An Occupy Miami protest in downtown on Tuesday, timed to coincide with May Day demonstrations by Occupiers across the country, involved a clash between protesters and police that ended with three arrests and accusations of violence by both sides.
According to the Miami Herald, “Rolando Prieto, 23, of Miami, was charged with obstructing the public right of way and inciting a riot. Brian Tangherlin, 22, of Miami was charged with resisting without violence and obstructing the public right of way. Alfredo Quintana, 24, of Miami Lakes, was charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting with violence.”
The YouTube video embedded above shows Quintana’s arrest. Quintana, who was also arrested in January during an Occupy Miami protest at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, told the Huffington Post that the police officer assaulted him without cause: “He was a little fat, and he hit me,” Quintana said. “I got right-hooked.”
More from the HuffPo story:
The arresting officer wrote in his incident report that it was Quintana who struck first during the commotion surrounding Tangherlin’s arrest.
“When he could not get his friend free, he began to punch at the Lt. hitting him in the head one time. I attempted to gain control of [Quintana] but was pushed back in the chest. While falling back [Quintana] was struck in the face twice by me while falling back.”
The officer said Quintana pushed him down on his bicycle, causing a cut to his leg, before fleeing the scene.
For its part, Occupy Miami claimed in a press release issued Tuesday night “that Miami police escalated what was a peaceful protest by pulling three individuals out of the crowd of 100 in front of the Wells Fargo and beating them with fists and batons. They also punched our live stream media in the face and nearly broke his phone.”
The group, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street that sprung up in early October to protest corporate greed, was near the end of its May Day march when the clash with police happened, according to the press release. “While the protestors had not instigated any problems, the police [had] been escalating the action towards violence for most of the march by running cars and bicycles into the peaceful marchers.”