Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette
Speaking at a high school in New Hampshire President Barack Obama got mic checked by a group from #OWS. His response satisfied his supporters in the audience but failed to condemn the outrageous brutality and abuse by police departments and university police or the over 4000 arrest of peaceful demonstrators and credential reporters while the people who caused the economic crisis are protected by his administration.
“Mr. President, over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested while bankers continue to destroy the American economy,” it said. “You must stop the assault on our 1st Amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.”
Obama’s DOJ is falling down on its responsibility to put a check on attacks and violations of the right of peaceful assembly to redress grievances, as well as, freedom of speech and the press. Not only should the police officer who pepper sprayed the students be arrested but so should the officers who beat an Iraq veteran in Oakland, lacerating his spleen and any number of other officers for unnecessary use of force. Mayor Bloomberg should be charged with federal violations of Title 18 of Civil Rights Law for ordering the illegal evacuation of Zuccotti Park violating NY & NYC laws and regulations, and allowing the NYPD to use brutal force against peaceful demonstrators and the press.
DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW
Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.
For the purpose of Section 242, acts under “color of law” include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official’s lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials. It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.
The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.
Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute. Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Unlike most conspiracy statutes, Section 241 does not require that one of the conspirators commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime.
The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.
“Countdown” guest host David Shuster and Jonathan Turley, constitutional law expert and professor at George Washington University – and a Countdown contributor – analyze Mayor Bloomberg’s claim that the NYPD are keeping the press from the story “so journalists can be safe.” Turley notes, “The problem is that we’re not getting any responsible public officials who are coming forward saying, ‘This is wrong,'” and as a result abuses against protesters often go without penalty: “They can really get away with this.”
We are waiting for you to condemn police brutality in this country and the bankers, Mr. President.