Monday night a group of veterans gathered to honor the fallen. They were taken away in handcuffs. The charge? They were violating a 10PM curfew, and thus trespassing. There was no violence. They were respectful to NYPD officers, and they were peaceful. They were there to honor the fallen and commemorate the 12th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan.
Veterans of the Vietnam War were arrested earlier tonight at the New York City memorial after staying on the premises past the curfew time of 10 p.m. Police gave multiple warnings as veterans continued to read from a list of names. Video from the event shows that not only veterans were loaded into the paddy wagon, but also younger participants in the vigil as well.
In a moment you’ll see a video that is one of the most inspiring displays of American Patriotism I have witnessed in a long time. It was not just Vietnam Vets that were arrested Monday night. There were younger vets from Iraq and Afghanistan. One gentleman in the video is a proud veteran of World War II. There were some simply there to support those who have served.
America, this is not acceptable in any way, shape or form. The constitution makes no provisions for curfews. Beyond that we continually allow a mistreatment of those who have put their very lives on the line for you and me. This is not the NYPD that made us proud after September 11, 2001. This is a police state situation where officers are denying their own oaths and following orders that are in direct violation of the constitution.
I will not sugar coat this. I would have had a hard time remaining as respectful and peaceful as these fine men and women. If you violate the constitution, you are the criminal, even if you hide behind a badge. There was no reason to arrest people at a peaceful vigil who were simply calling upon their First Amendment rights.
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