20-Something, Austin, Hipstercrite Life, Writing

Occupy WallStreet Occupy Austin

Photo from ABC News

On our last night filming in New York City we were burglarized.

Our two lead actresses and female DP had their computers, camera, and tax paperwork stolen from the apartment they were staying in. The apartment is located in a co-op in Brooklyn that has a locked main entrance and individual locked doors for the apartments. This particular apartment door was left unlocked for a few hours and within this time, someone stole the items mentioned above.

When the three individuals discovered that their belongings had been stolen, they immediately called the police. The dispatcher told them that a police officer would not be sent to the apartment and that they needed to go to the police station to file a report. The three women all headed on foot to the police station. A male crew member called 911 not knowing that the DP had called the police and they dispatched a police officer to the apartment.  The police arrived to the apartment 30 minutes later not too pleased that the people who had their items stolen had left to go to the police station. “Who is the fucking idiot who told you to go to the police station? What stupid law enforcement individual told you that?” Not knowing how to respond, the crew member tried to explain what happened to the annoyed officers, but they became progressively more irked and accusatory. Just as the cops looked like they were about to leave, the three ladies showed up. The cops’ demeanor immediately changed, though they never lost their condescending attitude. There was a lot of f bombs, eye rolls, and machismo. The cops reluctantly filed a report and have expressed zero interest when one of the ladies believed she spotted her laptop for sale on Craigslist. The experience left everyone feeling like there is zero recourse when you are robbed in New York City. Plain and simply, the cops were just kind of jerky.

I get it. Over 8 million people live on tiny island where being held up or robbed is a rite of passage. There are simply too many crimes going on in the city to care about someone’s laptop being stolen, right? We left the door unlocked inside the building for a couple of hours. We should have assumed that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in NYC wants to rob us. Nonetheless, the police officers’ attitude was less than empathetic. Actually is was downright dismissive. Whether the police officer thought our (legitimate) claim was a waste of their time or not, having empathy during a time of stress and vulnerability is something you’d hope for when dealing with law enforcers.

This leads me to the #OccupyWallstreet protests and the reports of violent behavior from particular police officers. Reports of officers pepper spraying, dragging, kneeing, and holding down protestors are sweeping social media while many of the major outlets are afraid to come out and discuss. One of the most prominent reports was the seemingly unprovoked pepper spraying of  female protesters by Anthony Bologna. Below is a slow motion video of the attack.

There have also been reports of protesters with cameras being singled out, as seen below.

There are always two sides to the story. I try to keep an open mind when reading the news. However, what is interesting about these videos is that the attacks do seem completely uncalled for. Considering only one person has been arrested for assaulting a police officer, I think it’s fair to say that the protesters aren’t the ones provoking violence.

Having had our own recent negative experience with the NYPD, it makes me wonder what kind of America we live in where the people we look to enforce the law constantly break it?  I am not generalizing the entire NYPD force. We all know that it only takes a couple of bad seeds to create negative PR for an institution that helps people every day. Police officers who respect the law and human rights should be commended. Police officers who abuse their power should be held accountable. Just as the banks and investment firms who have hurt our economy should be held accountable. Should we stand by as the financial elite get bailed out for their selfish mismanagement while working class Americans continue to lose their jobs and struggle to survive? Should we stand by as hostile police officers attack peaceful protesters that have the right to ask this question?

If you’re living in Austin and are interested in becoming involved with @OccupyAustin, an assembly is planned for October 6th 10AM at Austin City Hall. Find more details on their website and Facebook page.

Hope to see you there!

What do you think of the #OccupyWallStreet protests?

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  • Reply Eric October 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I won’t be in Austin, but I’ll be showing my support in Minneapolis on Friday at 9AM.


    • Reply hipstercrite October 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Cool! Hey, was just showing someone a pic of your cat denim jacket, BTW.

  • Reply Lexi October 4, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Two cents- I’m from a law enforcement family & the first thing that popped into my head was there’s a big difference between being robbed & being burglarized. & the police response to each of these types of calls is very different. If the women explained to the dispatcher that they had simply left the door unlocked while they were out & stuff was stolen, then it’s treated as a low priority property crime. A walk to the precinct might not be unreasonable in a huge city. If the crew member called & reported that three women were robbed, then it’s a whole different story. Robbing involves taking property by force or with a weapon. This is a high priority call & an officer will be immediately dispatched. Now, knowing that, can you imagine the officer arriving on the scene & finds out there wasnt a robbery? Not even a victim? The cop has taken this call over a multitude of other waiting calls bc he thought someone could be injured. It would put me in a bad mood, too…

    • Reply hipstercrite October 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Hey Lexi! Thanks for your comment. I’ve changed the word “robbed” to “burglarized”. Jeez. You’d think I’d know the difference! Yeah, we all agree that this wasn’t like some serious thing, but it was just the way the cops spoke to us. It made everyone feel terrible. The ladies walked to the station because whomever picked up at the police station told them to. You know, I think you get spoiled living in other places than NYC. Cops don’t often talk to you like you’re stupid. I called 911 once recently because I thought someone was in my house (there wasn’t). Six cops came with guns drawn and everything. I felt like an ass but they were ok with it. Didn’t talk to me like I was stupid for calling 911. It’s just unfortunate that NYC has become a place where you feel that calling to police really isn’t the best option.

  • Reply girluntitled October 5, 2011 at 12:44 am

    you all need to move to canada.

  • Reply Shoestring Austin October 5, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Having lived in NYC, I think that one should ALWAYS assume everyone is out to jack your shit, at all times, period. You don’t have to resort to macing people, or anything, but if you’re always protecting your valuables with an eagle-eye, they won’t get stolen.

    As for Occupy Austin, I say power to the people. The Fat Cats in power need to hear that we, the 99%, are not going to sit back and let them rape us out of the 1% of wealth and power they think they control. It’s ours, too, y’know?

    • Reply hipstercrite October 5, 2011 at 2:18 am

      Yeah. It’s just sad that NYC is that way and it’s sad that the cops have become desensitized to it and I feel because of that certain cops don’t give a flying rat’s patootie about human beings. Why the f would anyone ever want to live in NYC? Being from Upstate, I always wanted to live in the city, now I wonder what kid crack I was smoking. Seriously, living in Austin spoils you. Or maybe just made me more naive? It doesn’t have to be a struggle to live somewhere though…

  • Reply Jonathan Manor October 12, 2011 at 4:27 am

    That’s a really offensive video to watch. I could never be like that to women, I can’t imagine what part went wrong in a cop’s head that he feels it’s okay to have a pepper spray walk by and disappear, and feel okay about it.

    What a dick!

    • Reply hipstercrite October 12, 2011 at 4:56 am

      I know. It’s upsetting to watch. Dudes who have the ability to hit women frighten and anger me. There is no place for them.

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