Cops Behaving Badly: The “Miami Model” at work

No, the Miami Model is not a tall, shapely, ex-Latin American beauty queen. This is the Miami Model, in two minutes or less:

Yeah hi, it’s me, banging on about the so-called Black Bloc again. These guys have so much in common with the riot cops, don’t they? Both groups are violent, destructive, and hellbent on throwing society into chaos and rendering it unrecognizable. They even seem to dress alike–all in black, sturdy footwear, faces obscured one way or another. One might almost say they were one and the same.

Actually, there are some differences. Anarchists didn’t do this–the cops did. Funnily, though, there were some convenient ruffians in the paddywagon to make sure a peaceful demonstrator named Lacy was properly terrorized:

At that point at least two officers yanked me up, including a thug, who may have been a plain-clothes officer, and was a black male wearing a black T-shirt with curvy print on it, about 6’3, perhaps 250 lbs. Photos of this man show a muscular, powerful frame. For the sake of this write-up, I will call this person “Thug A.” I later learned that this thug or one of the other thugs may have been named Officer Antonie. Several other thugs, who may have been plain-clothes police, were present. One of them was a tall black man wearing plaid shorts and a white T-shirt, who also may have been a plain-clothes officer. For the sake of this write-up, I will call this person “Thug B.”

Please note that none of my attackers ever identified himself as a police officer. They were wearing plain clothes and were driving an unmarked vehicle that looked like a standard soccer-mom minivan. I have no qualms calling my attackers thugs. They never gave me any indication that they were anything but thugs.

I was yanked in an aggressive fashion toward a blue unmarked van. The door was open and the middle seat of the van was folded down. Thug B climbed into the back of the vehicle just before I was flung toward the open door. As I was tossed toward the open door of the vehicle, my right knee hit something which I believe was the edge of the van (the metal lip of the door step). I was pulled into the vehicle, with Thug A roughly pulling my legs into the vehicle.

As I was pulled into the van, another thug, who may have been a plain-clothes officer, was sitting in the driver’s seat of the van. For the sake of this write-up, I will call the person sitting in the driver’s seat “Thug C.” While I was being pulled into the vehicle, Thug C reached back with his right hand and took hold of my neck. Thug C was white with brown hair and a beard and was wearing a black T-shirt and black baseball cap.

As the van began moving and the door to the van closed, the two thugs in the back seat pulled me around so that I was laying face up with my head almost in between the passenger and driver seat. As they were doing so, Thug A was punching me in the stomach, just hard enough to shock someone who is delicate but not hard enough to harm me. As they punched me and turned me over, they said statements such as “stop struggling,” and “stop punching.” (Again, my hands were cuffed.) I immediately realized that they may be making such completely erroneous statements because we were being recorded, and I loudly stated “I’m not struggling. I am not resisting arrest.”

Thug A sat on top of me over my pelvic area. My handcuffs were digging into my wrists. My only goal was to live through the experience without losing my humanity, my spirit, or my presence of mind, to find out where I was being taken, and to find out as much as I could about these thugs, whether they were officers or some sort of private contractors, i.e. paramilitary groups.

Thug B then squeezed my throat with his right hand, digging his thumb deeply into my carotid artery area, on the right side of my throat. He held this for perhaps ten seconds, as Thug A stepped on me, re-adjusting himself overtop of me. I almost passed out at that point as the carotid artery is the chief artery that supplies blood to the brain. At some point during or before this strangulation, I wet myself. Urine seeped into and through my clothing. Darkness almost overtook me, but I held on and I did not lose consciousness.

During this whole time the thugs were calling me names such as: “cunt,” “bitch,” “whore,” and “street trash.” A constant barrage of their statements were phrases such as “Look at this street whore.” In addition, Thug A was making statements such as, “So you think you can smash up Toronto? Think again, you dirty bitch.”

When I did not lose consciousness from choking, Thug B punched the right side of my head with his left fist. This was done at least once, and may have been repeated. I did not lose consciousness, but I began telling them, “I am a good person. I don’t know why you are doing this to me. I did not harm anything or anyone.”

As I was saying this, Thug A, who had been sitting on top of me, began patting around my skirt. “Why is she wet?” he yelled. Thug B replied that I had “pissed” on myself. Thug A then expressed disgust and began calling me horrible names, and deriding me for “pissing on him.” He stopped sitting on my pelvic area and moved further down my legs.

During a large part of this assault, Thug C was reaching back from the driver’s seat and pulling my hair very hard, harder than it has ever been pulled. A man in a turquoise-colored shirt was sitting in the passenger seat of the van. For the sake of this write-up, I will call this person “Thug D.”

[…]

They roughly turned me over face down. We were quite obviously taking the short ride around the block to the entrance to the jail cell. At some point before we reached the building, the thugs stopped the car in an area that appeared to be a parking lot. Both thugs in the back seat got out. I tried to turn my head to the right to see what Thug A was doing, but Thug A took his fist and brandished it about an inch from my face, saying, “If you move, this goes into your nose.” I kept my face down toward the gray van carpet.

