When the city announced that Zuccotti Park would not be cleared this morning, ecstatic Occupy Wall Street protesters took to the streets in an unauthorized march, with hundreds crowding the roads in lower Manhattan. At least fourteen people were arrested, one of whom can be seen on video screaming on the ground in apparent pain after a police officer pulls up on a scooter and onlookers shout, “You ran over his foot!” The vehicle is then moved and the man is hit with a baton and arrested.
In a still photo it sure looks like his leg was stuck, but in real-time, the chaotic scene is harder to make out.
Reporter Michael Tracey wrote that a member of the National Lawyers Guild “had his foot run over by a motorcycle-bound officer,” while the Times notes, “One bystander hurled a bag of trash at police officers as they pushed protestors back onto the sidewalk.” At around 1:10 in the above clip, a man in a suit, presumably police, can be seen entering the crowd of protesters, removing one man, and wrestling him to the ground.
Episodes of police violence and mass arrests are largely credited with sparking interest, especially from the media, in Occupy Wall Street at the outset. The unprovoked pepper-spraying of detained women by Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna during the demonstration’s second weekend, followed by the arrest of 700 marchers on the Brooklyn Bridge one week later remain the most visible moments so far. Violent arrests following a well-attended union march were also caught on video and widely circulated.
Update:The man who appears to have been stuck under the police motorcycle has been identified as Ari Douglas, a volunteer legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild. A spokesperson for the NYPD said police are reviewing the situation, but cautioned against making a judgement based on a short video alone. Here’s another angle of the incident:
Update 2: A Daily News photographer says “the bike definitely hit him,” but contends that Douglas was faking being caught underneath: “I saw him sticking his legs under the bike to make it appear he was run over.”
Video: Did The Police Arrest A Protestor After Running Over His Foot? [Local East Village/NYT]
HIV Positive Protester Says Cop Who Punched Him Should Get Tested [Gothamist]