Notes on Newt Gingrich in Staten Island

A few extraneous items that didn’t make it into my Salon piece on Gingrich’s campaign appearance in Staten Island this past weekend.

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What Happened at Occupy Newark Last Night?

Yesterday I stopped by @OccupyNewark for the start of its encampment in Military Park. Police had informed demonstrators that the park’s 9pm curfew was going to be enforced, and that they’d “do whatever they had to do.”

It should be noted that curfews are just about never enforced at this park, where homeless and mentally ill people sleep every night.

But regardless, a crew of officers showed up ahead of the deadline. One officer, Sgt. A. Martin of the Newark Emergency Service Unit, said he supported the Occupy Movement, though wasn’t very clear on all the details of it. “I’m a working man, you know?” he said. Continue Reading →

The NYPD’s Disdain for the Rule of Law

Longtime observers of NYPD tactics at events associated with Occupy Wall Street may recognize TARU officer Ray Rivera. Short for Technical Assistance Response Unit, TARU officers have been present at nearly every major Occupy event, wielding handheld camcorders to document all the action, and Rivera has always been at the fore.

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Can you help identify this NYPD official? Update: Identified!

UPDATE: This individual has been identified as Lt. Dan Albano, a top lawyer in the NYPD Legal Affairs Bureau.

I first encountered this NYPD official on October 8, near the perimeter of Washington Square Park. He was conferencing with a number of other plain-clothes officials, presumably in preparation for that day’s Occupy Wall Street march, which had left from Liberty Plaza and was headed towards the park. When I asked this man if he was with the NYPD, he replied — derisively, of course — “I’m the plumber.”

According to NYPD patrol guide procedure 203-09 (PDF), effective June 27, 2003, all “members of the service” are required to “Courteously and clearly state [their] rank, name, shield number and command, or otherwise provide them, to anyone who requests [they] do so. [They also must] allow the person ample time to note this information.” Continue Reading →


Derek Jeter strides to homeplate. M. Guzio, July 2011.

Photos and Reflections from The Response

Here are some previously unreleased (OMG!) photos that I took at The Response last weekend in Houston. Also, some reflections. There was a lot to think about!

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