Sunday, December 21, 2003

Felonies Were Committed

From the Miami Herald:

A judge presiding over the cases of free trade protesters said in court that he saw ”no less than 20 felonies committed by police officers” during the November demonstrations, adding to a chorus of complaints about police conduct.

Judge Richard Margolius, 60, made the remarks in open court last week, saying he was taken aback by what he witnessed while attending the protests.

”Pretty disgraceful what I saw with my own eyes. And I have always supported the police during my entire career,” he said, according to a court transcript. “This was a real eye-opener. A disgrace for the community.”

In the transcript, he also said he may have to remove himself from any additional cases involving arrests made during the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit.

”I probably would have been arrested myself if it had not been for a police officer who recognized me,” said the judge, who wears his hair in a graying ponytail.

There have already been concerns voiced that the “pro-active” stance taken by law enforcement forces during the November FTAA meeting could be a model for next year’s Republican convention in New York. This story is going to get bigger, and I’ll keep you posted as things develop.