If this picture doesn't make you sick to your stomach - or at least give you the hebbie jebbies - you are a stronger person than I. Look at that leg! Have you ever seen a human leg twisted like that?
This past Sunday, a group of workers, hippies, and students were staging what sounds like a pretty mild mannered protest of a restaurant in Providence, RI that is allegedly sourcing its food from a food distributor in New York that abuses its labor force. From a Raw Story article:
The group was protesting a restaurant's use of a New York food distributor they say "is notorious for its slave labor conditions of up to 110 hours per week without basic labor rights." One of the protesters, Balthazar Ramos, said he worked for the distributor and worked "112 hours per week, was paid $4.90 per hour, and was not compensated for overtime."
If true, just another example of labor getting the shaft, and further support for my theory that the minimum wage should be raised to $10 an hour (or is it my theory that Germans love David Hasselhof?).
Anyway, according to the articles I read, Providence police tackled the woman above - Alexandra Svoboda, 22 - and snapped her leg in the process. I guess dirty hippy protesters deserve nothing more, right? Tangle with the Man, and you get the horns.
Take a look at the other pictures taken by Jonathan McIntosh at the protest. You'll see lots of white, bald, beefy cops, and some hippy students and latinos on the other side. There are other good shots of Ms. Svoboda's broken leg, cops roughhousing her, and macing her friends who want to see if she's ok (which she is not). It's hard to really tell from the pictures, but I can't imagine that the level of force used on this woman was remotely justified.
Which isn't to say I don't like cops. An effective and respected police force is key to the health of any metropolis. But this YouTube era we're living in makes it a lot easier to identify specific examples of police brutality. I've seen a lot of them in the past year (UCLA cops tasering a student repeatedly, a Chicago cop beating the crap out of a bartender because she cut him off, etc.), and now this one. I bet Ms. Svoboda didn't weigh "having my leg and knee broken by police" as one of the potential outcomes of attending the protest.