An Occupy DC protester was stunned by police with an electric taser shot and arrested for disorderly conduct on Sunday as he tried to tear down eviction notices, activists told AFP.
The incident, which was confirmed by police to the Washington Post, was a sign of increased tension on the eve of a deadline for anti-corporate protesters to stop camping out in the two Washington parks they have been occupying for four months, McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza.
The arrested man, who protesters identified as "Lash," was booked and will face charges in court on Monday, said protester Kelly Canavan.
Three officers arrested the activist because he was taking down flyers that the officers were posting on the tents, said another protester, Annie Storr.
Earlier in the day, police had left notices indicating the intention of the National Park Service to enforce anti-camping regulations on tents around the site. After they departed, individuals began removing the notices from their tents. Park Police in turn singled out a specific individual, followed him in a large group and grabbed his arms. Shortly thereafter, Officer Jennifer L. Lemke (Badge #398), without provocation, present threat to any officer, or any signal of intent to use additional force, shot taser darts into the restrained individual’s back. As he fell to the ground, police handcuffed him and he became motionless, yet Lemke continued to tase him.
As he was carried to the police vehicle, with taser darts still embedded in his back, he collapsed and had a possible seizure. After 15-20 minutes of a growing crowd chanting for the individual to receive medical assistance, police took him away.
He remains in police custody and his status is unknown as of this writing.
In the video below, at about 4 minutes in, you can watch as Lash seems to be having a possible seizure, and onlookers are calling out to get him to a hospital. Police seem to be doing nothing as he lays on the ground, and then finally he is lifted up and taken to a police van rather than the cruiser they had been trying to put him into.
Note, too, that tomorrow - Monday - is the day Park Police say they will begin making arrests of anyone still living at the encampment. Occupy DC invites anyone who is able to come to McPherson Square (at 15th and K Streets NW) starting tomorrow at noon and stretching into the evening to help defend the occupation. A General Assembly will be held at 6 p.m. EST.