[UPDATED: VIDEO OF ARRESTS] Were Anaheim Protesters Targeted by Paramilitary Police?

richard1.jpg
Richard Florence with his protest sign 
[Update at endORIGINAL POST, JULY 30, 4:00 P.M.:After demonstrations in front of the Anaheim Police Department yesterday, at least four protesters were reportedly snatched up by police while marching to a vigil in the Anna Drive neighborhood honoring Manuel Diaz around 6 p.m. Sunday night. 

One of the arrestees was Richard Florence of Occupy Los Angeles. Witness Sam Aresheh tells OC Weekly the demonstrators were on their way to the neighborhood from the police station when police officers dressed in military fatigues jumped out of their vans and grabbed the protesters, who were peacefully demonstrating on the sidewalk. 

Earlier on the day of his arrest, Florence showed the Weekly the sign he spent most of the day making at Kinko's, which read, "Hey Kids! Check out my military police!" 

Florence confirmed he is being charged with assaulting a police animal; he says he's innocent. Another arrestee who asked to be identified only as Atef, confirmed he is being charged with the same crime.

Shortly after being arrested, Atef sent out this message to his followers on Twitter.

atef.jpg


Aresheh says all of the protesters were on the sidewalk at the time of the arrests, and he denied that they had harmed the police horses during the march. Because Atef and Florence were the ones to call out "Mic check!" to announce the march to the vigil, Aresheh says he believes they were targeted as "leaders" of the march.

Both Atef and Florence were told the city was in a "state of emergency" and they could not be released until after it was declared over. After posting bail, Atef left jail at 2 a.m. this morning, while Florence left about two hours later. 

UPDATE, JULY 29 6:20 P.M.:  The Orange County Register released the names of nine people arrested, with Atef's name nowhere in sight. Atef confirmed with OC Weekly he was indeed arrested and spent the night in jail last night. 

Florence, whose actual name is Richard Brown, was arrested on suspicion of throwing an object at police and providing a false name, and his companion Kristine Headley was arrested on suspicion of failure to disperse. Brown and Headley were among the four that Areheh witnessed being snatched up by police, as well as Govanni Loeza of Santa Ana, who was arrested on suspicion of throwing an object at police.

Here is the list of the rest of the individuals arrested on Sunday.

Nathaniel Sierdsma, 19, San Bernardino, suspicion of resisting arrest and pedestrian in the roadway from Occupy Los Angeles

Mark Dameron, 20, San Diego, suspicion of resisting arrest and pedestrian in the roadway from Occupy San Diego 

Corbin Sobrita, 20, Escondido, suspicion of resisting arrest and pedestrian in the roadway from Occupy San Diego 

Antonio Marquez, 24, Indiana, suspicion of resisting arrest and failure to obey an official street sign 

Juvenile, 16, Anaheim, suspicion of felony assault and indecent exposure 

Juvenile, 16, Anaheim, suspicion of resisting arrest and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana

UPDATE, JULY 29 8:10 P.M.:  Video where Atef, an Anaheim resident, can be shown arrested at 1:32 and led to a white police van at 2:02. At 2:46 Brown is chased by police after holding up his Mickey Mouse military sign. Headley is arrested a few moments later.






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34 comments
rich1299
rich1299

This sort of shit is becoming all too common in North America. I know this is and has been common behavious for police forces when dealing with individuals in private, assaulting innocent citizens for understanding their rights and arresting them to add insult to injury. The fact that police forces aren't even trying to hide such brutal behaviour any more is quite alarming. The cops know nothing will ever happen to them since the same laws that apply to us don't apply to them for some reason. Seeing this happening and reading the comments on this story reminds me so much of the G20 in Toronto where citizens Charter rights were totally ignored, innocent peaceful people beaten and the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, yet the only people who faced any criminal charges were the few who vandalized some windows and cop cars but those who were violent and caused many injuries, the cops, never faced any charges at all despite clear video and photographic evidence of their crimes.

