While most of the attention of abusive and out-of-control cops focuses on the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, there were several incidents in Denver during the Democratic National Convention that raised concern.
One of the incidents was the arrest of ABC producer Asa Eslocker.
Another was an incident caught on video where a Denver police officer rammed his baton into the chest of a Code Pink protester, telling her to “back off, bitch”. The protester, Alicia Forrest, fell to the ground where she remained motionless for several seconds.
This week the Denver District Attorney’s office said it would not file charges against police officer Scott Stewart, according to the Rocky Mountain News, whose photographer shot the following video.
Although the video only shows the officer ramming his baton into her chest, the DA’s office said that Forrest first grabbed the officer’s baton.
“A thorough review of all the evidence compels the conclusion that a woman failed to comply with repeated lawful police orders to move back,” said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver DA’s office.
“She then grabbed an officer’s baton, pushing it away. The officer pushed back, using the baton, and the woman fell to the ground. She was not injured. It was these facts that were considered in the decision.”
However, Al Crespo, a Miami photojournalist and friend of mine who was standing right next to Forrest when the officer rammed his baton into her chest, said she never grabbed the officer’s baton. And he has the photos to prove it.
The claim that Alica Forrest grabbed the policeman’s baton is not true. I was standing right next to her, and in the series of photographs that I took I show her holding a small pink bullhorn in her left hand, and a camera in her right hand at 12:27:18, and then from behind her at 12:27:20 I have a clear shot of the cop and his baton, and then at 12:27:23, he has already knocked her down and is standing over her screaming.
So in a period of 3 seconds, the cop body slammed her, she actually flew by me, and I make the out of focus – but clearly identifiable image of the cop standing there screaming.
In the video, I believe that when you see her right hand it was a reflex action trying to protect herself from the blow that was coming.
Check out Crespo’s photos here.The Miami photojournalist is going to provide the ACLU with his witness statement and the photos.
In the video, Forrest later gets arrested as she addresses a group of journalists. She was charged with criminal interferance and will appear in court Oct. 15.