Perhaps you've seen it, the video of former Marine Corps sergeant Shamar Thomas accusing New York City police of brutality against Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Since the footage was posted Oct. 16 on YouTube, left-wing media have embraced Thomas as their one of their own, showering him with attention while avoiding potentially awkward questions about his background, such as Thomas's claim that his mother fought in Iraq and his father was deployed to Afghanistan. (video and audio clips after page break)
Thomas appeared on Ed Schultz's radio show Thursday and talked about the clash between Occupy protesters and Oakland police the night before (audio) --
SCHULTZ: What do you make of what unfolded in Oakland?
THOMAS: Well, what I make of what unfolded in Oakland, it looked like a war zone on our own territory. And what really got me to come out was an Iraqi veteran named Scott Olsen was shot by police and is in critical condition right now. And this is, you know, something that I just spoke out against and, you know, it made me feel that we need, we have to do more and more veterans need to come up and help protect these people.
SCHULTZ: Well, what do you think, you think the law enforcement has been heavy-handed throughout all of this? It would seem to me that these protesters, and I have been there as well, they're well intended. They're not going there to be violent.
Except when they were "on the verge of a riot" during a broadcast of "The Ed Show" in Zuccotti Park earlier this month, according to Schultz's producer James Holm. (audio) More from Schultz on the alleged abiding pacificism of the flea party faithful --
SCHULTZ: And they're going there on a mission to be seen, to be heard, and to get the attention of people who can make a difference. And non-violent has to be the theme here. But how do you think that's been received by law enforcement? Do you think there's been a heavy-handed move by law enforcement?
THOMAS: Well, initially, you know, I had the idea that, you know, it's just a few, few, you know, bad police officers out of the crowd who don't know how to control themselves in these situations because a lot of police officers aren't necessarily, you know, trained to deal with peace. They're trained to deal with, you know, actual riots that are not peaceful.
Not trained to deal with "peace" -- also known by police as having a slow day.
Yet another deceitful euphemism from the left -- "peace" when what is meant is civil disobedience on a mass scale, with plenty of actual illegality -- indefinite seizure of public property so that no one else can use it -- tossed in for good measure.
"Peace" as in baiting police to provoke a forceful response, the only way the Occupy protests end with the protesters saving face, as they are painfully aware.
Appearing on "The Rosie Show," Thomas claimed he saw examples of police brutality on Oct. 5. Ten days later, Thomas showed up for a large Occupy protest in Times Square, accompanied by his aunt who recorded the video of him confronting police.
In the video, Thomas berates police for several minutes, becoming increasingly angry, bellicose and unhinged by their non-violent response to his outburst. What is obvious from the video is that, at least during this moment in the protests, it's not police who are unable to handle "peace" as exemplified by Thomas, it's him.
Odd indeed how Thomas claims to have witnessed police brutality on Oct. 5, yet when he went to Times Square on Oct. 15 with his aunt bringing along her camera phone, neither of them took the trouble to record evidence of these alleged public crimes.
I find it hard to believe that any former Marine and combat veteran acting in good faith and seeing actual examples of police brutality would not have the courage and presence of mind to confront those involved and demand their names and badge numbers. If Thomas has done this, he's also done a good job at keeping it secret.
When he appeared on Keith Olbermann's show, Thomas said "my goal in life is to inspire a generation." When that is a person's lofty aim, documenting evidence of the brutality he alleges is conveniently left to lesser mortals.
His conversation with Rosie O'Donnell reeked of dishonest left-wing discourse. "You reminded me of Martin Luther King, I have to tell you," O'Donnell told Thomas. "Oh yes, I've heard that a few times," Thomas responded, quickly adding, "That's an honor."
"You had such a profound sense of dignity," O'Donnell continued, of Thomas's profoundly undignified rant, "and what you were saying was so universally true, that even the police officers, who are just working-class people doing their jobs, right? ..."
To which Thomas responded, "exactly" -- which makes it all the more inexplicable that Thomas had bellowed at police, "How do you sleep at night doing this to people?! ... If you want to go kill and hurt people, go to Iraq!"
O'Donnell, having described NYC police as "just working-class people doing their jobs," proceeded to show how she didn't mean a word of it, saying "they've been told to go down there and to, you know ..." -- wiggling her fingers to signify quote marks -- "... maintain the peace ..." In other words, the police aren't there to "maintain the peace," wink wink, but let's have it both ways, shall we?
My favorite part of the conversation came next, when O'Donnell said of police, "But they are sometimes meeting violence, right?" Thomas -- "No, they're not meeting violence." O'Donnell quickly corrected herself, but the damage was done -- "The police are perpetrating, I'm sorry, violence, in an effort to control the crowd."
So much for them as working-class heroes just doing their jobs.