Occupy Movement News Update of the Day: Demonstrator Felix Rivera-Pitre, who was involved in a serious altercation with an NYPD officer, spoke out in the aftermath of the incident to insist that he did nothing to provoke Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona’s right hook.
“The cop just lunged at me full throttle and hit me on the left side of my face,” Rivera-Pitre, a former dancer from Queens, told Gothamist. “It tore my earring out.” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne disputes this claim, saying Rivera-Pitre provoked the attack by attempting to assault Cardona.
The police are seeking to arrest Rivera-Pitre on several charges, but his attorney Ronald Kuby warned against pursuing that line of action.
“On the off chance they were intending to arrest him for injuring the captain’s fist with his jaw, I strongly suggest that you decide not to add insult to injury and avoid such a retaliatory move,” Kuby wrote in a letter to the NYPD.
Rivera-Pitre said he chose the identify himself after leaving the scene because his injury caused blood to be spilled, and he is HIV-positive. “That cop should get tested,” he was quoted as saying.
Video of the incident follows:
In addition to the above video, a second angle shows Rivera-Pitre walking away before being turned around by Cardona and struck in the face.
Elsewhere, some 82 countries held solidarity protests, some of which were far more restive than their American counterpart.
Answering the call for a worldwide rally, tens of thousands marched through hundreds of cities across the globe, including Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Hong Kong, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, and Toronto.
Protesters in London were visited by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who was placed under house arrest nearly a year ago. Assange rallied the attendees with a short speech before being escorted away by the police.
In Rome, a peaceful protest turned violent, with masked demonstrators setting cars on fire and damaging buildings. Police attempted to disperse the crowd with tear gas and water cannons, but rioters pushed back with rocks and fireworks. Dozens were injured on both sides, and Italian Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi called for the identification and punishment of those involved.
Back in New York, demonstrators marched on Chase and Citibank, with some withdrawing their money in protest. “A bank that got billions in bailouts and cut jobs doesn’t need my savings,” Brooklynite Biola Jeje told the Daily News.
According to reports, at least 20 people were arrested near the Citibank on La Guardia Place. A similar standoff outside the Chase Bank branch at Astor Place ended without any arrests.
A potentially “historic” Occupation Party is scheduled to take place in Times Square later this afternoon.
Live Updates: New York Daily News; Occupy Wall Street. Hashtags: #ows; #occupytogether; #globalchange; #occupy; #o15.
[gothamist / nydn: 1,2 / cnn / 15october / japantimes / globalvoices / newsfeed / abcnews / thelocal / elpais / bloomberg / ap / mediaite / reuters / rt / top.]
Yeaaaahhhh… that guy was literally not doing anything to provoke that attack. He was walking the other way when the cop turned him around and gave him a good punch to the face.