Occupy Tampa protesters claim police are targeting specific people for arrest
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11/21/11 Janelle Irwin
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Daiquiri Jones helps clean up Curtis Hixon Park in October.


photo by Janelle Irwin

As the number of arrests associated with Occupy Tampa has climbed to almost 30, some occupiers think police officers are targeting specific people. They say arrests for trespassing are made on an inconsistent basis.

Joseph “Felix” Perry has been arrested twice. He’s also been trespassed from both Kiley Garden and Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park which has left him unable to attend important meetings. He said if officers arrested him, there were others who should have been arrested as well.

“Officer Bucher decided that I was trespassing and he arrested me and it was a very directed personal attack because Officer Bucher apparently doesn’t like me very much. And he targeted me specifically out of a crowd. And it’s important to note that during my arrest and in the hour or so following it, people were in that street, in that round-about all night and no action was taken against them. Only myself and Ashley were arrested.”

And "Pepe" Kovanis, who was among one of the first Occupy Tampa protesters to be arrested, said the police are using big brother to keep regulars out of the parks.

“The police definitely come here and they videotape every incident that they’re out here. They definitely review those tapes to see who is here – who’s present, who’s been here – and then they target them with trespassing out of the park. We’ve had quite a few people get trespassed in the daytime for sitting in the park, for standing in the park, in my opinion to make it difficult for these people to maintain their presence here.”

Daiquiri Jones was arrested a second time for trespassing in Curtis Hixon Park during the opening of an outdoor ice rink on November 10th. He agreed that law enforcement seemed to be picking and choosing who to detain.

“I wasn’t making a big spectacle. There were other protesters with their signs. They were standing around, basically with signs, holding them up near the skating rink.”

“And they were in the same general area as you?”

“Yeah, they were in the same general area as me.”

“But they weren’t arrested?”

“None of them were arrested.”

“Do you feel that you were singled out at all?”

“Definitely. Again, they charged me with trespassing and I guess the trespass still applies for when I was arrested weeks earlier for the same situation.”

The Tampa Police Department did not respond to requests for comment by deadline. Protesters who have been trespassed from Curtis Hixon Park can still participate in events on the sidewalk along North Ashley Drive.

WMNF News' previous Occupy Tampa coverage

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Comments

Ya think???

Of course the Tampa Police are “targeting” specific protesters… agitators… and local ring leaders!!! You will get arrested once or twice… maybe even three times over the next few months!!! New “leaders” will show up to replace the old and likewise they too will be arrested!!! Your court dates will be set for a week or two before the Republican National Convention (in Tampa) and you will be made an “example of” in your convictions just before the “Big Party”!!! It serves multiple purposes… FIRST… it gets most if not all of the LOCAL ring leaders out of the mix for the protests planned for the NRC… for at least “30 days on the road”!!! SECOND… with the media coverage of the convictions (2 weeks prior to the convention) it will make the wanna-be’s… NOT… wanna-be!!! THIRD… with the absence of the LOCAL protest leadership… it will make the rest of the local 99%ers less likely to just “fall in line” with the herd!!! DAMN… don’t you just LOVE IT when a UNION plans ahead??? Good luck with that job hunting in 2013… with a MULTIPLE “Trespass” or even a “Resisting Arrest” charge in your back-ground check…

Experts

The Occupy Bozos are experts at playing the victim card.

Just Ignore them

I say just ignore the occupiers. Walk on them. Hose them off when you wash the sidewalk. They are human zeros who know nothing of poverty, deprivation, or suffering. That pepper spray might help them catch on tho. :)