Video: Protesters Punched at Occupy Wall Street Today


Journalist and Reason contributor Michael Tracey is covering New York's Occupy Wall Street as it's happening. Above is footage he shot today (October 14, 2011) as the protesters marched through the street of Manhattan and had various stand-offs with the New York Police Department. Tracey himself reports being punched in the shoulder while filming.

In the above video, around the 1.40 mark, a white-shirted NYPD officer decks a protester in a green shirt (how the incident started is unclear).'s Meredith Bragg edited the video above from about 20 minutes of footage.

Follow Tracey on Twitter here. And read his October 7 story, "Occupy Wall Street: Beyond the Caricatures," here.

His website is here.

Reason's coverage of the Occupy movement can be found here.

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  1. (how the incident started is unclear)

    It may have been justified, but why wait for facts?

    1. ???

      What conclusion did Gillespie jump to?

      1. Posting this video and highlighting the punch is clearly intended to imply unjustified use of force by the cop.

        And as anyone can tell you, I’m no cop fellator.

        1. That’s a fair conclusion one could draw, but as it stands, Gillespie’s post is merely a report of an event that happened today. Obviously, a watchful eye has to cast on the police right now.

        2. “”Posting this video and highlighting the punch is clearly intended to imply unjustified use of force by the cop.””

          You’re kidding, right?

          When the man says it’s unclear, he clearly means it’s unclear.

        3. Of course you’re not presently. Now, keep bootlicking, pipsqueak.

          1. Now, keep bootlicking, pipsqueak.

            In other words, we’re supposed to work our way up?

        4. Meh… I guess I see your point as a whole. Watching the video makes me think two things: Cops are dicks and so are hippies.

          In terms of trying to decipher Gillespie’s thoughts… that may just be because we’re interpreting them using anti-authoritarian/anti-force libertarian issued monocles.

          1. Do I look too much like a Fonzie impersonator?

            1. Nahhh… Black leather jackets are totally badass.

        5. What, do you expect him to suggest that their contributor antagonized a cop into punching him?

        6. The Jacket seems like it’s never really been too keen on equivocation. words liked edited and unclear kind of seem important here.

          1. My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

    2. I don’t think anything justifies a cop punching someone or shoving people who does not pose a physical threat to anyone. The professional use of force would be to simply detain them. Shoving=jackboot.

  2. This video clearly demonstrates the need for a socialized economy built on fairness, dignity, and consensus.

    1. This video… clearly demonstrates …the need for… a socialized economy… built on fairness, …dignity, …and consensus. *wiggles fingers downward*

    2. ….part of the consensus. What if I say no?

  3. Way the hell OT, but Reason hasn’t posted anything yet: Obama sends 100 US troops to Uganda to help the human-rights violating military there, led by an autocrat who wants to enact the death penalty for homosexuality, take out a violent, human rights-violating rebel militia that does not endanger US national security. The Central African governments have tried to take out this horrific group for decades and failed, so why not throw in a hundred more troops to fight against their child soldiers? Surely nothing will go wrong…

    Now back to laughing at hippies…

    1. While we’re at it, another DEA raid, this time on a co-op with full local support:…..lted-plant

    2. Along with President BoyKing’s latest undeclared “kinetic action” in Uganda — which, as pointed out by Proprietist, above, Reason still somehow can’t manage to find the time to cover, even in passing — there’s this going on right now, as well.

      … but, hell: Michael Jackson’s pusher is on trial, and some scuzzy little government-suckling trustafarian somewhere got themselves an owie or something. So, you know.

      Fucking hell.

    3. Reading your post, at first I thought it was just a bunch of Green Berets training guys, which they do in a surprising number of countries. Your linked article however makes it sound a whole lot more like a Gothic Serpent sort of mission, which is troubling.

      Aren’t we in enough fucking wars already around the globe? I suppose I should be grateful that the jug-eared Jesus hasn’t caused an MEU to be deployed to Darfur. Thought for sure he’d have done that after the inauguration…

      1. Aren’t we in enough fucking wars already around the globe?

        There were non-stop marathons of vaudeville-style hand-wringing and rending of garments hereabouts, just a few years back, over the prospect of “being dragged into multiple new wars around the globe,” should the wrong candidate end up being elected President.

        Not so much, now.

    4. Coalition of the willing?

    5. Our Born-Again Christian, Barack, goes from hunting down and slaughtering Muslims to to hunting down and slaughtering Christians.

  4. Fuck pigs and everything, but fuck, those hippies are annoying.

    1. Indeed. Who do you root for?

      I’m kidding, of course. You root for a meteor strike.

      1. I root for dysentery. Fucking filthy hippies in their poop-camps.

        1. As soon as winter arrives, they’ll be history. NYC gets cold as shit in the winter. I remember multiple New Year’s where it was 0 degrees out and gusting. You’d hail a cab to go 4 blocks.

          1. Dress appropriately and stop being a wuss.

    2. This is the beauty of these protests. It exposes the thuggery of the police, and the vapidity of much of what’s being protested, and it’s all being filmed and documented. It’s all win.

