Monday, October 10, 2005

Brownshirt Watch: George Mason edition

The name of the following Counterpunch article says it all: Student Brutalized by Cops and Rightwing Students for Protesting On Campus Military Recruiting

A Pakistani-American who once served in the US Air Force stands in front of a military recruiting table outside the George Mason University student center with a sign saying "Recruiters lie, don't be deceived" taped to his shirt and receives verbal diarrhea on multiple occasions from enraged student brownshirts before they finally get campus security to amplify the harassment. Here's what followed:
The staff member called campus security, at which point a police officer, Lt. Reynolds, approached Khan and demanded to see his student ID. Khan said he told the officer he was not carrying his ID and tried to walk away when the policeman tried to arrest him and then became violent. "He threw me into the stage," Khan claimed, referring to a dance area in the student center left from an event earlier in the day, "and I just sort of raised my hands to show I'm not violent and tried to get as much attention by saying, 'I'm being non-violent and I'm being brutalized.'"

Fellow student and friend Amie Wells confirmed Khan's account, saying the officer "grabbed him, put him in a half-nelson headlock," and then "slammed him into a metal stage," propped three feet above the floor. Wells added that the officer then slammed Khan into the ground hard, resulting in his face hitting the surface.

Describing the atmosphere, Wells said a number of right-wing students were cheering on police officers who were attacking Khan, exclaiming, "Kick him!" She claimed most of the crowd appeared to be on the side of the police. "It was disgusting," she said. Another student who witnessed events, David Curtis, said some students initially implored the police to let Khan go, but others soon arrived to support the police, chanting "Kick his ass!"

According to Khan, Wells, and Curtis, one of the right-wing students who had earlier harassed Khan joined the cops in forcing him on the ground. Curtis asked the student what authority he was exercising, and the student backed off.

However, Curtis says, a university employee who stood about six feet eight inches and weighed around 300 pounds began helping the cops to further subdue Khan. "He performed jujitsu moves on me while the cops held me down, and the cops let him do it," Khan said. "Frankly, the cops were doing just fine without him, but this huge guy came and put [Khan's] free arm in a Kamora," Curtis said, referring to a jujitsu maneuver in which the arm is painfully bent backwards. "You could see on his face that it was really hurting him," Curtis said of Khan. A police officer claimed the university employee was an "auxiliary police officer," but Wells, who works with the man in the computer store, said she had never seen him in that capacity.

Khan said he was then dragged off by two officers toward a police car but was reluctant to get in. He says one cop was preparing to spray him with mace. "He held the can straight at my eyes, about five inches away from my face," Khan said. "So I started yelling, 'Hey, this cop is trying to mace me, someone take a picture if you have a camera!"

Wells quickly took out her cell-phone camera and began snapping pictures. "After I did that, the cop put away his mace can and said, 'Okay, no one's going to get maced today.' I mean, clearly, he knew he was doing something wrong," she said.

Khan says Officer Reynolds told him he had to arrest him because, "What with 9/11 and everything else, we didn't know what you would do." Khan also says another policeman told him that "You people are the most violent people in the world." Before being hauled off to the Fairfax County Jail, Khan was warned by the police who were questioning him that "If you even look at [cops] the wrong way, they'll hang you up by your feet."

1 Comments:

Blogger bunabayashi said...

Living within sight of George Mason University, I can attest to the mindset of the typical George Mason Police Officer. They're busy-body wannabes, and now twith this revelation, I see they're fuckheads as well. Nice going officer, you managed to subdue a non-resisting, law-abiding student.

6:31 AM  

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