ARRESTED! or NOT?

I have questioned the validity of those who arrest. I wonder why the concept of “being arrested” has become invalid to me. The act seems not to “protect and serve” but rather to exhibit power and rage. I feel “arrests” have become some sort of horrid joke. Speaking rarely to crime, with outcomes and treatment always relevant to social class and ideology.

Please note the following picture items and tell me how you feel about the concept of “being arrested”.

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4 responses to “ARRESTED! or NOT?

  1. I am excited by the concept of “unarresting” people as has been documented in several Indymedia and other media sites that cover WTO/IMF protests. In an “unarrest” the crowd chooses to revokes the right of law enforcement officers to arrest their fellow citizens and removes the citizen, through overwhelming force, from the state of arrest imposed by the temporarily-former law enforcement officers.

  2. I am reminded of some more famous political arrests. For example, Alice Paul, famous women’s rights activist was force-fed in prison after she went on a hunger strike (great movie: Iron Jawed Angels, with Hilary Swank). This fact alone doesn’t make her arrest a good thing. However, rarely does a political act exist in a vacuum. Usually the injustices pile up on each other until they reach a breaking point (like women getting the right to vote in 1920). But this was after many, many arrests and other related political actions which serve to bring attention to a cause.

  3. Living in a city like Chicago, getting to watch someone either being questioned, frisked or arrested by police is a fairly common occurrence – one which generally makes me feel despair for the person being arrested (though I can’t usually know why they are being hauled off) as I generally loathe dealing with police for any reason unless absolutely necessary, and have a deep fear of the criminal justice system after having done a fair amount of work with people in prison. In that moment of a person’s arrest, their life is taking a major turn – quite likely for the worse. It’s a difficult thing to observe. I often feel a responsibility to watch, if possible, to make sure the police are acting reasonably – though I also am not sure how I’d react if they weren’t.

    The inclusion of an image like the Star Wars character performing an arrest potentially changes the emotional tone of the collection as a whole – and maybe derails some of the impact of the other images with regard to the comments about the role of social class and ideology.

    Seen individually when I click on them to enlarge, my reaction to each image changes a fair amount depending on the degree to which I think I might be able to empathize with the person being arrested or support their cause (the Iraq Veterans Against the War t-shirt wearer for example), as well as trying to measure the degree of force being used against the person to arrest them.

    I am curious about the Ronald McDonald and Pokemon (?) character arrests and wonder if perhaps they were protesters dressed as those characters? This could become an interesting sub-category to explore: costumed people under arrest – as it casts the police in a different light to be seen arresting someone so ridiculous looking – they seem to aware of this in the Pokemon photo.

    Photographing a person’s arrest also may, in some cases, impact the arrested person’s treatment (at least while the camera is close and obviously present) – this phenomena could be interesting to explore in this kind of documentation as well, though still photos of an arrest are always going to be deceptive as to what actually happened.

  4. Also – could the author of this post give some clue as to their name (doesn’t have to be your full name if you don’t want) just so we can know who did this work. Thanks!

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