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UPDATE: The man being assaulted is named George Diller. He returned from Iraq with a back injury.

he police assaulted a new member this morning for smoking on the curb at the park. They choked him until he passed out and then took him away to the hospital. He was not fighting or doing anything more then sitting. When he put the cigarette out they jumped on him and started to choke him. They have also been telling some of the homeless that they need to leave the park and if they come back they will be arrested… FOR NO REASON! Ray Panek of the Quality of Life Unit with the LBPD is harassing and threating people. We need to be at the City Council to report on this and we need numbers for backup at the park. This occupation is just beginning it seems. (Jay)

Also cross-posted from our Facebook page:

George, new occupier and recently discharged vet, was sitting on the ledge at Lincoln Park, talking on phone and smoking a cigarette. Two bicycle officers approached and officer Dinsdale demanded George put out his cigarette. George replied “yes, 1 second” and put out his cigarette. George asked “Am I getting a ticket?”, then tried to end his phone call…

Before he could end the call, officer Dinsdale grabbed George’s arm and forcibly removed the phone. He then tackled George to the ground where both officers applied excess force grinding George’s face into the ground and dragging him onto the grass. Officer Dinsdale choked Goerge and violently punched him repeatedly while the other officer held him down with a knee in his back…

George clearly lost consciousness but for the 30 seconds after that point, the officer maintained the chokehold. Then the other officer placed the cuffs on George at which point Dinsdale released the chokehold allowing George’s head to hit the ground. George regained consciousness after 1 to 2 minutes during which Dinsdale repeatedly raised and dropped him. At this point, a spit guard was placed on George’s head and he was dragged to the awaiting patrol car…

The officers began to press down on George as they violently took him to the car. Visibly shaken, George pleaded “stop forcing me down, I will walk”. The Sergeant at the scene stated George was to be taken to the emergency room at St Mary’s. Several of us decided to try to see him at the hospital after an hour an a half but when we arrived at the emergency room, we were told by the staff that George had not come to the ER and no police had come there. We then went to the main lobby and were told that George had in fact been taken to the emergency. Eventually we were told that he had been released and taken to jail…

We then went to the police department to find out his status and we were told that he was being held on $25,000 bail. His charges were resisting arrest, obstructing a police officer, and smoking in the park. He clearly did not resist arrest or obstruct the officer in his duties. Additionally, we did not see any signs prohibited smoking and neither did we identify a municipal code prohibiting smoking in a park…

This is the latest and most brutal in a series of increasing harassment by the LBPD. On Saturday night they took 3 tables and several bins including our information, flyers, and literature because they claimed they were part of a temporary shelter. They have been giving citations to people for using a tarp to cover themselves or their belongings. They have told several homeless that they have too much stuff and would be arrested if they did not leave. Then yesterday in a similar incident another occupier and veteran, Nate, was arrested for smoking in the park. He refused to submit to a search at which point he was arrested…