Imagine this. Some high school kids go to an uninhabited warehouse to stage their own version of an occupy protest. The police respond with assault rifles. This happened in North Carolina tonight.
To put this in context, yes the high school kids were trespassing. As James Parker put it:
“The protesters were off campus and the Campus police would have handled it MUCH differently… plus they were not following the law by occupying private property without permission and had NO permits… They think they were stupid unorganized high school kids.”
This isn’t the standard procedure. James Parker told me tonight that according to David Tapwater, the Dean of Legal Affairs at UNC, campus police would handle this situation differently. In fact, it appears this would be handled differently by police across North Carolina.
Just plain common sense suggests that shoving assault rifles in kids’ faces because they were trespassing and didn’t have permits is, to put it mildly, disproportionate.
According to dailytarheel.com :
Chapel Hill police were on the scene, but police spokesperson Sgt. Joshua Mecimore could not confirm whether only Chapel Hill police were present. He could not say if there was any impetus that caused police to break up the protest.
Protestors occupying the building said they had heard rumors that police might ask them to leave but were not aware that there would be what they called a “raid”.
We’re talking about high school kids who may have been trespassing, but how does that warrant this sort of response? This is what happened to Kieran Preissler, who was talking to the occupiers when the police came:
“…a white van pulled up behind the building, and police officers began to enter the building. He was handcuffed and had guns pointed at him, he said.
“Assault rifles are scary to begin with, but two feet in front of my face, like woah,” Preissler said.
Indeed. This is what a police state looks like. This is not what happens in the United States of America. At least it doesn’t happen in the United States I know.
UPDATE: David Tapwater is not the Dean of legal affairs, as originally reported. Also, according to several sources, the protesters were “known anarchists.”