The Baltimore Uprising recently witnessed undercover police officers attempting to redirect marches and encouraging protesters to disperse. These agent provocateurs performed actions that gave their colleagues in uniform an excuse to crack down on protesters. Undercover cops are police departments’ latest tools to force compliance. Police’s crowd-control tactics, that include causing drama to sow discord and inciting protesters to act violently so that the protest movement loses credibility, are now being used more and more to clear out crowds, repress protestors defying the curfew, get rid of media and suppress peaceful and just protest movements.
In 2012 #BlackLivesMatter was launched after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman who had clearly murdered Trayvon Martin in cold blood. The movement gathered steam as daily headlines drive home the tragic fact that the cops were killing a black man, woman or child every 28 hours. During a protest in 2014, Michael Jaeger and George Buford, both listed as community policing officers or problem-solving officers — Oakland Police Department’s substitute for undercover cops, were caught posing as scruffy, hoodie-wearing protesters named Roy and Devon. The two undercover officers were assigned to follow the march and provide information to stop protesters from blocking highways.
In December 2014, an undercover cop pulled a gun on unarmed protesters, protesting the lack of indictments for the officers who had killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner, in Oakland.
Insane photo of an undercover cop pointing his gun at onlookers during the latest Eric Garner protest in Oakland. pic.twitter.com/Wk3YmsKAGE
— Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) December 11, 2014
NATO 5 case undercover, Danny Edwards or Sebastian Senakiewicz, an officer with the Chicago Police Department, is still spying On Chicago activists.
In October 2011, millions of Americans, who had lost their jobs and homes due to the bubble Wall Street created, launched the Occupy Wall Street movement to raise awareness about income inequality. By 2013, everyone forgot about the movement because the movement splintered and grew disorganized. The Occupy movement did not fizzle or fragment; the undercover cops infiltrated and weakened the protest against economic policies.
Seattle Police Department’s Incident Action Plan for May Day in 2012 identified multiple squads of “undercover” officers to be deployed in the protests. On page 16, the plan read: “Undercover officers will have the primary duty of information gathering, while plainclothes officers are responsible to ensure the safety of undercover officers while they are in the field”.
The undercover cops are still enticing and provoking genuine protesters to commit an illegal act or a crime discrediting, undermining and harming peaceful protests and demonstrations. The undercover cops continue to spy on protest movements; dissent is still treated as crime by governments.
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