Skip to comments.Did police go too far in undercover Occupy mission?
Posted on 09/01/2012 7:20:31 PM PDT by Orange1998
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- You may remember in December of last year, an Occupy Houston protest at the Port of Houston ended in the arrest of several people. Protestors were charged with manufacturing a criminal instrument -- a felony.
That protest and those arrests led to an investigation involving Austin police officers.
Officers who infiltrated the Occupy movement in Texas are accused of being part of the action that led to the charges.
The key question here: did Austin police officers go too far when they went undercover during the local protest?
One of the protesters, Ronnie Garza, says yes. Garza is part of a group charged with felony unlawful use of a criminal instrument.
Three officers from Austin PD apparently went undercover during the Occupy the Port protest at the Port of Houston in December. Garza's attorney says one of those officers named Shannon Dowell came up with the idea to have protestors chain themselves together using large PVC pipes and other materials.
When Garza and others agreed to buy the materials and chain themselves together in the street, they were arrested and charged.
(Excerpt) Read more at abclocal.go.com ...
"The primary mission of these officers was to protect the free speech activities of those engaged in lawful protest as well as initiating police response and action with regard to criminal activity," Austin PD Chief Sean Mannix said.
leftists think they should be exempt from things like laws and stuff
” - - - One of the protesters, Ronnie Garza, says yes.”
Wrong answer Ronnie, anywhere in TEXAS!
A CHAIN is a “criminal instrument”???
A public nuisance, yes. But a felony?????
The law enforcement establishment which beats up leftists can and will be used to beat up on Tea Party People.
The cops went too far here.
So, Austin policemen go undercover in Houston (165 miles away) - then instigate and plan a crime - that other Occupy members take up. How is this not entrapment? If the Occupy members came up with this idea by themselves, then nail them. But, if they are manipulated into this action by undercover policement; then shouldn't they be tried with this crime too?
Exactly. What too many of these overzealous but shortsighted "law and order" types on here forget is that the same police tools used to entrap, beat up, or even kill the people you don't like today, could just as easily be turned on you and other people that you DO like tomorrow.
Totally agree. They went too far.
Indeed some leftists think that, the one occupying the Oval Office being exhibit number one in support of the validity of that assertion. However, everyone, leftists included, should be protected from police misconduct, like entrapment. If the undercover cop suggested the plan, it's entrapment.
And, everyone, leftists included, should not be subjected to arbitrary interpretations of the laws by prosecutors: agreeing to buy materials to manufacture a "criminal instrument", but not actually manufacturing said "criminal instrument" is not a violation of the plain meaning of the Texas statue, which can be read here.
In this case it looks like the Austin cops and the prosecutors may be the scofflaws, rather than the Occupiers.
It seems that by just Occupying, the Occupunks were already violating ordinances etc. Why didn’t Austin have the backbone to simply sweep them off the streets and let that be that? Why try to instigate them into a “big” crime?
I mean, why didn’t Houston have the backbone...
One of the protesters, Ronnie Garza, says yes.
Garza is part of a group charged with felony unlawful use of a criminal instrument.
Garza's attorney says one of those officers named Shannon Dowell came up with the idea to have protestors chain themselves together using large PVC pipes and other materials.
AND.... we are blaming the police because an OCCUPY PROTESTOR (bums and rapists and ideological idiots) CLAIMS it was the the idea of the undercover officers, which amounts to hearsay and is meaningless without proof.
Because Garza is a MODEL CITIZEN and not to be doubted ?
Did the PVC and 'other materials' look like this?
Give me a break.
Yes, if the cops came up with and encouraged the idea it’d be entrapment.... shades of Ruby Ridge.
Facts are facts whether stated by God or Satan.
Famous last words you’ll regret when the cops are busting you up with their PR-47s for having the wrong sign at a Tea Party.
And if they’d been offered a detonator button, as Islamonazis in America have? Would the bust have been “invalid”?
I’ll need more information on this case.
Austin was where the militant Democrats came from who sought to firebomb the 2008 RNC Convention and plotted to kidnap delegates. They were convicted and even then claimed they were “set up”.
I say if the first mention of the plan that eventually led to the arrests came from one of the undercover officers, then it’s entrapment and invalid. If they were just there to serve as witnesses and go along with what the other people were going to do anyway, then that would have been legit. If the idea was actually introduced by the officers, then every possibility exists that had they not been there that it never would have happened, that they in essence manufactured a crime and then arrested people for participating. Kinda like those process “crimes” they keep hassling people over.
Nothing’s stated about explosives. This seems more like another childish protestor plot to chain themselves together as a group in the street, so that police will have difficulty getting them out. In any sane book it would be a misdemeanor act at worst. How a “felony” is supposed to result, seems more a flaming illustration of mad felony-flation than of any entrapment which might or might not have happened.
I don’t think you “get” it. Perhaps you think The “Patriot Act”, “Homeland Security” and the TSA were good dieas.
Power. Publicity. Because they can.
The case was dismissed but the Grand Jury has indicted. I wonder how far the rabbit hole goes.
Did they rob a bank? Assault anyone? Embezzle something?
I have no problem arresting them if they’re being a nuisance to people trying to go about their business. But felony?
I am unaware of conservatives, "right wingers", or the tea party ever using this tactic, let alone being coerced or persuaded into it.
In the 1960s there were felony convictions for “conspiracy” to commit a misdemeanor.
On the other hand, consider this example.
An undercover cop tells a bunch of OWS protesters , "let's grab some little girls, take them into a tent, and rape them." The protesters do so.
Are the protesters NOT TO BLAME for their own actions, for their own personal choices ? If I tell you to jump off a bridge because everyone else is doing it, who's fault is it if YOU DO ?
Perhaps you think The Patriot Act, Homeland Security and the TSA were good dieas.
Good 'ideas' they were, executed poorly and used to line the pockets of criminals they are.
Had the 'protesters' in this case been building IEDs instead, would you have the same objections ?
What is a PR-47 and where can I get one ?
OH.... "They TOLD me to do it." ... is now considered a FACT ?
Is it now automatically a lie?
By coming down firmly on that side you also commit the same species of error you wrongly accuse me of.
Had the ‘protesters’ in this case been building IEDs instead, would you have the same objections ?
No. But they weren’t