There have also been some standouts and some found elsewhere that I think need to be considered. All have been posted here in their entirety.
First from this blog's original post:
As a former member of NOPD who has worked the FQ during Mardi Gras, I can sadly say that some of the information you give does not surprise me in the least.
Please understand that it is not indicative of all (or even most) NOPD, nor even all 5th district cops. The 5th district is notorious. It's a very large and very hardcore dangerous area to police. However, this should not impact a bunch of drunken revelers in costume.
It would be interesting to find out why they barricaded the street. Did they order come down from on high or did they take initiative. Sounds like a bunch of unsupervised hotshots acting like they just watched too many episodes of COPS.
I worked barricade duty and all we did if someone broke it was go round 'em up and point them in the opposite direction (kinda like herding sheep.) The most dangerous it got was people who insisted that they were special friends of the mayor or some big bigwig demanding to drive their limo through and trying to run us over (seriously.)
If a person gets combative, then proper procedure is used to handle that one person. Back-up is called if it's too hot to handle. Somebody's Sgt. should have been called to the scene if it was that bad.
Sounds like the testosterone was flowing a little to heavily in the PD and alcohol a little to heavily in the crowd. Bad mix all around, but the cops are duty bound to protect the safety of people, not to power trip.
Mouthing off to a cop is not illegal. "Police officers cannot have their peace disturbed," meaning that you can tell a cop to go bleep his momma and he can't legally do anything if you aren't also committing a crime. But, they can only bust you for the crime, not being an ass. As far as I know, marching without a permit is hardly an offense which deserves baton wielding, foot chases and randomly throwing people to the ground.
P.S. NOPD doesn't use "mace." They use military grade pepper spray and that shit is NASTY. I'd rather be maced 20 times than get pepper sprayed. It's not a trivial weapon and should NEVER be used in crowds.
From a nola.com article, posted by allferalcats backs up what was reported to me minutes after the altercation:
in fact many of us that organize and participate in this event are new orleans natives, young homeowners, business owners, and avid advocates for quality of life in our neighborhoods. krewe of eris is intended as a positive and accessible convergence. many of us are upset by the careless acts of just a few of the participants in the parade that may have been the cause of citizen complaints that triggered police reaction. there is nothing radical or interesting about middle class white people damaging other middle class white peoples' property, and in this case only served to endanger a joyful and benign group of paraders.
standing in the heart of this parade as the police tore through the crowd i saw people arrested at random, instruments intentionally smashed, hateful unprofessionalism and violence from the police. people were scared, crying, running. with a taser pointed in my face i said " no one is attacking you, please calm down" and was told " son if you beat that drum again im going to beat the fu** out of you."
any disgruntled young white person that at that time tried to turn this into some sort of showdown endangered everyone there. Their own privilege and ignorance to the reality of police brutality afforded them such carelessness. if violence and property damage holds a place in the pursuit of radical change in our society, this was not it. indeed there are young people that visit our city that behave in ways that are detrimental to the quality of life we as a city are battling for. most of us who had anything to do with the staging of this parade couldnt see a thing, as we were playing music and carrying homemade floats as the crowd swelled around us.
and yet the sweeping condemnation, stigmatization, stereotyping, and lack of empathy for people affected by violence that some people in this community are displaying is disheartening. i can only imagine the hatred you seed in your heart for people that resemble you less, be they queer, of color, or in poverty.
blind follower of the state, search yourself.
Then earlier today, this video was sent to me in the original post's comments section. It also backs up the original post's reportage of "I want to see your backs, no faces." The kid my husband saw turning toward the police with a guitar case and his arms out can be seen at the very end of the second clip briefly. My husband said that was the kid who was immediately beat down after doing that. Unfortunately the video doesn't show that part, but thanks to whoever sent me this:
NOPD Krewe of Eris Art is not a Crime