Sunday morning, U.S. Park Police restrained a participant in the occupation of McPherson Square who was behaving non-violently, fired taser darts into his back, and continuously tased him while he lay face down and handcuffed. This comes just one day before Park Police say they will begin arrests of individuals currently maintaining the 24-hour daily occupation of the square.
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.
We invite 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 is held daily at 6pm.