      1. At least they’re keeping the cops busy. In other news, grandmothers and puppies slept comfortably throughout the night.

    3. Occupy Wall Street Goons Spray Black Cop With Liquid Then Jump Him (Video)

      Just like what happened at all of those TEA Party gatherings… right?

      1. Tea Partiers are too scared of negros.

  5. Was that a chick that got decked?

    1. That’s my impression as well.

      It appears the officer struck her in the face.

    2. Hard to tell, in that crowd.

  6. Looks to me like she slapped him first. Fuck her.

    1. Look again.

      Looks to me like she’s switching her purse from one shoulder to the other.

      I don’t see a slap there anywhere.

      1. There was some kind of motion with her arm, but it’s impossible to say what it was.

        1. From the frame I’m look at, it doesn’t even look like she’s defending herself when he cocks back to hit her.

          I…wouldn’t have done that. I’d have at least put an arm up to defend myself. It almost makes me suspicious.

          She’s wearing something that stands out in a crowd too–something you can easily pick out of an image. But even if she’s instigating as part of a black bloc plot to get a cop hitting her on video, that’s no excuse.

          Cops cannot strike people just standing there and being obnoxious. They get PAID to not strike people for just being obnoxious. That’s their job.

          1. I wonder if he did this:


    2. Punching someone in the face is the appropriate response for an officer…when? Certainly not if someone slaps him, fuckhead. The proper response is arrest for assault, and if the person has to be subdued, you don’t fucking deck them.


      1. He gets results you stupid chief!

      2. Used to be you’d hit a cop, he’d hit you back. Nowadays you hit a cop he’ll electrocute you, or spray chemicals into your eyes, or hit you with a steel baton, or fire rubber bullets from a shotgun. Then he gets into the lethal stuff, from handguns to automatic rifles, then onto armored vehicles and helicopters.

        1. A career in law enforcement does have its perks.

  7. The worst part was the cameraman’s 10-second annoyscreech. Had he never seen anyone get punched before?

    1. And he’s a shitty cameraman too, so we never really see what happens from his Jumble-Cam work.

      1. Yeah, too bad there aren’t any other cameras around…

      2. Yup. Deck ‘im one.

  8. Tracey himself reports being punched in the shoulder while filming.

    Poor baby, now if you were kicked in the crotch, these boys would offer to kiss it better 🙁

  9. It did look like a woman.

    It looked like that cop decked a woman, and I’m not sure she’s conscious.

    Instigating cops to get them to beat up and abuse innocent protestors in front of the press–so the press can circulate images–has been an extremely effective tactic since…at least since when Paul Revere made that engraving of the Boston Massacre.

    And since–at least–then, cops have known better than to fall for that. I have no sympathy for that cop based on anything I see in that video–and thousands of people are thrown in jail with less evidence than we have on that video every day.

    I’m not saying he’s guilty. I haven’t heard his side of the story, but if that video isn’t enough for a grand jury to at least indict somebody, I don’t know what more they need.

    1. I haven’t heard his side of the story, but if that video isn’t enough for a grand jury to at least indict somebody, I don’t know what more they need.

      I’ve been asking myself that question.

      1. Exactly.

        A lot of the major civil strife in U.S. can be traced back to some civilian getting in the media for being attacked by the military or police.

        Going back to the Boston Massacre! Which was a total instigation job–and a propaganda BS story perpetuated by Paul Revere’s engraving. And we’ve gone apeshit over images like that since then–right up through and including September 11.

        I used to try to explain to my Muslim friends why people in Palestine who are so desperate and hopeless that they’ll blow themselves up as suicide bombers–why that doesn’t inspire sympathy in the American psyche.

        Using military/police tactics against unarmed civilians is the worst thing you can do if you’re trying to make Americans sympathetic to your cause. I mean, there are always some people who will sympathize, but mostly?

        If the Indians west of the Appalachians attacked a settler’s family in his cabin and killed them? Americans didn’t care if the settlers were there in violation of a treaty. To Americans, that just meant the Indians needed to be wiped out. That’s not the way it should be! …but that’s the way we’ve been.

        That was OBL’s major miscalculation. bin Laden thought, “If we attack their civilians in a big public spectacle so that it gets on TV everywhere? Then the Americans will leave us alone!”

        That’s not the way it works.

        We’d rather get rid of segregation than see innocent people beaten by the police. Now more than 75% of urban America carries a camera phone with them everywhere they go.

        Civil disobedience is still disobedience? The cops have to resist that urge. The Occupy Wall Street deal didn’t get as big as it was until after the cops arrested all those people walking across the bridge–and stuff like this is just gonna make it worse.

        Welch was talkin’ about how protests without demands aren’t anything new anymore–but the Palin prayer gathering, etc? Those were one day events. You come to the Tea Party rally, you listen to the speeches, and then you go home. This rally doesn’t have an end.


        At some point, it’s going to end, but I don’t see how it’s going to end well. Maybe the weather will push everyone out before the mayor loses his patience. But a mayor’s first job is to keep the peace. He loses a little credibility every day he doesn’t do something, and the rate at which he loses that credibility goes up every day.

