3 Officers to Face Discipline for Detaining City Officials at Parade - NYTimes.com
Mr. Williams said he believed racial bias fueled the episode in which he and Mr. Foy, an aide to the public advocate, were stopped by police officers after walking down a sidewalk that had been closed because of the parade. Despite identifying himself a councilman, Mr. Williams said he was handcuffed. Mr. Foy was pushed to the ground by a police officer and also arrested, a video of the episode showed. Mr. Williams and Mr. Foy are black.
The men said they were originally granted permission by a high-ranking officer to walk down the closed sidewalk.
At the risk of de-emphasizing the likely racial nature of this, I think there’s another point lurking in here waiting to be made. Let’s see if I can tease it out gracefully. Apologies up front if I completely bungle it.
The victims, in addition to being black, are city officials. I wonder if this fact alone is enough to result in discipline for the officers involved. While it seems clear this kind of thing might not have transpired in quite the same way if the city officials had been white, I also think that there is a marked difference between how their complaint was handled and how the complaints of peaceful OWS protesters might be handled. That is, if police use excessive force on protesters (racially motivated or not), do the officers involved face the same level of discipline?