Protester tazed and arrested during march in West Philly

 

West Philadelphia kid wraps shirt around his head in prep for march.

West Philadelphia kid wraps shirt around his head in prep for march.

By Joshua Albert

(Editor’s note: This post has been changed to correct erroneous information. Only one protester was tasered, not two.)

Following several days of rallies in Philadelphia and around the country, local radical activists put out a call  for a “FTP” (fuck the police) march on Saturday night, to be staged after a separate vigil for Michael Brown, an 18 year-old killed by a Ferguson, MO police officer. Brown was unarmed, and according to a family-ordered autopsy, had been shot 6 times including twice in the head. Witnesses report that he was shot with his hands held in the air.

At 7:30 PM activists from several community organizing groups in Philadelphia gathered for a vigil and brief discussion in Clark Park. The crowd of around 150 discussed the tense situation in Ferguson, and the organizational efforts currently taking place around the city to help combat police brutality, and the general trend of militarization by police departments. The vigil lasted for about a half hour and was peaceful.

Following the vigil a group of approximately 60 persons not connected with the meeting at Clark Park, including a small group of about seven 9-13 year olds, rallied for a march to an undisclosed location to speak out against police in general. FTP marches are traditionally used by more outspoken “anti police state” activists who feel that vigils and discussions are not enough to bring public awareness to the issue to spark significant change.

March is led by a few kids from the neighborhood.

March is led by a few kids from the neighborhood.

The march started at 44th and Baltimore Ave and quickly became antagonistic. The march was initially being led by a small group of younger kids, who took the opportunity to punch a few cars and jump on top of a cab. Soon after, other protesters started to move dumpsters and trash cans onto Baltimore Avenue,  a common protest tactic used to obstruct traffic. Cops quickly began to respond and immediately had trash can lids, trash cans, and balloons full of paint thrown at them and their cars, which only intensified the scene, sending it into scattered chaos.

Protesters put trash dumpsters in street to block traffic.

Protesters put trash dumpsters in street to block traffic.

 

Protesters throw balloons of paint at police cars.

Protesters throw balloons of paint at police cars.

Swarms of police then arrived, scattering protesters into nearby allies and corners, conducting a high stakes game of cat and mouse.

“Arrest that guy in all black,” said one of the police officers, which then led to a two-block chase. (It should be noted that all of the protesters were wearing all black.) When the officer got close enough, the protester was tazed twice and detained. It was unclear what he had specifically done to spark that chase, and as of time of writing his charges are unavailable.

An officer attempts to make an arrest, and a protester attempts to "de-arrest"

An officer attempts to make an arrest, and a protester attempts to “de-arrest”

Protester is chased several blocks after an officer pointed and said " arrest that guy in all black."

Protester is chased several blocks after an officer pointed and said “arrest that guy in all black.”

Several blocks away back on Baltimore Ave, another protester was also arrested. Bystanders said it appeared the police were just picking whoever they saw wearing all black. The two protesters were both taken to Mercy Hospital, a standard police operating procedure following an officer involved tazing. The two were then taken to the 18th district police HQ where they are currently awaiting further legal proceedings.

After being chased several blocks protester is tazed and arrested.

After being chased several blocks, a protester is tazed and arrested.

There are 4 comments

  1. LIBERTY DOWN! “Civil Unrest” and “Active Shooter” Exercises in Philly | The Philly Declaration

    […] If we are going to be topical, I would suggest for Liberty Down 15 a seminar on what not to do when an officer kills a teen, and then what not to do when the community reacts with anger. To their credit, the Philadelphia Police have treated the local Ferguson solidarity actions with the utmost courtesy, in my observation(where reasonable). […]

    Like

  2. Jake

    Not exactly in good taste to put young kids at risk by compromising their efforts of anonymity. Freedom of the press means something, but what means more is the freedom of the youth in action. If that gets put on the line, something isn’t right. Especially young black youth, who are already targets of the PPD.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s