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Vancouver Police Brutally Assault Eight Eastside Residents

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Vancouver Police Brutally Assault 8 Eastside Residents.
At approximately 2:30 AM on Sunday, February 29th, members of the Vancouver Police Department attacked six women and two men returning home from a show at the Waldorf.

The eight eastside residents were walking up Hastings Street, when police arrived on the scene, and confronted the residents.

Women from the group asked why they were being stopped. Responses from the attending officers were hostile as one of the women questioning their actions was shoved and told to "shut up" by the officers.

Officers refused to respond to any other questions, provide reason for detainment, or acknowledge their badge numbers to the group, and responded with hostility. The officers became physically aggressive and grabbed one of the women under the guise of trying to arrest her.

At this point, several other back up officers arrived at the scene and began to assault the others from the group.

Batons and pepper spray at close-range were employed on all of the seven resulting in injuries from bruising to fractured ribs.

One woman was hospitalized with an injury to her eye and head, and four people were knocked unconscious at the scene.

A 911 call was made at the scene by a witness bystander. Seven people required medical attention on the scene and at the police precinct.

“I saw five police kicking and punching one woman who was handcuffed, face down and her feet restrained, she was screaming for help, and I was telling them to stop,” said eyewitness Kathleen Yearwood.

At the height of the police riot, there were approximately 30 police and 15 cars, and Hastings Street was shut down for two hours. People on the street who were requesting the police stop the violence were threatened with arrest.

After the assaults and arrests which continued for over an hour, seven people were held in custody for 18 hours and are now facing criminal charges for obstruction, mischief and assault on police officers.

It is suspected that police were particularly cruel to these individuals as they are well-known political activists from the Downtown Eastside community.

Witnesses to the event were shocked at the illegality and unprovoked violence from the police.

On March 9, 2004 at 9am the seven defendants will be in court for their first appearance. We are asking for your support and donations to assist in legal defense and in moving forward with legal action against the Vancouver Police Department.

This is not an isolated incident. This happens to people everyday in the Downtown Eastside. We cannot allow the increased police forces in Vancouver to barricade us in our homes for fear of violent reprisals.

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Sun, Jul 5, 2009 11:00AM
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