Originally Published in PINAC News
Dominique Knox was peacefully protesting the police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a Cleveland City Council meeting on Monday when he was unlawfully arrested by the Cleveland Police, the same agency that killed Tamir, who was legally playing with a pellet gun in the open-carry state of Ohio.
The entire illegal arrest can be seen in the two videos below.
What is not seen in the videos is that immediately after his arrest, two officers took Dominique Knox into a private room and interrogated him.
This morning, PINAC news spoke with Knox, who told us that one of the officers asked him, “What group organized this protest? Who is the leader?”
According to Knox, the other officer then asked the first officer:
“Should we turn off the body cameras?”
Knox told PINAC that, “At first I was worried for my safety, but then I decided it was just a scare tactic.”
The first officer then motioned with his hand for the second officer to shut up, according to Knox.
The City Council hearing at which Knox was arrested for peacefully protesting was the first hearing the Cuyohgoa County district attorney, who is prosecuting the case of the cop who killed Tamir Rice, leaked two reports that call the killing of Tamir Rice “justified,” Both reports have been called into question for the bias of their “experts,” and the decision to release them has been roundly criticized by activist and legal experts alike.
Numerous demonstrators took to the hearing to protest, as can be seen in the inset photograph, solemnly standing in the back of the hearing, holding photographs of Tamir.Things got heated when the city council suggested that Cleveland has a history of prosecuting bad cops.
As you can see in the video, protesters began shouting that only black cops have been prosecuted.
At that point, a Cleveland police officer lunges into the crowd without giving any warning, and without any apparent justification, and grabbed Dominique Knox.
The officer dragged Knox through the narrow passageway between seats, ripping off his shirt.
Three other officers then participated in lifting Knox to his feet by his wrists.
No attempt to handcuff or read Knox his rights was made, and the Cleveland officers quickly shuffled him behind a hidden door.
As many on social media pointed out, there was no apparent reason that Dominique Knox was singled out.
But he was the only black man taking part in the protest standing and holding signs.
— Alison Kareem (@AlisonKareem) October 20, 2015
After the arrest, the other protesters erupted, accusing the Cleveland police officers of false arrest.
But perhaps the most deafening sound was the utter silence from the Cleveland City Council members.
Cleveland’s top elected city officials can be seen in the video calmly sitting in their chairs as the police rip the shirt off a peaceful protester and drag him out of their chambers.
One of the arresting officers can be heard saying Knox was arrested for “Unlawful Yelling” around 2:55 in the top video shown below
However, Knox told PINAC news that he was released last night, after being held for approximately 24 hours, without being charged with anything. During his time in holding, he says officers said they were going to charge him with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct – which readers of this blog know all-too-well is code for “contempt of cop” and largely used to cover for police violence and violation of rights – but at about 8pm last night, the cops abruptly told him to grab his things and released him.
He did not see a judge and he was not issued a ticket, strongly suggesting a case of illegal detainment in attempt to silence protected free speech. Knox told PINAC he will be pursing a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland for the violations.
Knox also told us that he thinks the police were trying to bring false charges against him, but then saw the video posted on-line, and realized they had no case.
In our interview, Know requested that everyone who hears about his case keep pushing for justice for Tamir and other victims of state violence.
“Don’t let the police intimidate you,” Knox said. “And don’t let them get away with it when they do stuff like this.”
“Get out and join the struggle.”