 

There were also many comments attacking the protesters for protesting peacefully or simply being in the area, despite the fact that many tens of thousands of people live in the area and the police were arresting people on their way to work and tourists. So many people were blaming peaceful protesters for using their right to protest peacefully, claiming it was their own fault for getting assaulted and arrested just for being there. It was very disturbing to see how little so many cared for our civil rights and no one ever paid any price at all for the massive violations of Canadians' Charter rights that weekend in Toronto. I see things are much the same in the US. This is indeed a worrying trend leading us towards a police state, the really sad part is that so many citizens just don't care.

diannemarie358
diannemarie358

http://wh.gov/1S3u Please sign the petition to have the Obama administration investigate and stop police brutality against peaceful demonstrators and to demilitarize the local police.http://wh.gov/1S3u   We need 25,000 signatures to have this petition considered. Please sign and have your friends sign too.

jovanni666
jovanni666

Assaulting a police animal?! They do realize the whole thing was recorded?  Honestly after watching the shocking footage I'm surprised they didn't snatch up the camera man as well.

trostelte
trostelte

@AmberLyon Remindes me of a bunch of Dumbass!

Save_92805
Save_92805

indecent exposure, weed, resisting arrest....oh wow I feel SO sorry for these peple.

Princessluna11
Princessluna11

@blacbloc Just called the Police Department there in #anaheim they state there is no State of Emergency at this time.

bradmcdougal836
bradmcdougal836

If ya don't like the police in Anaheim you can ALWAYS go back to mexico, I hear their policia are very nice.

paulrogers002
paulrogers002

@OccupyManJose @PaliCali48 Pleased to hear it - so now it's time to sue #Anaheim PD for wrongful arrest then...

rmarino1111
rmarino1111

These people are idots protesting shooting of an innocent gang member.  Really?  Antagonizing police offiicers isn't to smart at the most basic levels.  All I hear is a bunch of F bombs and this is hardly a peaceful protest.    How would a gang member respond to this type of antagonizing.  That's right.  A bullet to the back of the head.  NO QUESTIONS..  As Cartmen would say.  Respect my authority... People don't respect the law or authority anymore.  They hide behind one sided cell phone videos or crooked lawyers bailing them out for their own irresponsible actions...

patriot
patriot

That poster and video makes it look like Disney and Homeland Security is sanctioning the "snatch and grab" kidnapping of dissenting concerned citizens, and that the militarized police force cares far more about protecting corporations than the constitution.   That can't be true, can it?  That's some disturbing stuff right there. 

anon
anon

There are some issues with these charges. First of all, most of the people arrested did not resist arrest, except by running when charged by a group of camo-wearing riot police wielding batons and rifles. I did not see anything being thrown at the police and was next to Richard when he was arrested-- check out this youtube video for footage of him right before they charged: http://youtu.be/KrSIBHZLSpg. Arresting anyone for failure to disperse is plain bullshit, as not a single dispersal notice or declaration of unlawful assembly was announced to the crowd. 

 

Yesterday was a clear case of police repression of dissent through overwhelming force and intimidation. There is NO GOOD REASON to station snipers on the rooftops around a peaceful protest, nor to charge the crowd and drag the most outspoken people into unmarked white vans.  

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

So, all the adults are not from Anaheimistan exactly as Chief Welter said, "outside agitators." 

Duane.Roberts
Duane.Roberts

I get the impression that what Anaheim Police did is stick anywhere between 5 and 10 undercover officers into the demonstration to quietly watch protesters. I'm sure that one or two people who were running around videotaping were members of the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU). When somebody committed what they thought was a "criminal act," they tailed them for awhile, maybe even photographed them without their knowledge to record their image so they can be identified at a later date. If they had tried to take them into custody immediately, their cover would have been completely blown. That's why the arrests occurred later, when police officers monitoring the vigil saw persons they wanted to arrest. It's even possible an undercover cop may have mingled with the persons they arrested until the time was right to snatch them. I have absolutely no idea if the persons you refer to in the article did anything wrong. There are no lack of examples available where police arrest people for crimes they never committed. But I did witness a lot of minor scuffles between mounted officers and protesters yesterday. I understand that people disliked the idea of being poked by sticks or nudged by a cop sitting on an 800 pound animal. The problem, however, is if you do so much as to touch a horse while an officer is mounted on it, they'll lob a felony charge against you.

schola.green
schola.green

Not to Sould Like this Is new, but THiS happens ALL the time in Los Angeles(1992riot), ESPECIALLY TO BLACKS! "MAYBE" SOCAL should put this color thing aside! Because this Is an ongoing issue where POLICE BELIEVE THERE THE LAW and ABOVE it! And They always going to say somebody is a gang member! WHEN THE POLICE is the biggest and MOST RACiST(hents, it comes with the JOB)LOL! After all they get suspended with pay they never get any real punishment for the mistakes, but out to punish the mistaken! And "THE PEOPLE" better believe that the media is a part of the police getting away with it!

