Occupy Tampa protester says officers used excessive force while arresting two protesters Sunday night

01/30/12 Janelle Irwin
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Two Occupy Tampa protesters were arrested last night while marching along North Dale Mabry. The march was in response to more than 400 arrests and the use of chemicals at Occupy Oakland. This morning WMNF’s Janelle Irwin spoke with Occupy Tampa member Daniel Walford about the Tampa arrests.

“We were marching in solidarity with Oakland, CA because they got shot and Tasered and smoked gassed the other night.”

“And a couple of your people were arrested during that march. Can you tell me about those arrests?”

“One of them was an older woman named Marisol. They asked us to get out of the street and she was in solidarity with Oakland so, she decided to stay in the streets. And, they snatched her up and slammed her on top of the cop car.”

“Now, when you say they snatched her up and slammed her against the car, do you think there was excessive force there?”

“Yes there was.”

“And what happened after that?”

“And one of our other fellow mates started jumping up and down on the side of the road – wasn’t even in the road – and they snatched him up and slammed him up against the cop car too with excessive force.”

“Where did all of this happen?”

“Right outside of Mons Venus.”

“So, what are your plans going forward? Have these two individuals been released that you know of?”

“I know one of them is out on bond right now, but I don’t know about the other one.”

“Do you guys have any plans to take action against what happened last night or is it just going to be business as usual?”

“Business as usual.”

According to a press release from the Tampa Police Department, Marisol Marouani was arrested for obstructing a street or sidewalk and resisting arrest without violence. Seth Collins was also arrested and charged with assault on a law enforcement officer. The press release said Collins aggressively approached an officer with his fists clenched. But on its website, Occupy Tampa says there is video that disputes this account. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s website says both protesters were released just before 3 o’clock this morning.

Video provided by Occupy Tampa of the arrests is below beginning at 6:30

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