There were a lot of protest signs at the event. Unfortunately, I cannot find any press photos showing it. But I did see news video, and it looked clear to me that a protest was going on.
The problem here is that the police and the demonstrators have such a drastically different view of the incident. Protesters are now claiming that the fellow was tasered three times. And they are claiming that the police violently slammed his head into the pavement repeatedly, and were beating him.
They also claim that neither Van Ornum, or the other two arrested protesters, ever resisted the police in any way, or physically attacked them. In fact, one of the other two men arrested for interfering with the arrest and assaulting officers claims he never got closer than 10 ft to them. And that when he was arrested, he was completely peaceful.
So who do you believe? Either this is a police conspiracy, or the protesters are crying wolf. There was no news media initially at the event, when everything went down. Reporters only arrived late to the scene, after things got violent.
The city does have a civilian police auditor, who does do independent investigations of alleged police misconduct. Needless to say, these protesters have all filed complaints with her, and there thus will be a through investigation done.
If you want to see how the protest supporters are reacting, here is a news story all about it today in the far left local weekly paper:
So far no letters have been published in either this minor publication, or in our mainstream local newspaper about the incident. But I am sure that these will be coming soon.
The previous letter that I referred to was just published in the local University's newspaper.
Meanwhile, another demonstration is taking place this Saturday, at the same downtown location, to protest how the police handled the earlier demonstration. That protest could get real ugly fast.
Perhaps I'll attend and take some video of the event. Hopefully a riot will not break out between protesters and the police, as it did before when the city had to cut down some trees to make way for a combo shopping and housing development with underground parking.
Protesters were so enraged at the sight of the trees being "murdered" before their eyes, that they started smashing the windows of nearby businesses, and threw rocks at the police. The police had to then respond with massive amounts of tear gas, gassing an entire two block area.
Funny thing is that they planted a bunch of new trees to replace the old ones, and the area looks more lovely than ever, with apartments for people to live in that are above shop space for local businesses, with lots of underground parking for the area.