        He was the head of equity trading at Salomon Brothers. He made a fortune selling access to news terminals to traders on Wall Street. They’re protesting Wall Street? Mayor Bloomberg is Wall Street! He has presidential aspirations–in the Democratic Party. …who do you think’s gonna give him the money to run? It won’t be the farmers in Iowa. It’ll probably be…Wall Street!

        He’s got the weather channel on 24/7 hopin’ for a blizzard, but if it doesn’t come soon?

  10. What amazes me is that throughout all of this, almost all of the violence done by the cops has been from the supervisors, not the line officers.

    1. Because they are more used to being obeyed, less used to dealing with the public, and are more untouchable.

      Unsurprising, really. A NYPD Lieutenant has a lot of power within NYC.

    2. There ain’t no school like the old school.

    3. My experiences have been that older, fatter, higher position cops are more mellow and professional while the young, shaved heads, oakley sunglasses wearing faggots are the arrogant thugs.

      1. The older ones are worse; they know which rules and guidelines that they can bend, contort, and outright break with little to no consequence.

        How do you think they managed such longevity on the force?

        1. How do you think they managed such longevity on the force?

          By not shooting random strangers four times in the backside?

          (notice the shaved head and oakley sunglasses)

      2. Probably going to depend on the jurisdiction. In a small town where being a nice guy might get you ahead, I’d bet the white shirts are the nice ones. In NYC, not so much.

      3. My experiences have been that older, fatter, higher position cops are more mellow and professional while the young, shaved heads, oakley sunglasses wearing faggots are the arrogant thugs.

        This has been my personal experience.

  11. Tracey himself reports being punched in the shoulder while filming.

    It sort of matters, you know, by whom he was punched.

    Another protestor? A cop? An ordinary citizen?

    Was it a comradely punch? A beat-down type punch? A “you’re blocking my way on the public streets and I have places to go” punch?

  12. A lot of those demonstrators were filming the police. Have no regard for the poor cops’ privacy?

    (this refers to the earlier video about the cameraman who was blocked from covering the OWS speeches.)

  13. Why is it always the lieutenants in the white shirts beating on people?

    In all honesty I have to hand it to the rank and file men in blue. With leadership like that I am surprised they are not gunning the crowd down with assault rifles.

    1. Why is it always the lieutenants in the white shirts beating on people?

      They would prefer brown, but that became a faux pas back in the 40s.

  14. Don’t cry to me it you go to a demonstation looking for a revolution and a fight breaks out with you in the middle. That is what you were looking for after all.

    1. Sure, but I still expect more of the cops.

  15. …protesters marched through the street of Manhattan…

    Just the one street left in Manhattan now?

    1. We scored our point! Now we can go home!

  16. I’m glad to see the discussion here is more civilized than the one on Reason’s Facebook page, which is more or less “HA HA LOOK AT THAT COP HIT THAT DIRTY HIPPIE! YAY COP!”

    I have no clue whether this was justified or not. However, history tells me it probably wasn’t.

    1. Using Facebook is its own punishment.

    2. ….the “hippies” out there most likely vote for the big-govt welfare/warfare/progressive candidates, politicians who build up big, over-compensated police departments in return for police-union campaign support. So the so-called hippies are face to face with whom they voted for. Not that it’s justice or anything like that…..same if they are protesting the war, it’s the pols they voted for that are waging it.

  17. That fucking pig punched a girl. Libertarians defend him. No surprise there.

    1. Reason has a long, hallowed history of defending the police. The commenters on H&R are also guilty of this.

      1. Wait. What?

    2. I thought the comments were predominantly (though not entirely) against the cop, as was the OP, but maybe you read a totally different set of comments.

    3. You’re too stupid to live.

      1. Was that a terroristical threat?

  18. I’d also like to note that at 2:22 we see the nexus of a long L&I disability claim that the People of New York will be paying for the rest of the officer’s life. I’m sure there’ll be some PTSD on the side as well.

  19. From Gothamist: a new video, and an update/message from the punchee to the cop:

    “The cop just lunged at me full throttle and hit me on the left side of my face. It tore my earring out. I remember seeing my earring on the ground next to me and it was full of blood. I was completely dumbstruck. I’m HIV positive and that cop should get tested.…..op_who.php

    1. No biggie. HIV is about like herpes these days. And the cop will get all the best treatments for life.

    2. Wouldn’t that be delicious. AIDSPWND

    3. I’m HIV positive and that cop should get tested

      LOL, yeah sure you are, toots. The cop was a dick for decking you, but don’t go trying to out-goon him by claiming an infectious blood-borne disease. The fact that you’re posting on a site called “gothamist” already marks you out as a hopeless nerd.

  20. I suppose the protesters should be glad the cops didn’t end up eating them.

      1. I would have thought these folks would have exhausted the world’s doughnut supply and then some.

    1. That is one unfortunately-shaped man. In a just world, he’d be a major circus sideshow star. “Behold Gunty the Magnificent!”

  21. Power corrupts; whether it is law enforcement or a mob of protestors.

  22. OMG, the cops are driving mopeds. hahahaha

  23. Outstanding…….

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