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Police Brutality in Providence, RI


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.



You may like cops, my good sir, but I do not - my theory is that people who crave a badge, a gun, and authority should never get them.

Here's hoping for a massive lawsuit, and a bunch of disgraced pigs losing their badges.

My Mother had a saying that I think is appropriate here: Hate in the singular, never the plural.

Not all cops are bad. Not all lawyers are liers and not all priests are child abusers.

And Mike, you're right. That picture is sickening. Abuse of power is unforgivable.

I don't hate cops. I just feel better when they're not around.

MAN would I like to be a Providence defense lawyer right about now!

MAN would I like to be a Providence lawyer right about now!

I don't really want to be a lawyer.

Without police, the frontline enforcement of the rule of law goes out the window. But bad police are really bad news.

Whoever broke Ms. Svoboda's knee/leg should be put on desk duty until an investigation is completed, then appropriately punished, to the full extent of the law, fired, and publicly condemned by local politicians and the police chief, if indeed the facts add up to craven police brutality (and it certainly looks like that to me).

But I always breathed a sigh of relief when an NYPD transit cop got on my subway car when some kids or a homeless dude was acting violent or crazy. I felt protected.

So, not all cops are bad. But when they are, it ain't pretty, and it reflects poorly on police everywhere. I'm sure Ms. Svoboda won't ever think good things about the police again in her life.

B, you sure you don't want to be a lawyer? Because I can make you a lawyer. That's the kind of power I have. Boom! You're a lawyer. Now get out there and lawyer...

Mike, why are you being so rational all the sudden?

Phil, what are you talking about!? I'm Johnny Rational. My rational thinking, though, is sometimes light years ahead of everybody else's, so my comments/posts appear to be irrational. When, in fact, they are not. :-)

That leg isn't broken. It's obviously Freedom-twisted.

If you followed the news, you should recall that the story took place in North Providence, not Providence. Different city. The police were trying to get control, they were running into the streets.

Yes, whatever would we do if the streets of North Providence were delayed by these throngs of demonstrators? Industry as we know it would stand still and America would most likely colapse. Thank god there are police officers like this protecting our freedom by breaking hippie leggs in North Providence, the heart and soul of North America.

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