Is the military snatching up G-20 protesters? I’m not so certain.
Prominently displayed on the Drudge Report this afternoon is a link to the video above, which purports to show military personnel grabbing a protester and driving away with him. Now, I’ve never pretended to be an expert on military personnel or operations, but something didn’t sit right with me about the video.
The first thing I noticed was the disparity in uniforms. The second thing I noticed was the difference in footwear. The car also stuck out to me, as I’ve never really seen soldiers in uniform driving around in a late-model unmarked car.
So I asked around. I asked a number of folks with military and law enforcement experience whether or not they thought this video actually showed military personnel snatching a protester, or if it was a ruse put on by protesters as an attempt to gin up support and besmirch the military in one step. Here are the responses I received:
They’re not military. That’s not how any trained Law Enforcement entity takes somebody into custody.
I dont know what to make of anything in that video. it appears to be some form of LEO further down the street but I think the whole thing might be fabricated.
The car is perfectly fine. A snatch and grab of the lead agitator is normal. Remove the head, and the snake withers. It prevents riots from getting out of control. What isn’t normal (per my dept policy, at least) is the use of only one car.
Notice the soft caps. Note that the men in the video aren’t wearing any cover at all.
Notice the vests and the boots. Note that the men in the video are wearing black polished boots.
The best I can offer is that maybe, MAYBE they’re on a tactical team from a local Police Agency, but they wouldn’t be using an unmarked car (neither would the military).
You don’t show up in uniform in an unmarked car.
The whole thing doesn’t make any sense.
It’s speculation on my part, and even on theirs, but I know that the whole episode doesn’t sit right with me. And with the power of viral videos these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was staged by G-20 protesters.
Still, on the other hand, free room for traffic is hard to come by in the areas of Pittsburgh affected by the protests and the G-20 summit, and the kid tossed into the car was carrying a backpack.
Long story short — I don’t know. But it doesn’t seem right to me that we should be implicating the military here without verification of the actions in question.