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Aug 28

Written by: Diana West
Thursday, August 28, 2008 4:29 PM 

See the video of the arrest here.

I asked my friend the retired-cop to take a look at the video of the arrest and give a professional assessment. Here's what he wrote:

For the police to legally take a physical action like this would require some sort of obstruction of the sidewalk, blocking other pedestrians from passing, or some sort of alarming physical or verbal harassment of other citizens (disorderly conduct is the catch-all phrase).  I didn't see either of those situations here as the video cut into the action.  I don't know what happened prior to the beginning of what we see on the video.

Now, as to the BCSO Deputy pushing the newsman across the street, I know that the officer will say that he saw that the newsman was in danger of being struck by traffic and pushed him across the street to "safety".  Did he have to do that?  I don't know if he was ordered to do it.  I'm with the news man here on the press conducting business on a public sidewalk issue.
I can speculate that someone from inside the hotel called a ranking officer with the Denver PD and told the ranking officer to get that obnoxious news crew off the sidewalk.  Politics being what they are in the upper ranks of police work (I saw plenty to last me a lifetime) the orders probably came down the chain of command to get this situation under control and stop the news crew from doing its job.
I did not see Eslocker physically resist, so I was a bit "put off" by the two-striper grabbing the newsman by the larynx in a choke hold to effect the arrest.  Again, there was a break in the footage between the pushing across the street action and the view we got of the two-striper with his thumb and fingers locked on the news man's throat.  I'd like to see the entire incident from beginning to end, so that we have some idea of whether there was just protest of the police action by speaking, or if there was physical resistance, or actual fighting, with the police.
And I'm not aware of any law which says that photographers or journalists cannot conduct their business on a public sidewalk, so this whole police action may be way out of line, particularly as it involves the press corps.
Looks to me like further investigation into what happened is appropriate.

I wonder if we'll get that further investigation. I suppose a lot depends on ABC--but will ABC want to make a fuss over Democratic strong-arming?

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