Aug 30, 2013

Damon Terrell and Scott Walker's Political Police

Damon Terrell released after 72 hours for an unspecified thought crime
Update II: Damon Terrell Wins Case Against Scott Walker’s Cops; Civil Suit Coming (Kemble. The Progressive)

Update - Wisconsin Capitol Police have the credibility of Richard Nixon during the depths of Watergate. After Capitol Police attacked and arrested Damon Terrell, James Brooks writes in the police report that, "I observed Damon taking photographs in the rotunda area. I made verbal contact with Damon and told him I had identified him as a participant in an unlawful event. I told him he needed to disperse. Damon said he was doing nothing unlawful and would not leave. ... I did not consent to Damon injuring me." Brooks is serious. That's another citation thrown out of Court, and let's hope a violation of civil rights action. Love to see someone as full of shit as Brooks on the stand.

"The vitality of civil and political institutions in our society depends on free discussion. ... Accordingly a function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. That is why freedom of speech, though not absolute, Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, supra, 315 U.S. at pages 571—572, 62 S.Ct. at page 769, 86 L.Ed. 1031, is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment, unless shown likely to roduce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest."
- Justice William O' Douglas, writing for the Court in TERMINIELLO v. CITY OF CHICAGO. 337 U.S. 1 (69 S.Ct. 894, 93 L.Ed. 1131) Argued: Feb. 1, 1949. Decided: May 16, 1949.

"This Court has gone far toward accepting the doctrine that civil liberty means the removal of all restraints from these crowds and that all local attempts to maintain order are impairments of the liberty of the citizen. The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the Court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact."
- Justice Robert H. Jackson, writing in dissent in TERMINIELLO v. CITY OF CHICAGO. 337 U.S. 1 (69 S.Ct. 894, 93 L.Ed. 1131) Argued: Feb. 1, 1949. Decided: May 16, 1949.

It's necessary to note that Justice Jackson had returned from Nuremberg in 1946, and heard Terminello, just two years home.

Justice Jackson could not have been more fallacious in his reasoning in Terminello. Yet, typical of Jackson when he was wrong, he was thoughtfully wrong.

Damon Terrell, a protester in Madison, Wisconsin, who one hopes will pursue a federal civil rights action is in no danger of ever encountering a Justice Jackson or a Justice Douglas in the United States federal court system.

And Mr. Terrell won't do terribly better in the Wisconsin legislature.

"Activists now speculate that the Capitol Police use of force in arrests may be a deliberate attempt to provoke a violent reaction for a public disturbed by the sight of mass arrests for peaceful protests," notes Blue Cheddar. Viewing the linked above video, one would think Walker's cops would have to hang a rope around Damon Terrell's neck and throw him from the first floor balcony of the capitol rotunda before Democratic aides and Representatives decided to have a look around and mutter a word of objection for violation of freedoms and basic human decency.

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