Thug A got back into the vehicle, but Thugs B and D must have left. Thug B was still driving. I remained where I was and asked where they were taking me. Thug A said, “We haven’t driven very far. Where do you think, you dumb bitch?” Thug A continued verbally insulting me as the van pulled into the PCC.

As I the doors opened to the vehicle, many other uniformed officers were visible in the giant prisoner intake room. I began loudly orating that I had just been assaulted. The uniformed officer who had initially grabbed me, whose face was with mine on all the front pages of the Toronto Star on Monday, June 28, came and sat in the front seat. He asked Thug A who the arresting officers were, asking “me and you?” I gave them a moment to agree on who the arresting officers were, and demanded to know their names and badge numbers. Thug A said, “My badge number will be on the paperwork.” I demanded perhaps five more times of both of them, but neither one would tell me.

There were several senior-looking uniformed police officers standing nearby, and I proceeded to orate about how these officers had assaulted me, and that there were some bad, bad police officers working in this department, and that this officer here was one of them. Thug A only complained to the officers that I had “pissed” on him. He asked whether I had “any diseases that he had to worry about.” Regardless of the arrogant tone of his question, I thought it was a fair question, and I answered him that I didn’t have any diseases I was aware of. I asked him whether he had children, and whether he would like it if they were mistreated for simply taking a photo at a demonstr
ation. I told him that he was a very bad person, and repeated that I am a good person, I’ve done nothing wrong, and I have harmed nothing and nobody.

What’s the difference between a plainclothes officer, a “Black Bloc anarchist” (note quotes; there are, in fact, REAL anarchists who look and act nothing like this bunch), and a plain old thug? Apparently, not a helluva lot.

If you ask the old question, Cui bono? and they all answer to the same effect, you can safely assume they’re on the same side.

I also come to grips with the fact that the black-clad mob [protestors] in Toronto has left a lot of people not only in the general public but in the wider nonviolent social/global justice movements in Canada feeling disgusted, demoralized and dispirited. Just the result you want if your goal is to marginalize and stifle dissent. I would suggest that what the ‘blocistes’ accomplished was what many feminists have termed ‘silencing’. While the more numerous non-violent voices were indeed heard on the streets and at Queen’s Park (25 000 in the main march!), they weren’t ‘heard’ in the more meaningful, mass sense as loudly as the same reels of destruction overplayed in the media, and the same accounts of destruction and violence witnessed to on the ground by journalists, activists and citizens. The blocistes, in other words, are the most effective tool on the ground for silencing the valid concerns of the broad social movements questioning neoliberalism, corporations, imperialism and war – because like a ball dropped in a glass of water, they take the discursive space away from the broader movements, inviting and indeed compelling the public (through the media, of course) to only focus on the violence of smashing, burning, destroying, throwing, hitting… which are all pointless, repulsive, destructive, and frightening.

Bingo. That’s the whole idea, isn’t it? To scare people the hell away from even thinking of demonstrating against something they know to be repugnant, repulsive and utterly evil?

Only, of course, it’s backfiring. People turned out in force to demonstrate against the arrests and detentions of innocent demonstrators like Lacy. They are bent on showing themselves to be unintimidated by the crude tactics of the Miami Model. They also seem to be overwhelmingly distancing themselves from the Black Bloc. Many are doing so not only out of disgust at the futility of window-smashing, spray-painting and car-trashing, but also out of a suspicion–probably well founded–that every anarchist group resorting to Black Bloc tactics has been infiltrated by police provocateurs.

Even some anarchists themselves are distancing themselves from the rock-throwing vandals. Once more, I refer you to what I blogged in 2007, after three fake anarchists were unmasked as cops in Montebello, Québec. Anarchists–REAL ones–and unionists banded together against the phonies. THAT’s what I call solidarity!

Alas, solidarity seems to have taken a real beating lately, along with all the innocent activists. It seems strange to note this, but seven years ago, I was in a peace demo here in my very sleepy, very stodgy, very conservative Southern Ontario town, and not only did the cops NOT beat us up, they gave us an escort, using their cruisers to keep the road clear of traffic so we could march without having to cram ourselves onto a narrow sidewalk!

Ah, the Good Old Days, when the cops were still Good Guys. Now, we can’t tell the cops from the robbers, literally, unless we’re willing to parse the finer details of their appearance, as well as asking that Latin Question. Something that some of us are apparently unwilling to do…to our detriment, I sadly fear. Give the cops too much benefit of the doubt, and you end up kissing goodbye to your civil rights, one after another, in short succession. Sometimes, as in Montebello, you have to jump to an un-PC conclusion based on “insufficient” evidence, and point out the naked emperor in your midst, or risk losing your own credibility. (That last is being steadily undermined by the major media already–also in cahoots with the cops.)

And on a final note, I offer you a tiny bit of surrealism. An anti-BB site using their name. There appears to be a corporation behind this recent addition to the Internets. Just one more of those wacky little things that make you go hmmm…

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This entry was posted in Angry Pacifist Speaks Her Mind, Canadian Counterpunch, Cops Behaving Badly, Fascism Without Swastikas, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Law-Law Land. Bookmark the permalink.