Cry Foul! Another Abduction, This time NY

OMG!!! It’s happened again.

Similar to the event in Portland where federal officers abducted a protestor off the streets. You could see how this would raise concern. It was incredibly dumb, and I presume- incredibly lazy. What it was not, however, was federal officers, it was NYPD Warrant officers. It was not similar to the Portland event at all, except in appearance, and we should resist the temptation to lump them into the same type of constitutional over-reach and application of authoritarianism.

It was dumb, because it was undertaken directly in front of marching protestors. How fucking stupid. It was lazy, because they had at least this person in mind from recorded offenses (listed as 5 offenses), from other protests and the officers figured, probably rightly so, that she might make an appearance at this event. So the NYPD Warrant officers just waited, in their not at all unusual street clothes and unmarked car. The reason why this is SOP, can you imagine how effective warrant officers are in public, in their uniforms and driving around in a police cruiser? I’m guessing, not very.

That aside, we don’t like it. We don’t. We don’t like the imagery, particularly after our National psyche was disturbed by the visually similar event in Portland. Could we argue the officers did not identify themselves or mirandize this woman? If you want to…from a twitter video. It’s highly unlikely, but go ahead and make the armchair analysis if it gives you a feel good. Could we argue they used excessive force? What do you think? Does what you feel make a difference.

There is a world of difference between what we feel and what is an actuality in law.

We should not conflate this with the action in Portland, for many reasons.

Most importantly, it dilutes the importance of a separate event. They are not related. We rob from ourselves our own cause. In lumping the constitutionally challenged event in Portland, with our disapproval of the event in NYC, we cloud the importance of challenging the event in Portland on constitutional grounds. This is really important. It’s not to say, that one has an actual affect on the other, but that joining them together confuses and diffuses exactly which are our issues in these disparate events as a narrative.

We have done to ourselves that which the right gleefully and effectively does in many issues, by rebranding and relabeling our issue and then arguing it on the grounds of the new label. Resist this temptation.

These events are not the same.

The event in Portland has been legally challenged by State on constitutional grounds, failed in the States faulty case, but not because the Judge did not agree that constitutional rights were violated, HE DID. read my post here. This doesn’t preclude the fact ACLU, or direct injured party may file separately.

The constitutional difference between Portland and NYC: That the abductee’s first amendment rights to free speech were altered. In NYC no such action has occurred as the protest was not in relation to the charges. That the fourth and fifth amendment rights were violated in seizure and due process. Not evident in NYC as they were serving warrants. Most importantly, and hopefully forthcoming in any future suit, the tenth amendment’s declaration that these powers belong explicitly to States and their localities, not the Federal government. Not at all applicable in NYC.

Let’s keep these events separate. Can we, should we seek redress in NYC? Sure, we don’t like what we saw in NY. But not in any apparent legal ground surrounding the event itself that we are currently aware of. We should approach this separately as police reform within States and local jurisdictions. this is the domain of the State and city; NY, NY in this instance. This is an entirely different issue from the Portland incident. Be aware that having come to this conclusion, would require similar action in every State and locality. Voicing our displeasure on twitter is not going to get that done without someone actually doing the work.

Conflating these issues is of no use to either event separately, to the contrary. Especially to the pressing issue at hand of the constitutional grounds to force the Federal government to cease acting with impunity in defiance of that Constitution.

As a sidenote, the police in this NYC arrest have counter-complained that they had shit thrown at them. Although this would certainly be illegal, I have zero sympathy because the stupidity of this operation was avoidable.

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