ONTD Political

A clear case of attack by wheelchair

10:09 am - 12/15/2010
The police like to set their public relations department a special Christmas challenge, don't they? Because that's the only explanation for them being filmed on the anti-fees demonstration, chucking a disabled man out of his wheelchair and shoving him along the road, unless it was to enjoy telling their PR team, "Stick a positive spin on that for us, could you?"

Ben Brown of the BBC tried his best, when he interviewed Jody McIntyre, the man who was dislodged, and said aggressively: "There's a suggestion that you were rolling in the direction of the police." Now, let's suppose this was the case (which I can't help but doubt), how much force is needed, I wonder, to stop a man with cerebral palsy who keeps rolling, even when asked to stop?

Presumably the police turned to each other in shock, spluttering: "Oh my God, he's rolling straight for us. These riot shields and helmets with visors offer woefully inadequate protection against such a persistent rolling machine. If we're lucky our batons can buy us some time, but his momentum is terrifying, it's like a cerebral palsy tsunami."

Maybe this is how to win in Afghanistan. We recruit a multiple sclerosis battalion to roll mercilessly through Helmand province and the Taliban will run away shrieking in fear.

Even as they showed the film on the news, Ben Brown said it "appeared to show Mr Mcintyre being pulled from his wheelchair", with a lingering ambiguous "appeared", as if he was going to add: "but it turned out to be a stunt staged by Derren Brown. We were misled by the power of suggestion, and when you look more closely you can see it's a butterfly landing on a petal."

This process started on the day of the demonstration, when live footage of mounted police charging into the crowd and swinging batons was accompanied by a reporter saying: "It looks as if the crowd are getting restless." This is a common disorder among news reporters, which ought to have a name such as "Confused Baton Charge Back-to-Front Bashed and Basher Syndrome". Sufferers would make novel boxing commentators, saying: "Audley Harrison is lashing out with tremendous aggression there as he stares with a blank, concussed expression into the paramedic's torch."

They might also consider Alfie Meadows, who was so restless he ended up in hospital in a critical condition, having a brain operation after being whacked with a police truncheon. It has also emerged that, when he arrived there, the police insisted he should be taken somewhere else as that hospital was to be used only by their officers. So there seems to be a misunderstanding of how hospitals work, with the Metropolitan Police under the impression they have the same system as restaurants. So you arrive unconscious, then a porter says, "Do you have a reservation?" But if it's busy you get told, "I'm sorry sir, we're fully booked this evening. The police have taken all three wards I'm afraid, but if you survive the night you're welcome to see if we've a brain surgeon available tomorrow."

And yet most coverage of the demonstration has surrounded the violence of the students. Maybe this is because most reporters and politicians believe with such fervour the police are innately honourable, and demonstrators are troublesome, they can't help but see such a one-sided view. But imagine the uproar if a policeman had needed a brain operation after being hit by a student, or if students announced that following recent events they were investigating getting a water cannon, or that a reporter might angrily ask Camilla, "But there's been a suggestion you were rolling towards the demonstrators."

Or maybe the incident with Jody McIntyre is nothing to do with students, and this is the new test for anyone on disability benefit. The police sling you on the floor, poke you about a bit, and if you manage to roll anywhere, there is clearly nothing wrong with you and you get your payments cut.

Source: Mark Steel for the Independent
spinnigold 15th-Dec-2010 02:34 pm (UTC)
It has also emerged that, when he arrived there, the police insisted he should be taken somewhere else as that hospital was to be used only by their officers.

I actually took an audible intake of breath at that point. I'm sorry, but what? What?What?

I don't even
spinnigold 15th-Dec-2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Fabulous comment at the source, though:

The username really makes it for me.
lots42 15th-Dec-2010 03:11 pm (UTC)
Security issues? I can see not wanting to place an injured protester in the same room as a really injured cop.
kerrypolka 15th-Dec-2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Security issues?

Yeah, that's a good point, actually. The cops were probably worried about not being able to control themselves around such a restless young person, and wanted to prevent further injury to him by keeping him away from them.
lots42 15th-Dec-2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
No, I'm going with my original idea of keeping injured people who have differences with each other away from each other.
kerrypolka 15th-Dec-2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
Since the cops were the aggressors, and the kid had a BRAIN INJURY THAT GETS WORSE THE LONGER YOU WAIT TO OPERATE, it makes more sense for the police to leave if that was the issue, doesn't it?

Edited at 2010-12-15 03:21 pm (UTC)
lots42 15th-Dec-2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Whatever the doctor thinks should happen makes more sense.
kerrypolka 15th-Dec-2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, definitely.

His mother added: "The ambulance man took us to Chelsea and Westminster hospital. That [hospital] had been given over to police injuries and there was a standoff in the corridor. Alfie was obviously a protester and the police didn't want him there, but the ambulance man insisted that he stayed."

She said that he was then asked to take Alfie to another hospital. "The ambulance man was appalled and he said: 'I'm getting angry now, and I'm not going to do this.'
booksforlunch 15th-Dec-2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
Holy ... what WRONG with people?
kitanabychoice 15th-Dec-2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
I doubt that a kid needing brain surgery is really going to get up and start beating up his roommate that happens to be an injured cop. Anything can happen, naturally, but I'm going to venture out on a limb and say that the odds of this is low.

Never mind me.

Edited at 2010-12-15 03:28 pm (UTC)
kerrypolka 15th-Dec-2010 04:29 pm (UTC)
His stretcher could start to roll toward the cop, thus forcing the officer to pull him out of it and drag him across a concrete road for a few yards! Think of the poor police :(
lots42 15th-Dec-2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
You are being sarcastic, but seriously, an injured cop is, yanno, injured.
spinnigold 15th-Dec-2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
I'm glad someone else has addressed the problems with your comment, because seriously. SERIOUSLY.
lots42 15th-Dec-2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
Don't be silly. There are no problems with the concepts of seperating injured protestors and injured cops.
spinnigold 15th-Dec-2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
That wasn't what you were suggesting though.
"I can see not wanting to place an injured protester in the same room as a really injured cop." suggests that the cop in danger here. THAT is what people took issue with.
lots42 15th-Dec-2010 06:21 pm (UTC)
If you are think 'THE specific cop in this specific situation' then you have somewhat of a point. Seperating cops and protestors as a concept is a good idea.
spinnigold 15th-Dec-2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
If you meant the 'concept' then you should have paid more attention to your phrasing. That is the issue everyone is having. You phrased it badly.

Plus, vis a vis not letting a kid into a hospital, it doesn't actually relate to the wheelchair incident, but to an earlier incident where a police officer gave a student such a blow to the head that it caused bleeding on the brain. A person in that sort of position is hardly going to be of danger to police EITHER and he is generally drifting in and out of conciousness.
Also, the majority of police injuries have been very minor compared to the student injuries.
atypia 15th-Dec-2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
I have nothing to say that isn't just incoherant rage, so I'm just going to post a silly .gif.

Now maybe I could understand being scared of someone wheeling towards them in that chair (I like the imagine the arm rests hide gun barrels)
theartistprince 15th-Dec-2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
I'm losing more and more faith in the police as the days go by

and I didn't have that much to begin with. It's been a life lesson for me to always listen to Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Easy-motherfucking-E.
arisma 15th-Dec-2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
The police are in a box with very thick 'break in case of emergency' glass for me. If I don't NEED them and can avoid them, I'm not going to risk it.
chaya 15th-Dec-2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
Special bonus: he can't even operate the wheelchair on his own. His brother was pushing him.

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