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News :: DNC : Human Rights : Race
Racial Profiling at DNC: Man Arrested for Protesting While Brown
26 Jul 2004
As the International ANSWER march reached the Fleet Center (site of the Democratic National Convention), the Secret Service detained for questioning a demonstrator apparently of South Asian (Indian or Pakistani) descent for "looking around"--a clear act of racial profiling. He has since been released.
The Secret Service detained and questioned a demonstrator today in what appeared to be a clear case of racial profiling.

At some point during the march from Boston Common to the Fleet Center, Secret Service agents approached the a man who appeared to be in his early 20s and of South Asian (Indian or Pakistani) descent, and wearing a full beard, and said they wanted to ask him some questions. The young man refused to talk with them and kept marching.

They followed him for about a half-mile along the march, then stopped him again and asked his name and identification. When he refused again, they detained and handcuffed him.

When I showed up he was sitting on steps near Government Center, surrounded by several cops. A small group of supporters surrounded them, chanting about racial profiling, ("Marching while non-white, that's the crime," etc.), and asking the police what the guy had done, why they were detaining him. They didn't answer us.

Attorney John Pavlos arrived on the scene and began advising him. After some time, an agreement was reached whereby he would allow himself to be officially photographed by the police, and he would then be released.

After the photo was taken, someone in the crowd began yelling that they would arrest him anyway, and began pointing in the direction where he said the police vehicle would arrive. I thought this guy was being paranoid, but he turned out to be right.

They continued to hold him there for another ten minutes or so, then took him away to a police car and drove him off to a station nearby. THEY BROKE THE DEAL.

The attorney, John Pavlos, then gave a quick press conference. Pavlos said, "The Secret Service was very clear that they observed him looking around." That appears to be the extent of the Secret Service's concern with him, that he was "looking around." That, and, presumably, that he looked Muslim.

Pavlos also said the police took him away before he had a chance to advise him, and said, "He understands he's not required to speak to the Secret Service."

Later in the afternoon the National Lawyers Guild informed me he'd been released.

[Editor's note: Audio interview available at & ]

This work is in the public domain.
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Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
25 Jul 2004
From: "mitchelcohen (at)"
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 16:24:51 -0400

Please post on IndyMedia sites and elsewhere.

Boston, July 25, 4 pm -- Half-an-hour ago, around 3:30 pm, plainclothes Secret Service pulled a Mid-Eastern looking fellow out from the permitted demonstration as around 1,000 antiwar protesters marched past a check-point, and arrested him.

A crowd of around 25 people followed the police through an alleyway that opened onto a large mall, where the "detained" person sat on a stairway hands cuffed behind his back, surrounded by police.

While the crowd chanted, "This is racial profiling" and "let him go", a lawyer for the demonstration, John Pavos, arrived, but was not afforded much time and no privacy to talk with the arrestee. The police maintained at first that he was not under arrest, but that if he'd allow them to take his picture they'd run in through their computers and let him go. He allowed them to take his picture. A few minutes later the police decided not to let him go.

What was the crime? Police spokespeople say he was arrested for walking past a checkpoint and looking around "a little too curiously." The fact that we were ALL looking around curiously at the enormous fencings surrounding the Fleet Center where the Democratic National Convention
begins tomorrow did not seem to matter to the police, who were clearly under orders from federal officials. The person -- who to me appeared like any Graduate Student at the New School in NY -- was detained solely because of his Middle-Eastern appearance, male and bearded.

He was taken to a nearby police center to be questioned by the Secret Service. A reporter for Binghamton IndyMedia recorded the whole thing on camcorder, and will shortly be up on the web.

The demonstration itself was very vibrant and full of energy, challenging both parties' support for the war against Iraq and decimation of the Bill of Rights. I carried a sign -- one of many -- that said "Expose the Truth about 9-11", and was interviewed on NY 1, for any New Yorkers
interested in checking it out. I was also interviewed on Japanese television, in which I began by saying "The Democratic Party is the Roach Motel of Politics; the progressive people go in, and they never come out."

The press were mostly focused in their questions about the potential for violence by the demonstrators. I told them that as a participant in Chicago in 1968 and Seattle in 1999, and many antiwar protests in between, that it has generally been the police and the government that initiated
violence, clubbing people, teargassing them, shooting them with electric stun guns, and so forth. It is the government and military that are bombing the hell out of Iraq and other countries, not the protesters, and the same people that are committing the violence abroad are perpetrating it here at
home, while orchestrating fear and mass hysteria to put into place fascist mechanisms.

Just also got word that they just evacuated the building at Staples due to suspicions of some package that they found. (Nothing, of course.) All done to perpetrate panic.

While the demonstrators stood around the police chanting "Let Him Go," a group of Bostonians stood on top of the steps and counter-chanted: "Let's go Red Sox."

