Friday, September 25, 2009

The G-20 Protests and the Drudge Video

Protesters once again have traveled from all over the country and the world to participate in a regular gathering - protesting the gathering of the major nations in an economic summit. These protesters, many of them anarchists, attempt to cause as much mayhem as possible and the police and security presence in Pittsburgh where the meetings are taking place are meant to deter the protesters from causing disruptions as much as they are to arrest those who do engage in violence and mayhem.

There's plenty of the mayhem to report, as storefronts have been damaged and police have made a bunch of arrests.

The security contingent includes state and local police as well as the National Guard. Pittsburgh isn't New York City, with 30,000+ uniformed police officers capable of dealing with practically any situation facing them, but a far smaller police force that was augmented by the State Police and National Guard, in addition to the Secret Service, FBI and other law enforcement agencies to protect the world leaders who gathered there.

That leads to the video being proffered by Drudge and others, claiming that the people in the video - alleged to be soldiers - were violating the Posse Comitatus Act by arresting and taking away a lone individual in the midst of a demonstration in Pittsburgh.

Here's the full video:

My first take on the video was that something wasn't right. Why were the various people wearing mismatched uniforms. What about the lack of identifying patches of those involved. As I noted above, the National Guard units deploying to Pittsburgh have very specific uniforms, and patches are clearly discernible.

Bob Owens suggests that those in the video are actually members of the Pennsylvania State Police, particularly after noting that one of the men in the video appears to have a patch on his arm indicating that he's a member of the Pennsylvania State Police.

I came across this photo showing Penn State Police operating in Lehigh. That tends to back up Bob's assertions. Moreover, Hot Air posts a photo of today's demonstrations showing law enforcement (not military) in various camo uniforms with a person quite possibly the one in the video shown plastic-cuffed and detained on the ground. It also shows a vehicle that is similar to the one seen in the video.

In sum, this would dismiss Drudge's claims that this was somehow US military involved. It also would tend to go against the claims that this was trumped up.

I await further analysis of the video and a statement from the local law enforcement on the matter, particularly since the individual is apparently shuffled into the car without being first restrained, an act that could put the police in danger should the man being detained attempt to resist and fight back. It would also be interesting to learn why this particular individual was singled out for being arrested.

As they say in the business, this is a developing situation and one that bears serious scrutiny.

Smile for the camera idiots. Multiple arrests made of Greenpeace activists who trespassed on a bridge and rappelling down the side of a bridge to unfurl a sign in support of a global warming agenda. Nice of them to put their lives, and the lives of police in danger for that stunt.

Further confirmation that the video was showing Penn State police arresting and detaining a vandal is here. Of particular note:
The individuals involved in the 9/24/2009 arrest which has appeared online are law enforcement officers from a multi-agency tactical response team assigned to the security operations for the G20.

It is not unusual for tactical team members to wear camouflaged fatigues. The type of fatigues the officers wear designates their unit affiliation. Prior to the arrest, the officers observed this subject vandalizing a local business. Due to the hostile nature of the crowd, officer safety and the safety of the person under arrest, the subject was immediately removed from the area.
In other words, there's the explanation for mismatched camouflaged uniforms and an explanation for the video that doesn't involve nefarious plots by the US military.

Now will Drudge finally correct his incorrect heading and title? I doubt it.

Drudge finally took down the incorrect headline. No explanation. No correction. Nothing. Nice.

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