Three young Seattle activists say they were arrested and harassed by the cops on September 7 in retaliation for testifying against the Seattle Police Department at a September 5 City Council Public Safety and Technology Committee meeting. At that meeting, the three testified with several others about police behavior at the August 25 Reclaim the Streets protest. They said cops weren't wearing name tags, and one officer pushed a woman around ["PhotoCop," Amy Jenniges, Sept 13].

In addition to what little the trio will say about the incident, their claim of cop retaliation can be pieced together from police reports and accounts from friends. The three were on Eastlake Avenue at Galer Street around 2 a.m. on September 7. A witness said they were breaking into an abandoned building, according to the police report.

One of the three--identified as the lookout on the police report--was waiting in a car at the scene. He says several police cars showed up to provide assistance to Officer B. J. Moore. The harassment began there, he says, when several cops recognized the trio "from TV." One officer told them the police watched a videotape of the Public Safety and Technology Committee testimony (the meetings are broadcast on the city's cable channel, TVSea).

All three were arrested and taken to the East Precinct, where they say they were once again harassed by the police. While they were in a holding cell, they say cop after cop came down the hall to look at them and laugh. Several officers called them "movie stars," and said they saw the testimony.

One of their friends relayed the story to a Seattle activist e-mail list: "[He] said a police officer told him something like, 'We're fucking with you because you testified against us at the city council meeting.'"

SPD spokesperson Duane Fish says officers do not watch the Public Safety and Technology meetings together, and he cannot verify the activists' story.

"I would certainly take their statement with a grain of salt," Fish says.

The three are afraid to talk about the incident. None of them wants to get in more trouble with the police, and they do not even want to be identified until they get lawyers.

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