"Go Reds, Smash State," I muttered (secretly rooting for the NY Yankees, who are here at Fenway Park this afternoon).
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
25 Jul 2004
all right, regardless of my preference for the sox, who is cataloging all of the DNC related federal level harassment? the fbi intimidation in colorado, missouri, kansas, chicago, new york, the questioning and investigations of anti-capitalists, muslims, arabs, anarchists.

and please post updates of this specific incident to this thread, rather than clogging the wire with news about the same thing. but i am sure many of us would like to know that this guy is safe, that he'll be out, when he's out, and if this has or does happen to others. i am also curious if this is having the main desired effect: scaring people out of protesting. Bush says we have to go to Disneyworld to beat the terrorists. Well, I say we have to protest the beat the REAL terrorist threat.
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
25 Jul 2004
The subject of the report has been released after questioning (and being photographed) without charge. His was, according to AP reports, one of only two arrests- although some news reports state police deny having arrested him. If you ask me, people handcuffed are people placed under arrest. Strange how news reports never noted how the man was handcuffed or plucked out of crowd for no reason beyond his appearance...
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
26 Jul 2004
Please note that the cop with the camera had a disposable point and shoot. He held it about three feet from the detained man's face. Most disposable, (yellow kodak) produce crappy blurry images at such distance.

Question: is this not a disposable film camera? or a digital camera disguised for convenience of undercover cops taking "clumsy, bad" images of protesters?

hmmm, not to create fear or panic, just an observation...
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
26 Jul 2004
Wouldn't it be fun if lots of anglos decided to wear "Ayrab" costumes for the big demo? It would highlight the stupidity of racist security types and perhaps give them some eye-twitching fits. Can you imagine the court appearence for being arrested while Ayrab and showing up in a suit?

As an anglo myself I think I'll try it at least for one day. Just gotta go buy a fake beard now...
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
26 Jul 2004
A friend of mine from DAWN(DC anti-war network) reported that during an argument with someone claiming to be from ANSWER the "ANSWER person" boasted about "getting a Middle Easterner arrested so they could provide the legal support to get him out"-in other words, for publicity.

I cannot directly verify this story, as I wasn't at the argument, and I don't know if the guy from ANSWER was just blowing smoke in anger, telling the truth-or working for the cops from the start.

If the story is false, that guy put ANSWER in an extraordinarily bad position, because a real incident of this nature would constitute treason against the movement and reckless endangerment of a vulnerable immigrant. As a result, what I suspect is that the person "from ANSWER" who made this claim in front of three witnesses from DAWN (whom I know personally) and the media is an undercover cop who has penetrated ANSWER and made this up to start a war between ANSWER and the rest of the movement. That kind of thing has happened many times before and would be the perfect cover for Homeland Security's crimes.

An example from the '60's is a cop that penetrated the Black Panther Party and made sexist statements at the 1969 SDS convention that helped split SDS. Another is a letter in a circa 1990 Earth First! Journal calling on people to shoot feral horses to protect bighorn sheep territory.That too was from a proven undercover cop.

For ANSWER to intentionally get somebody arrested would be so extreme and so unusual(even for ANSWER) as to suggest either that undercovers created the story-or worse, did it for real in ANSWER's name. The quick releaae of the victim is further evidence that the whole arrest had a purpose unrelated to him.

I hate to have to come down on another activist group, but this sort of thing is entirely too serious to let pass. If the story was invented by an undercover and told to my friends it is a very,very dangerous penetration of ANSWER's security that again must be dealt with. Of course, it it were to turn out to be true it would be still worse.

We need to get to the bottom of this and find out once and for all what really happened and who is really responsible. If this is the work of undercover cops, we need to blow the lid off this story big time.
Hey, Luke from DC
26 Jul 2004
quick release?!?!? How long was the guy locked up for? in massachusetts the lock-ups are often under four hours. and while i understand your concern about what you heard from someone who said about someone, i cant believe your story without corroboration. it is believable that undercovers would go to that trouble, in fact it is predictable, but your story, in the eyes of the indymedia reader, is the hearsay of an anonymous poster.
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
26 Jul 2004
The person from DAWN who reported this to me is a close personal friend, and can provide two more witnesses. I told him to post this himself but he is not yet back from the city and I dn't know how long it will be before he can speak on this directly-and it would STILL be hearsay, just one generation shorter, being a person writing on what he was told.

I am not sayign this is "good enough for court" as the cops themselves would put it, just good enough we need to start digging. As I said earlier, three possible explanations exist. I don't think my friend would lie to me about something like this.

I don't know how it usually works here, but in DC you are lucky if captured in a demo to get out in 12 hours. Last time it happened to me I was charged with a trumped-up felony, held over 48 hours, and it took five months and some major hardball to bring about the dismissal of the charges
So he was the only one?
26 Jul 2004
You are telling us that The Secret Service only "detained", "questioned" and "released" just one person today?????

Wow that is racial profiling at its worst!!!!!!!
Secret Service Mafia Association and Shake Downs on Whistle-blowers
26 Jul 2004
Modified: 04:04:25 AM
Click on image for a larger version

I was almost killed for reporting corruption in the federal banking industry and the Secret Service was there to abuse me the entire time.

