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Cops overreact to black kids playing in Hyde Park

rebel w | 30.07.2008 19:48 | Anti-racism | Free Spaces | Repression | London

Line of police 400 metres long with dogs and vans cleared 200 black teens, a few with water pistols, from hyde park at 6:30. At one point a cop used a taser on one of the teens. Several others were manhandled andthere seemedeto be over 10 arrests.

It appears that a group of "black community" were having a water fight in the park. A complaint was made to the police who sent 3 TSG units and over a dozen dogs to clear them from the park. Members of the TSG were seen to shove several black female teens who were demanding an explanation. This drew a large crowd which the police tried to move away. Once at the edge of the park there were several scuffles that briefly blocked part of park lane. Some teens attempted to reenter the park through the subway but police charged them. Officer U5016 drew his taser and used it on a 17/18 year old and six officers manhandled him into a van and were stilling pinning him to the floor when it left15 mins later.

A large crowd gathered, some of whom had been on their commute home from work, and many people were shouting at the police to stop over reacting. One 15 year old said "we was just messing around having a waterfight and they've made such a big thing and now loads of people can see how stupid the police are. they've been really stupid." One middle aged passerby said "If they don't stop kneeling on those kids they're gonna stop breathing". Another commuter said "It seemed like a vast overreaction which can only further alienate young people." It seems the crowd felt that this was unacceptable.

rebel w


The Police & Public DID over react..

31.07.2008 18:52

I was at the water fight and it was all perfectly innocent, it was actually really refreshing to see so many young people all together having harmless fun. I'm a 17 year old girl (I'm black by the way, as it seems race matter so much to everyone in this blog) so I can vouch for most teens when I say that there really isn't much to do, especially in the holidays.
Everyone complains about kids hanging around on street corners, but apparently we shouldn’t be in parks either.

A few passer bys were accidentally splashed in the event but most of them understood and were amused and happy to see young people enjoying themselves...
Obviously someone over reacted and called the police, when the police got there, a friend and I asked one of the approachable looking ones why they were there, He replied saying they received a phone call saying there were hundreds of youths fighting and threatening the public, but as it seems to only be a water fight they would probably soon leave.
However, as we were speaking to the seemingly only credible police man there that day, Further down the other police were letting the dogs loose and shouting at everyone to leave immediately, please note that not once did they ask nicely or explain a reason, they just shouted pointed there batons and threatened to hit/tazered or even arrest anyone who didn't comply instantly. The poor police man I was talking to looked almost embarrassed at the reaction of the other police as he could clearly see people were just having harmless fun. I left speedily as I obviously didn’t want to get arrested (for being a teenager in a park at a water fight) but I’m not surprised that the police that day were "assaulted" as they call it, because there manner towards everyone was very threatening without reason and I found appalling. I find it hard to understand how police (yes I know they aren't all the same) can expect to be respected when they go around abusing authority and behaving how they did that day.

And by the way can I stress that they only found "reason" to arrest 9 of the possible 300+ that attended, and that arrest doesn’t mean an actual charge has been made or that the suspected crime has been proved.

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Waterfight turns into fracas

01.08.2008 08:24

Lots of shrieking and flirting and soaking of each other- they were very entertaining. I didn't see any of them drinking or smoking, they weren't swearing or fighting and seemed to be taking pains not to get non-participating people wet- I was sitting there for over 2 hours and didn't get a drop on me, when some water came close the boy who accidentally squirted it near us came and apologised.

So why on earth were at least 3 riot vans, dog units, squad cars with sirens driving on the grass and bullet proof vests needed?

Everything seemed to be going well (even though there was always a heavy police presence) until for some reason a copper confiscated a young lad's super soaker, poured all the water out and then frisked him and his mate. Clearly this sort of attitude got the attention of everyone else who then crowded around arguing witht the police for CONFISCATING WATER PISTOLS.

The next thing everything kicked off and all I could see were policemen shoving the kids really hard. I'm sure the youths were being a bit agro and they were upset because what had been a bit of a laugh was being turned into a fracas but the point is, the policing was appalling. Shouting and shoving and swearing at the teenagers was only going to make them upset and feel as though they're being expected to act up. And so they did. The mistrust the police were showing was palpable. Their body language was aggressive. From what I could see they were all white.

This went on for ages, then the dog unit and riot vans and squad cars with wailing sirens turned up. The vast majority of the water fighters stood around looking upset and incensed. Several came and sat by my friend and I as we were a pair of white women in our mid-twenties and therefore not likely to be seen as a threatening group which must be disbanded by force.

Yes there's a climate of fear at the moment, stemming from the present day culture of violence. But it seems to me that by assuming the worst of the teenagers in the park, the police are digging their own graves. The pleasant, articulate kids I was talking to expressed a blanket attitude towards the police: total lack of trust. The attitudes of the police strengthened this attitude

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Display the following 15 comments

  1. nine arrests — g
  2. Tell the full story... — Freddie Fanta
  3. policing water fights - fanta stylee — Our aquaphobic xenophobic public
  4. Aquaphobic xenophobic — PC Plod
  5. people need to calm down — jeff
  6. 'When we say jump, you say how high?' — Our aquaphobic xenophobic commenteers
  7. responding to people who seem intent on being foolish — jeff
  8. "people who seem intent on being foolish" — Our aquaphobic xenophobic authoritarian commenteers
  9. Knives — Fly Posters
  10. The "facts" are not clear — Passin thru
  11. Police brutality tasered the respect out of this observer — Ghost
  12. another view — freethinker
  13. What the photos showed — Norville B
  14. Smash excuses for state fascism! — fuck pigs fuck pigfuckers
  15. The irrationality of — philosopher