A number of other cops at the protest were from the legal bureau and they were there to ensure that the law was observed and that everyone’s rights were respected.
“They’re refs,” a high ranking police official later explained.
Those cops included Lt. Philip Chan and Lt. Patrick Sullivan. They were present when a number of protesters continued onto the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday evening. A number of bottles and other debris came down upon the demonstrators and cops on the roadway from the pedestrian walkway above.
Up on the walkway, Chan observed a man lifting a 45-pound wire basket with the apparent intent of pitching it over the railing onto the roadway below. Chan ordered the man to put it down and the ensuing criminal complaint would say that he complied.
Chan still felt that a line had been crossed and he went to arrest the man. The man pulled his arm way rather than be handcuffed. At least one of those ubiquitous cell phone cameras began filming.
“Record it! Record it!” a woman protester can be heard shouting.
But this time what the video recorded was not police violence but violence against the police.
Other protesters can be seen moving in to “de-arrest” the man. Somebody yanks Chan and elbows him and he is momentarily distracted trying to apprehend his assailant.
Sullivan has by then moved in to help and he seeks to complete the arrest of the first man. Chan joins him. The struggle continues and Chan is punched, suffering a broken nose. Both men are pummeled. Sullivan ends up on the walkway, where a male protester literally begins kicking him when he is down.
The man finally manages to break free with the help of the others, slipping out of his coat. But he loses his backpack in the process and it stays with the cops as he flees down the walkway toward Brooklyn.
“We’re left holding the bag,” a police official later said.
The police inspected the backpack and found two brand new hammers. They also found a City University of New York ID for Erick Linsker as well as a passport in the same name and house keys and some pot.
“Which proves he is as dumb as a bag of hammers,” the official says.
At 3:45 am Sunday police arrested 29 year-old Eric Linsker at his apartment in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He is from Millwood in suburban Westchester County, where blacks comprise around 1 percent of the population. He had gone on to Harvard and the famed writer’s program at the University of Iowa. He was now a CUNY professor and had won awards for his poetry, his verse ranging from the erotic to lines such as “Fuck the police.”
The bag also contained a ski mask.
What the fuck is wrong with these people?
Rioting is not “democracy in action.” There is no right to riot. The right to protest is part of freedom of speech, but there is no constitutionally protected right to loot, burn and destroy. Democracy and anarchy are mutually incompatible.
Democracy requires the rule of law. Dictators can rule by force and fear, but it is implicit in the social compact of democracy that citizens respect each other’s rights and freedoms and consensually comply with the law, which is the expressed will of the majority.
Change takes place at the ballot box, not in the street. If a mob forces change by force or threat of force, that isn’t democracy, that is mob rule. But the fact is these mobs only represent a minority of our citizens. 25,000 people is less than 1% of the population of a city of 8,000,000. Most of these protests have had a lot less than 25 thousand protestors.
A few thousand people can be very disruptive. They can block bridges and freeways, bringing traffic to a complete standstill. They can loot and burn and break stuff. But in a democracy the goal of protesting is to persuade a majority of the people to support your cause.
Scaring, angering or otherwise alienating people is not likely to win them to your side. Quite the opposite – they are more likely to become your enemies than your friends.
Unfortunately there are people in this country who don’t really understand democracy or how it works. They see themselves as revolutionaries and talk about overthrowing the existing system by force rather than with numbers. They arrogantly believe that they are “the people”.
They are idiots.