Yesterday, an observer for the National Lawyers Guild had a literal run-in with a NYPD cop on a scooter during an Occupy Wall Street morning march. Videos show Ari Douglas screaming after seemingly getting run over by a scooter, but there are varying opinions about what happened: Some say he was hit by the scooter while others (like the NYPD) say Douglas put his legs under the scooter and pretended he was hit. A reader Tweeted another video and said, "My video of legal observer Ari Douglas shows he did not try to get run over by NYPD." Take a look—it's a little hard to see, because it's shaky:
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told CityRoom that Douglas "was not trapped. Independent witnesses said he purposely put his legs under the scooter and then claimed falsely he was trapped." (Keep in mind, Browne said that cops used pepper spray "appropriately" when an official sprayed apparently peaceful, kettled protesters and fellow cops and a photographer.) Browne also said that Douglas, who had been warned to stay out of the street, kicked the scooter, "After he said he was trapped, he kicked over the same scooter.”
A Daily News photographer claims that Douglas stuck his legs under the scooter, but did say the scooter hit him while another legal observer said, "His leg was stuck under the bike, and he kicked his leg to get the bike off his leg, and then the police attacked him and shoved him into the ground and put a night stick against the back of his neck." Here are the other videos:
Douglas was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstruction of governmental administration, and two counts of criminal mischief. National Lawyers Guild member Gideon Oliver told us yesterday morning that Douglas had injuries to his face, "It's outrageous he was assaulted after he was arrested."
We're told that Douglas has retained attorney Yetta Kurland in his defense, and is currently being arraigned at Manhattan Criminal Court. Kurland unsuccessfully ran for city council in 2009 for the 3rd District.