Retired Philly Police Captain Raymond Lewis Arrested with Other Occupy Wall Street Activists; He Says It Was the Proudest Moment of His Life

UPDATE (12/9/11):

All of a sudden, I saw all the traffic coming to this article, and I found out why.

This seems to be a week when iconoclasts are getting hit for taking a stand.  QuestLove of  The Roots, the house band for Jimmy Fallon, got sanctioned by NBC execs for musically introducing candidate Michelle Bachmann as a lying-ass bitch–thanks to Fishbone–when frankly, he’s not alone in believing it.   And now, Captain Raymond Lewis, Occupy Wall Street supporter, has been threatened by a  Philadelphia police commissioner as well as the head of the police union with the cessation of his pension and benefits if he continues to wear his captain’s uniform.

They actually compared it to someone wearing their cop uniform to a Klan rally.

Now that analogy is rather foul.  Especially when, to my knowledge, many cops sympathetic to or members of the Klan confidently knew each other and what they were capable of, and even wore their cop clothing to lynchings, beatings and other lethal behaviors, knowing that they wouldn’t be jacked up by higher-ups in the government and the law.  These were extralegal acts that were basically aiding and abetting crimes of assault and murder.

It’s not a crime to protest anything, no matter what the Faux Noise symps believe.

As far as I am concerned, Retired Captain Lewis rescues that uniform from being debased by such previous actions.   Lewis wearing that uniform returns it to the ideal that policemen are for everyone and protect all of us, not just a privileged few–whether it is economic or color privilege.

On the other hand, as much as I love Retired Captain Lewis’ courage for saying that he would not be bullied, and he would continue to wear his uniform, I would hate for him to lose his pension and benefits, at his age and in these times.  Brother, wear a part of your uniform.  Stay in the fight, and bring home the bacon.  Even The Roots know that the Jimmy Fallon gig is a “day job”.


The old brother guy just could not take watching from the sidelines any more.  And yeah, I said it.  I think that he’s a light-skinned black man or bi-(tri-) racial (Latino) from his looks, but I could stand correction.  He’s also hooked up with the anti-fracking movement in upstate New York.  This guy is busy.

First, there was Iraq War veteran Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas who shouted at the NYPD that there was no honor in busting the heads of nonviolent protesters.   Then, there was Iraq War veteran, former Marine and Veterans for Peace activist Scott Olsen from Wisconsin who came home tired of war but fairly whole, only to be critically  wounded in Oakland, CA by a police tear gas projectile launched at his head during Occupy activities there.  Even people who immediately came to his aid when he went down were also hit by either tear gas or a flash projectile.

Olsen is slowly regaining his speech after losing it from the impact of the head wound, but outrage by fellow Marines around the country at the news of his injury, as well as support for Shamar Thomas’ rant, began the Occupy Marines movement.

Retired Captain Ray Lewis as he was arrested on Thursday, November 17 at Zuccotti Park near Wall Street, New York (Courtesy: Johnny Milano)

Now there is retired Captain Lewis who is yet the latest former officer/former soldier (military or police) to publicly throw his support to the demonstrators.  And he can definitely speak for himself, too.

The retired captain spoke later to the New York Observer:

“I, along with other protesters that I saw, were treated exemplary and professionally,” he said.

We asked if fellow police officers had commented at all on his actions. “One said, ‘You’ve got the biggest balls,’” said Mr. Lewis. “Another said he had the utmost respect for what I’m doing.” Other officers were more discreet, but Mr. Lewis said he also got a few winks and nods.

Mr. Lewis plans to spend at least another week in New York City and told us he is lodged in “the cheapest hotel that I can find.” He added that cheap hotels unfortunately come with problems.

“I’m going to have Thanksgiving at the square,” he said.

Various sources have claimed that while Captain Lewis was charged with three violations, the charges were dropped by the time he was released.

All that encouragement–and from police who are either still sitting on the fence or still following orders.  I’m just wondering what will it finally take for these guys to join people who are not dirty hippies, who are not refusing to find a job, and who aren’t addicted to the public tit.

Yeah, those cheap hotels come with roaches, women of the night with their johns, druggies and so forth.  But like I said, it looks like he can speak for himself and defend himself as well.  I pray for his safety, nonetheless.

Remember that Captain Lewis is not a leader.  He is a symbol.  He deserves all respect.  And in respecting him, people also respect the very best of policemen.

~ by blksista on November 22, 2011.

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