis in his
motorized wheel chair and clubbed a number of
protestors with retracting metal batons.

At the time of the police attacks activists were
peacefully assembled on the sidewalk in front of the
recruiting station, which had opted to remain closed
for the day in response to yesterday's call for
non-violent direct action by Pittsburgh Organizing
group (POG). It marked the second time this month that
POG had pre-emptively shut down military recruitment
at that station, which is the headquarters for
military recruitment in the city. (For more
information Pittsburgh Organizing Group's
counter-recruitment campaign, visit
_www.OrganizePittsburgh.org .)

POG is alarmed by yesterday's events. In the past two
years, more than 150 people have been killed by
Tasers. Amnesty International, the ACLU and other
groups have called for a moratorium on their use. In
response to a
public outcry to police abuse of Tasers, a number of
cities have imposed restrictions on Taser use,
cancelled orders or pulled them from circulation. The
manufacturer, Taser International, is facing multiple
lawsuits.

POG is demanding an official investigation into the
police conduct at yesterday's demonstration and an
immediate halt to the use of Tasers by the Pittsburgh
Police Department. Copies of video documentation of
yesterday's police abuses can be obtained by calling
David or Nathan at the numbers listed above or by
emailing pog (at) mutualaid.org.
 

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