Legal observer of Occupy protest gets in the fray

November 19, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

From Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, a discussion with Karen Smith, a retired judge who had served on the New York Supreme Court:

JUDGE KAREN SMITH (ret.): I was wearing—and I brought this—a hat, which says the “National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer.” And as you can see, in color, it’s quite bright. And at night—

AMY GOODMAN: It’s fluorescent green.

JUDGE KAREN SMITH (ret.): It’s fluorescent green. And then I was wearing it, and I had a pad and a pen, and I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested so we could follow them through the system and just observe what was going on. And as I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, “I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.” And he said, “Move on, lady.” And he kept pushing—they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she said—and she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head. And I walk over, and I say, “Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.” And he said, “Lady, do you want to get arrested?” And I said, “Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.” He said, “You want to get arrested?” And he pushed me up against the wall.


Category: Corporatocracy, populism, Protests and Actions

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Tom says:

    Why can’t we see these stories in the evening news????? Where’s Maury Safer, and Brian Williams, and Anderson Cooper when stuff like this is going down? They seem to have no problem being in Kairo, or spending WEEKS of hour upon hour of reporting in exhausting detail about the goings on with Libyan Rebels. Yet have unrest about very legitimate middle class grievances, and we get a 60 second soundbyte muttering something like “There WAS SOME violence” as if to make sure the ugly side stands taller than PERTINENT ISSUES.
    God how I miss Chet Huntley!

  2. Mike M. says:


    The mainstream media operates as the voicebox of the Government. They (the Media) tell you what they (Gov’t) want you to hear, and what they want you to think, and what they want you to repeat like programmed robots. They are the ventriloquists, and guess who are the dummies.

  3. NIklaus Pfirsig says:

    Mike M,
    Guess again. I’ll give you a hint though. Stephen Burke

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