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My Education takes on F. W. Murnau’s Sunrise this Friday at Discovery Green
September 11, 2012 – 12:32 pm | No Comment

Back around 2008 or so Austin post-rock darlings My Education started tinkering around with an creating an original score to F. W. Murnau’s 1927 silent film classic Sunrise: A Song For Two Humans ( you can watch the film …

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Update: HPD Internal Affairs looking into shotgun incident

Submitted by Alex_Wukman on February 13, 2012 – 8:00 amOne Comment
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By Alex Wukman

You’ve either seen it or heard about it. A video that surfaced last week allegedly shows an HPD officer, responding to a noise complaint at a late January party held by the Houston Free Thinkers, pulling a shotgun on a crowd of people. When the social networks the media got a hold of the video it epitomized the virality of the internet and quickly the story seemed to be everywhere in Houston. And it quickly got the people arrested labeled everything from conspiracy theorists to fakers with some commentators even going so far as to say that they called the cops themselves and set the whole thing up to get publicity for their group.

Derrick Broze, one of the men arrested in the video, said that the video is legitimate and that it’s not the first time that the police have paid an unexpected visit to a Houston Free Thinkers, HFT, event. Broze said that in the nearly one year that HFT has been holding fundraisers they’ve dealt with the cops “a lot,” but January 27 was the first time that HPD showed up with “five to 1o patrol cars.” In a written statement Broze described the party prior to HPD’s arrival as being “packed with hundreds of people, over 20 bands and DJ’s.” Broze estimated that there were between “200 and 300″ people at the event. He went on to say that the officers showed up at 10:15 p.m.-or just after a sound permit expires.

Broze said that when HPD arrived on the scene party organizers volunteered to shut down the outdoor portion of the event but law enforcement told them they had to “shut it all down.” His writtend statement goes on to say that while event staff were negotiating with the police “several officers began looking around the private property” where the event was being held. In a move that seemed to designed to piss off the cops Broze asked if they had a warrant. The exchange he describes next is all to familiar to anyone who has ever been on the wrong side of an arrest.

“[I] was immediately asked if I had identification. I informed the officer I was not operating a motor vehicle and therefore was not carrying ID, but offered my full name and birth date and made it clear to the officers I was not failing to identify myself. The same officer asked me to come with him to his car, and I asked if I was being detained.

Upon being told I was not being detained I told him I would remain where I was. He then grabbed me by the arm and attempted to pull me to his car. I stepped back and asked why I was being assaulted. I informed the officer that I respected him but was not going anywhere. He then grabbed me and dragged me out the back to the street and pushed me to the backside of the car.”

Admittedly, Broze’s responses read like something learned from the Alex Jones school of civil liberties: heavy on the technicalities of the law and light on understanding the fact that if a cop wants to take you to jail you go to jail. Period. End of story. Once Broze was in custody the situation breaks down into competing viewpoints. In Broze’s description the party goers, “upset at seeing someone from the community taken away,” began to “exercise their first amendment” rights and “express their discontent for the situation.” Another point of view, the one reported by local media, characterizes the crowd as “angry,” “out of control” and “under the influence.” Regardless of whether or not you believe HFT when they say they were just having a party with 200 of their closest friends and HPD came by and started some shit ,or the line the neighbors are saying about things being loud and crazy before the cops got there, what happened next isn’t being disputed. Broze was taken down to the Reisner Street Hotel, booked on a charge of failure to obey a lawful order and held for 15 hours. Now considering how often HPD has “computer problems” or suffers from “lost paperwork” 15 hours isn’t that bad.

Only time will tell whether the officer who pulled the shotgun will face any discipline action, but early bets are against it. After all law enforcement officials are saying that the officer waiving around the boom stick didn’t violate any policy or procedure. Broze told Free Press that he met with HPD’s Internal Affairs on Friday February 10 and that a Sgt. Batts took his statement. He went on say that Sgt. Batts told him “the Chief is focusing on this investigation because of the media attention” which is odd because HPD Chief Charles McClelland issued a statement the day the video hit the web that sounded like a standard piece of blow-off.

McClelland’s statement:

“”We are working to identify all the officers in the video and will initiate an inquiry to determine all the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident. We will be thorough in our review and if we determine policy violations occurred ensure appropriate corrective actions.”

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