Let us pray that someone overthrows the elitist and fascist regime posing as dualing parties, i.e. the Democrat/Republican regime.

We can not vote or enter government buildings or even walk down the street, so let us support all of those from the lower caste who strike at the enemy of the common man of the world, even if with suicide bombs or kidnappings.

Call Emergency 911 in my city and nothing happens. Let us see what happens when they call 911 ex-post-facto post-mortem.

Espionage law indicates that our government or their alliances, or at least some faction therein, was responsible for the 9-11 attacks.

In the pic Bush sucks life into his political career by acting concerned about his torn up baby, New York Mayor Gulliani.

Free Art Music Comedy Science, True Horror Story and Comedy of Assassination Attempt
See also:
Re: Man Arrested at Protest for Being of Wrong Race
26 Jul 2004
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC
26 Jul 2004
There's no evidence that he was arrested because of his race. Saying that he was is pure speculation.

It's counter-productive to assume that every single arrest is due to latent racism. Perhaps it was, but perhaps the gentleman in question was acting in a way that could raise suspicions.

Give everyone the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgments until you are in full possession of the facts.
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC
26 Jul 2004
No One, what you're actually doing is giving the police the benefit of the doubt (not everyone), while the rest of us are giving the arrested man the benefit of the doubt. You're willing to assume the police may have had probably cause to arrest, while the rest of us are willing to assume the man arrested was doing nothing out of line. I'm afraid you can't give everyone the benfit of a doubt in a situation like this.
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC
26 Jul 2004
The man's name is Vijay Shaw or Shah. He was born in Ohio and he went to school in Oregon. He is an American. My friend Mik (Binghamton PMC) took video of the harrasment and arrest. Several groups have copies, including an attorney (I assume Mr. Pavlos) and some people from Boston IMC.
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC: Man Arrested for Protesting While Brown
26 Jul 2004
plaid baboon, it is not incompatible to give the benefit of doubt and presumption of innocence both to the arresting police and the arrested protester. Obviously, the arrested gentleman is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

But, we have to give the same benefit to the cops. They could be racist. Or they could be trying to do their job as best they know how. I'm not a mindreader, so I don't know.

My point is that it does no good to get righteously indignant and play the race card without having all the facts. This weakens credibility when legitimate cases of racial profiling occur.

(This is all rather moot since he was not really arrested and has since been released.)
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC: Man Arrested for Protesting While Brown
26 Jul 2004
No One, this isn't moot. The fact is that someone had several hours stolen from him, had his freedom taken away, and was harassed. That is very real and should not happen to anyone in a free society unless there's clear reason. Obviously, there wasn't clear reason here, or he would not have been released so soon.

It's true that as you say, the cops may have been "trying to do their job as best they know how." But how much does that matter? The question isn't so much one of intention as impact, and the impact was an injustice to this man which has the potential to intimidate many others. The police may mean well, but even if so, the system that leads them to do such things needs to change.
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC: Man Arrested for Protesting While Brown
27 Jul 2004
man, why would you turn in your Indian friend to "make a point" and try to get him released. that is messed up
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC: Man Arrested for Protesting While Brown
27 Jul 2004
'Cause, man, they being paid by The Man (as undoubtedly you are), man

[Let's publicize the picture and name of that undercover]
Re: Racial Profiling at DNC: Man Arrested for Protesting While Brown
04 Aug 2004
I personally know Vijay Shah and can vouch for what Bill Huston says (hey, any relation to the Canada/MA Hustons?) and more. He is an American who is actively interested in the rights and responsibilities we have given us through the constitution, like any of you who is not white or is and has friends and family who are not. If there was any set up for the purposes of A.N.S.W.E.R publicity or advantage, it was not known to Vijay who was really affronted at his treatment by the Secret Service.

Isn't it amazing that just about anyone with brown skin could be lumped into one group "Middle Eastern"? No matter how long they kept him, it was wrong and upsetting.
Re: A man arrested, the police not having prove, The man is innocent
04 Oct 2005
My name is Shauntel
This reason that IM writing you is because, I have a cousin who is my best friend Kentrell Lynch. On the date10-01-05 Saturday Morning late Friday night my cousin was in New York city on his way home when he was Stopped by the police who alleged that he was going to be arrested
for shooting someone at a bar in Englewood NJ. My cousin did not have no idea
what was going on, due to the fact that he wasn’t even in New Jersey when the
shooting took place. This is not the first time that the police has harassed my
cousin. I have contacted channels 2,4,5,and 9.
To tell them how the police in Englewood arrested a man with no evidence
my cousin has never shot at anyone and I have the Name of the Bar he
was at in N.Y. I also have the Bar tender who said that she will state what time
my cousin came in the bar. As well as what time he left. At this point we the family
can not get him out because his bail is a half a million dollars. In we truly
need your help

A innocent man is in jail why the real person is steel on the lose
And being that the police are so corrupted they just don’t care.
But the truth will come out.