This city was now an armed camp

“What they could and did do was send a powerful message that this city was now an armed camp and that those with the arms would do as they pleased and the rest of us would just have to deal with it. For many New Yorkers, it was like living under occupation…One man got into an argument with a captain who told him to get moving. When the man asked for the captain’s shield number, he was arrested. Just like that…It was weird seeing this kind of thing right in front of you and not on a TV program about some distant land where freedom is merely a concept…Strange as it may seem, this was the most pleasant part of the whole ordeal. The police were almost friendly as they tied our hands behind our backs with thick plastic tie wraps…“I’ve got five bodies down the hall to move into a cell,” they would say. Perhaps that dehumanized the detainees to them but it made us feel more human than ever. At least it did at that point…It’s a nifty concept – I’ll bet if they arrested the entire city, they’d find enough wanted criminals to get some people to actually support the idea…As we moved down that hallway, I heard the hoarse voice of a female detainee from behind the wall crying out for a lawyer. I was sickened when I realized that it was the same voice I had heard there twelve hours before.”

What is wrong with America that 1200 or so people were swept off the streets of Manhattan by the police on August 31st 2004? They’re the land of the free, fergawdsake: what’s going on?
(props to Bill for the pointer)

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