Chicago police accused of intimidation as Nato demonstrations planned
Video appears to show officers asking protesters about Nato summit plans, adding that they would 'come looking for' them.
Chicago police have been accused of intimidating protesters ahead of the Nato conference next week.
A video posted to YouTube appears to show officers saying they would "come looking for" protesters after a traffic stop in the city.
Thousands of protesters are expected to gather in Chicago when the city hosts the Nato conference on 20-21 May. Police have been criticised for spending some $1m on riot gear ahead of the demonstrations.
YouTube user NewsPowerTV posted the three-minute video, which it said was "anonymously submitted" on Monday. It said the video showed officers "intimidating and threatening physical violence against protesters arriving in Chicago on May 9th, 2012". The user later posted a 30-minute, unedited, version of the encounter.
In the footage an officer is heard asking: "You guys got something planned for next week?" Before one of the protesters says they are heading to Occupy Chicago.
As the video continues, at the 12-minute mark a man's voice, apparently a police officer, says: "You like that, he knows, see these guys know, '68 … you guys all know '68", in an apparent reference to riots in Chicago during that year's Democratic National Convention, which resulted in more than 500 arrests.
The same voice continues: "What did they say back in '68?"
"A billy club to the fucking skull," another voice responds.
One of the protesters contends that the riots were related to "a race issue", prompting a voice to respond: "Ok, now we'll beat your white ass."
Later in the video, at around the 27-minute mark, an officer says: "Wait for the protest day. Save it up for then."
"We'll see you on Nato," a protester says.
A police officer apparently responds: "We'll come looking for you. Each and every one of you."
Obama's America - same as Bush's.
UPDATE: The Guardian reports Rahmbo has gone on a Police State spending spree:
Police in Chicago have spent $1m on riot-control equipment in the last few months ahead of next month's Nato summit, which is expected to attract thousands of anti-war protesters.
Protesters from a coalition of organisations including unions, anti-war and Occupy groups are expected to descend on the city. National Nurses United, the largest nurses' union in the US, is providing free buses to Chicago for activists from across the country even as its own plans to demonstrate were vetoed by the city of Chicago on Tuesday.
While protesters insist demonstrations during the Nato conference – the main action is planned for Sunday 20 May – will be peaceful, police appear to be leaving nothing to chance. Records show that since it was announced the Nato conference would be held in Chicago, police have purchased improved riot gear for both officers and horses. Officers are also preparing to use the controversial long-range acoustic device, or LRAD, during the operation.
Chicago police confirmed to the Guardian that they will have a LRAD available at the 20 May protest, "as a means to ensure a consistent message is delivered to large crowds that can be heard over ambient noise".
"This is simply a risk management tool, as the public will receive clear information regarding public safety messages and any orders provided by police," said Chicago police spokeswoman Melissa Stratton.
However while the device can be used simply to transmit voice messages, it also has a "deterrent tone", emitted at a volume which is painful to the human ear and which can be used to disperse crowds.
LRADs have been purchased by the US army and navy, and have also been used in commercial shipping as an attempt to drive away pirates. The device was first used at a protest in the US at the G20 Pittsburgh summit in September 2009, however there are ongoing complaints that its use there caused some people to suffer permanent damage.
Karen Piper, a university lecturer, claims she suffered irreversible hearing damage that day, and is currently bringing a legal case against the city of Pittsburgh. "This is a device that has the capability to inflict permanent hearing loss on people," Piper's lawyer, Vic Walczak, told the Guardian, adding that the device is "more dangerous than a Taser".
"We don't believe it should be used against demonstrators. It should not be used outside the battlefield."
Rahmbo is planning on going to war.
Here's video of the LRAD: