Members of Occupy Minnesota are accusing police of abusing their power by using physical violence to arrest demonstrators peacefully protesting at a foreclosed home in Minneapolis.
“In the latest incident in an ongoing showdown, officers violently arrested occupiers peacefully defending the Cruz family home from foreclosure Wednesday night,” according to a statement from Occupy Homes Minnesota.
Mayor R.T. Rybak’s office on Tuesday had indicated it was done arresting protesters at foreclosed homes because “the City is not in the foreclosure business.”
“The City plays a limited role to protect public safety,” a statement from the mayor’s office said. “The property is the responsibility of its owner.”
“We hoped Mayor Rybak would stick to his word, but today’s police violence shows Rybak and his police protect and serve the banks, not our communities,” Cruz family representative Martha Ockenfels-Martinez said.
Protesters claimed police officers, including Minneapolis Chief Tim Dolan, were carrying large batons and using physical violence to arrest 14 protesters.
Minneapolis Police spokesman Sergeant William Palmer insisted to KARE that no inappropriate force was used during the police action.
“The banks are stealing our homes through illegal and fraudulent practices while refusing to work with families, and they are aided and abetted by the mayor and police,” Nick Espinosa, who was arrested on Wednesday, explained. “If anyone should be arrested it’s the bankers that crashed our economy while paying themselves record bonuses with our tax dollars.”
Watch this video from KARE, broadcast May 31, 2012.
Watch this video uploaded to UStream on May 30, 2012.