Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Biotech and Tragedy

As most people have already heard, a police officer died of a heart attack today while monitoring one of the protests against the biotech conference.

Details are unclear at this point, but it appears he suffered a heart attack. There was some kind of scuffle, although I'm not sure if he was involved or just trying to break it up. Anyway you look at it, this is a complete tragedy.

It's good to see the police commissioner isn't rushing to judgment and so far reaction has been pretty muted. However, I have to say I'm not particularly inclined to be look favorably on the protesters at this point. Even before I heard what happened, my impression from media coverage and personal experience was that many people (particularly the skate boaders) were just trying to cause chaos. I know there were many people who only participated in nonviolent actions and well-planned protests. However, once again, the violent few have cast a shadow on everyone.

I'm not saying the officer died as a result of the demonstration. That isn't clear and most likely will never be clear. However, the fact that there was a physical altercation casts a shadow over the entire thing.

Of course, I suspect some people will claim the violence was caused by instigators, the police deserve what they get, whatever. But this is just horrible and I think the protesters might do well to accept at least some of the blame.

2 Comments:

At 6:35 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

Awful. Anytime a policeman dies while on duty, the City suffers, be it from a shooting or a heart attack.

ABC News mentioned they thought someone kicked him while down. If so, that is plain old disgusting.

Assuming though, that this was not some planned violence, I am not going to question whether the two protests generally were "worthy" or "unworthy," because I don't think we can make that judgement. And, I don't think you can then say that they should accept blame for what happened. If they were peacefully protesting, excercising their first ammendment rights and an officer had a heart attack, you cannot pin this on anyone but the mix of science, fate, pre-existing conditions and whatever else causes so many people to go before it is their time.

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger ACM said...

If they were peacefully protesting, excercising their first ammendment rights and an officer had a heart attack, you cannot pin this on anyone but the mix of science, fate, pre-existing conditions and whatever else causes so many people to go before it is their time.

yeah, that's my feeling. only high-profile because of the context, but it's possible for there to be such things as unfortunate accidents.

 

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