The Growing Problem with Police Brutality in the Face of Peaceful Protests

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Peaceful congregation in the streets is integral to the American way of life. It is protected by the First Amendment, and can be the lifeblood of social change. Yet the last two years have seen an uptick in police brutality in the face of peaceful protests.

Occupy Wall Street 
Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. supported civil disobedience. The Occupy Wall Street movement utilized these tactics to get their message heard across all across the United States. Yet the 99% were met with oppressive police force whenever they marched in the streets or occupied local parks. In Oakland, St. Louis, and New York City, pepper spray, riot shields, and police motorcycles were all used to disrupt peaceful protests advocating change.

New Police Technology 
With the advance of tools and technologies used for fighting crime, police forces have been given weapons to use against peaceful protesters. The more we become connected to our phones and computers, the more powerful police can be when disabling those tools. In August 2011, San Francisco police were able to shut off cell phone and data service to several BART transit stations- effectively preventing passengers from making calls for help during an emergency. During the Egyptian Spring, national police were also able to shut off all Internet traffic in Egypt for several hours. Such technology-targeted means of policing is not going away anytime soon. The 2001 Patriot Act, and its subsequent reincarnations provide federal and local law enforcement officers will the tools and legal power necessary to thwart protests and spy on civilians.

If you participated in a Pennsylvania protest and were injured through police brutality, you may be entitled to sue for damages. Contact the Law Office of Patrick Geckle to learn about building a case to prevent future brutality. Address the crime of police misconduct by calling (215)-735-3326.