I found this interesting and decided to share…
In the first jury trial stemming from an Occupy Wall Street protest, Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges yesterday after his lawyers presented video evidence directly contradicting the version of events offered by police and prosecutors.
Premo, an activist and community organizer who has in recent months been a central figure in the efforts of Occupy Sandy, was one of many hundred people who took part in a demonstration in Lower Manhattan on December 17 of 2011, when some protesters broke into a vacant lot in Duarte Square in an attempt to start a new occupation.
After police broke up the action in Duarte Square, hundreds of protesters marched north,
playing a game of cat and mouse with police on foot and on scooters, who tried to slow and divide the column of marchers. At 29th Street near Seventh Avenue, police finally managed to trap a large number of marchers, kettling them from both sides of the block with bright orange plastic netting. After holding the crowd in the nets for some time, a few people managed to escape, and police rushed in to the crowd with their hands up. In the commotion, Premo fell to the ground and attempted to crawl out of the scrum. (Covering the march, I was also kettled on this block for a time, though I only witnessed Premo’s arrest from a distance.)
In the police version of events, Premo charged the police like a linebacker, taking out a lieutenant and resisting arrest so forcefully that he fractured an officer’s bone. That’s the story prosecutors told in Premo’s trial, and it’s the general story his arresting officer testified to under oath as well.
But Premo, facing felony charges of assaulting an officer, maintained his innocence. His lawyers, Meghan Maurus and Rebecca Heinegg, set out to find video evidence to contradict it. Prosecutors told them that police TARU units, who filmed virtually every moment of Occupy street protests, didn’t have any footage of the entire incident. But Maurus knew from video evidence she had received while representing another defendant arrested that day that there was at least one TARU officer with relevant footage. Reviewing video shot by a citizen-journalist livestreamer during Premo’s arrest, she learned that a Democracy Now cameraman was right in the middle of the fray, and when she tracked him down, he showed her a video that so perfectly suited her needs it brought a tear to her eye.
- Hacker group says emails show how BofA tracked Occupy Wall Street (bizjournals.com)
- Jury Finds Occupy Wall Street Protester Innocent After Video Contradicts Police Testimony (blogs.villagevoice.com)
- OWS Protestor found innocent after video shows police lied (lunaticoutpost.com)
- New York Post Helps NYPD Slander Occupy Wall Street (Again) (blogs.villagevoice.com)
- Occupy Wall Street (visualeconomics.creditloan.com)
- Harlem Shake – Police Brutality At Occupy Wall Street (dailybail.com)
- 13 Occupy Protesters Arrested In Minneapolis Protest (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Video Evidence Clears Activist in First Occupy Protest Jury Trial (crooksandliars.com)