NYPD Punches HIV-Positive Protester in the Face for "Shooting a Look," Caught on Tape

 It's probably important to document this stuff far and wide so I'm just throwing it out there.

This video says that the police assaulted a woman today, but it was actually a man named Felix Rivera-Pitre. Watch both videos, you can see it from different angles:


During the chaotic Occupy Wall Street march through the financial district this morning, we witnessed a protester on William Street get punched in the face by a police officer, seemingly without provocation. He says the officer hit him so hard his earring got knocked out, but he managed to escape arrest. We caught up with the protester later: his name is Felix Rivera-Pitre, and he told us what happened and how he got away.

Rivera-Pitre, who is HIV positive and used to be a dancer, tells us he was walking a little bit in front of the police on William Street, and admits he "shot the cop a look." But then, according to Rivera-Pitre (and this is in line with what we witnessed), "The cop just lunged at me full throttle and hit me on the left side of my face...

Update: Animal New York published this video which appears to show what happened just before Rivera-Pitre was allegedly slugged in the face. At the 1:30 mark, an officer in a white shirt approaches Rivera-Pitre from behind, touches his arm, and tells him, "Get on the sidewalk." Rivera-Pitre does indeed "shoot him a look"... and then the camera pans away. Cue horrified screaming and unified chanting "THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!"

I don't know why that white shirt went nuts, but he went nuts.



Hullabaloo / By Digby

Posted at October 15, 2011, 4:16am