TheFullertonista
TheFullertonista

How much do you want to bet all charges will be dropped?  I see a "Veth Mam" type lawsuit in Anaheim's future. Time to call a good attorney Florence and Atef.

TheFullertonista
TheFullertonista

Chief Welter told the media last week that the protests were being led by "outside agitators," despite the fact that 20 of the 24 people arrested lived in Anaheim.  Local PDs get grants from Homeland Security, and Homeland Security had a phone conversation last fall with numerous city officials about the Occupy movement.  They are trying to not only militarize policing, but trying to intimidate protestors against joining Occupy or any other national-level protest movement.  Anaheim is now ground zero for the Federal-led crackdown on mass protests and dissent. They are scared to death this will turn into another Fullerton, which overthrew its city council and is shortly going to overhaul its entire police department.

Realist
Realist

I dare them to occupy Ana Drive after dark, they would be robbed and spray painted with graffitti and crying for police protection.  Protest gangs and violence, don't protest the crime fighters.

patriot
patriot

 @rmarino1111 These people don't respect the law?  The reason they are lobbing the F bombs is probably because they know that they are acting within the law.   They are expecting the cops to act outside of the law and expecting the cops to prove the current crisis of law or lack of constitutional law .  That is why they are there.  Without the live stream they would get a bullet to the head  and be labeled as gang member, criminal or terrorist. Thus the many cameras.  

Save_92805
Save_92805

 @patriot

 Unfortunately, that video does not prove he did or did not do something to the police horse.

michael.k.cruise
michael.k.cruise

 @anon Good points, each of them.  I rarely comment on these types of stories but this was clearly a case of using show of force to intimidate and even suppress the exercise of free speech.

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

...except for that Atef person, maybe.

Duane.Roberts
Duane.Roberts

One additional thing: it is possible the persons that were arrested were targeted. Law enforcement agencies routinely share information with each other, including photos of suspected "agitators." Before the demonstration took place, undercover cops probably were briefed on who might show up and were ordered to tail certain "troublemakers." If the cops were itching to get someone, they might blow something harmless they did out of proportion. For example, say the person they were watching tried to physically push away a officer- mounted horse as it got close to his or her face. Boom. Automatic felony charge. That doesn't mean it will stick in court. But it will make life miserable for the protester for quite some time.

schola.green
schola.green

Obviously you have never been approached with an issue by thee SO-CALLED Law Enforcers! "NO-ONE" and I REPEAT "NO-ONE", should be single out because of color! NOR does all the facts get publish, especially when people's state of mind is Protect the Officers! if the job is that dangerous quit! Because there's people in the military that don't respond with HATE TACTICS and they're in war!

Save_92805
Save_92805

 @patriot

LOL!!  "Without the live stream they would get a bullet to the head  and be labeled as gang member, criminal or terrorist. Thus the many cameras. "

LOL

LOL

i can't stop LOL'ING at this

DonttBackTheBadge
DonttBackTheBadge

 @20ftjesus Ever think, those Occupy people were singled out, known in advanced, and arrested exactly in order to be able to explain away the entire protest movement as outside agitators?

Save_92805
Save_92805

 @Duane.Roberts

 or they could be any number of the morons that were videotaped kicking police cars as they drove though the intersection of, I believe, Anaheim and Broadway?

DoctorO
DoctorO

 @Save_92805 Obviously you've never been a situation where the police make up an excuse to kill people and label them gang members when they are not. Go ahead and laugh all you can right now because in time it will come to your neighborhood too, just like AIDS did. It was fine when it was an illness for "fags" but once it came into suburban White America, wow, it really changed people's perspectives and all of a sudden everyone is scrambling to fine a cure.

DonttBackTheBadge
DonttBackTheBadge

 @20ftjesus I actually agree.  But APD weren't the only LEOs on the scene.  About 10 different cities, OCSD, and probably Homeland Security.

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