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Baltimore Police Taser and Jail Obama Supporters
By Michael Hughes
I have to be brief because I've been awake now for almost 35 hours.
I was rounded up along with a dozen or so other people last night at
an impromptu Obama celebration in Baltimore and jailed. My crime?
Photographing the Baltimore cops as they loaded people into a paddy
wagon. The crowd was very well-behaved -- mostly Hopkins students
overjoyed with the Obama victory. A phalanx of cops moved in and
started arbitrarily arresting people. They tased an undergraduate
for trying to get back into his building -- after asking him to go
inside. It was insane. I started taking photos with my cell phone as
they lined up cuffed college kids, professors, etc. and a cop
approached me. "I'm a journalist," I said (I freelance for Baltimore
City Paper) and he knocked the phone out of my hand onto the street.
"Write a nice long story about this," he said, spun me around, and he
and another cop cuffed me with flexi-cuffs and loaded me into the
This was 2am last night (Tuesday). I served as an election judge all
day, and the last thing I expected was to spend the night in
Baltimore City lockup. Unreal.
The dangerous thugs the police decided to jail included me (an
election judge, writer, and employee of the Bloomberg School of
Public Health), TWO professors of anthropology at Hopkins, a
Baltimore City school teacher, and a variety of students. It was one
student's birthday. The student who was tasered had bruises on his
wrists from the cuffs and a bruised eye. Truly a dangerous group of
We were released this morning -- no charges were brought against us.
We're getting together as a group to see what recourse we have. One
of the anthropology profs, Aaron Goodfellow, has contacted the ACLU
and I'm going to follow-up. There were lots of students with cell
phones, videocams, and cameras, so I'm hoping some of this was
caught on tape.
City Paper has a very brief clip on its site: