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Baton-Bashed In Denver! Is This Really What Democracy Looks Like?!
by Linda Milazzo
IS THIS REALLY WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE?!
There are characteristics essential to being a member of the peace and social justice organization, CODEPINK. Chief among them is compassion. One can hardly dedicate one's life to improving the lives of others if there isn't an abiding drive to help those in need. Thus, it was no surprise to those who know her when 24 year old CODEPINK member, Alicia Forrest, in search of the truth, used her camera to document the arrest of a young man swarmed and overpowered by Denver sheriffs during a demonstration in Denver.
The sheriffs were NOT appreciative of Alicia's attempt to photograph the incident. Thus, in an over-the-top (some might even say unprofessional response), to Alicia's citizen journalism, the Denver sheriff (shown in the video), apparently bashed the diminutive young woman with his baton, knocked her to the ground, and left her sprawled across the pavement in pain.
After being helped to her feet by witnesses who were shocked at the officer's seemingly unprovoked aggression, Alicia was approached by on-site media who asked what precipitated the altercation with the sheriff. When Alicia began to recount her story, the sheriff, in still another questionable act, grabbed her, collared her gruffly, whisked her off the premises, and arrested her.
As I report this, young Alicia Forrest has just been released from jail where she has spent the greater part of the day. Her charge was "Interference." Her bail was in excess of five hundred dollars.
As Alicia explained to me this evening, the sheriff actually hit her TWICE with the baton - the first time off camera - the second time on. I personally witnessed the abrasions on Alicia's wrists from the tightly fastened plastic restraints. To the credit of the Denver Sheriff's Department, this incident is currently under investigation by their Internal Affairs Division.
So judge for yourselves!! You've seen the video evidence. IS THIS REALLY WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE?!