“Grab Anybody!”: St. Louis PD Indiscriminately Tase and Arrest People Walking Down Sidewalk
St. Louis, MO — Friday night in St. Louis, a peaceful, silent protest was organized to raise awareness and call an end to police brutality. It was referred to on social media as #shutdownbaseball. The protest took place outside of Busch Stadium during a Cardinals game.
The road was already closed off for baseball fans, and the protesters simply held their signs and chalked the sidewalks. The protest was largely uneventful except for some people becoming upset when they saw a flag being “disrespected.”
According to RevoNews,
It wasn’t until the last 13 remaining protesters started to head home around 11:30pm when things got out of hand. People still motivated to bring attention to their cause had decided to leave the sidewalk and walk in the street. Faced with a myriad of options, when the commands given to leave the roadway were not met Lt Dan Zarrick made the decision to make arrests. What we see in the video below (supplied by the female taser victim) shows what happened after that decision was made.
As the video starts out police are taking people into custody for being in the street. One officer who was blocking the arrests with his bicycle, ordered the crowd to disperse. “Get back,” he says.
As people begin to comply with the first officer’s order to “get back,” they turn and walk away down the sidewalk. But they are quickly met by officers with tasers drawn.
The man in front, wishing not to be tased, side-steps the taser but is quickly hit. Then the woman is tased.
“Oh my god, Oh my god, why did you do that? I didn’t do anything,” pleads the woman just prior to being hit with the taser again.
The cries for help and obvious distress of the woman in the video are disturbing.
Right before the video ends we can hear the woman screaming in pain, “Why are you doing this to me? I’m on the ground.”
RevoNews reports that eight of the protesters were arrested. All of them were charged with impeding the flow of traffic and two had an additional charge of resisting arrest. They have all been released.
This small group of people were complying with the original officer’s orders, yet they were met with excessive force. There was absolutely no need for tasers to be deployed. No one was running away; no one was resisting, nor was anyone posing a threat.
According to Missouri state law, impeding the flow of traffic is punishable by “a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars.” However, these people were met with a large show of force and brought to jail for it. Is that justice?