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News ::
Mistreatment Panics Horse
07 Oct 2000
This photo shows a panicked horse nearly stepping on protesters.
An Oct. 5 Boston Globe article reported that a "Frenchie" a 29 year old police horse died of a heart attack after the protest of the exlusion of third party candidates such as Ralph Nader from the presidential debates.

The photo shows what is likely to be this elderly horse being ridden on top of protesters, which horses, unlike the police, are not willing to do. The so called "excitement" is likely to have resulted in the horse's heart attack. As this mistreatment occured, protesters, concerned for the well being of this animal, chanted "A horse is not a weapon!"

The Globe article notes that the police are looking for a donation of a new horse to replace their beloved Frenchie. Those who wish to see their horses treated in a similar fashion should contact the Boston Police Department.
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Mistreatment Panics Horse
08 Oct 2000
that's right the cop's were at the bottom of what happend
not the prosester's
that horse almost killed me
11 Oct 2000
I was sitting right below this big ole police horse and the thing looked like it was about to cry. It was very clear that the horse was extremely distressed and I am going to contact the MSPCA about the incident. THE HORSE IS NOT A WEAPON
The Horse was Exploited to Death
12 Oct 2000
I am truly sorry that the police horse "Frenchie" suddenly died at the conclusion of October 3rd's Presidential Debate protest. Unfortunately, however, the death of the horse does not surprise me in the least. I witnessed firsthand how Massachusetts State Police and Boston PD officers use the horses to enforce "crowd control" measures, thereby abusing both the horses and peaceful demonstrators.
As I sat on the road outside UMass, I was astonished to watch police officers on horseback force their way into the ranks of sitting activists. It was horrifying to see officers steering the horses into people, with disregard for public safety. Periodically the officers would turn the horses around so the back legs would kick out toward the activists.
All the while protesters were chanting, "We're nonviolent," flashing peace signs, and pleading with the offiers to withdraw horses from the scene. I feared people were going to be trampled, but I think the horses are too smart and did not want to risk falling themselves. Besides this, I don't think they wanted to play any part in the situation and were not willing to step completely on people.
Rather than arresting people, the police chose to continue to drive the horses into the crowd.
At one especially heated moment, I looked up at the underside of a horse whose powerful legs and hooves were mere inches from my legs. I then felt severe pain as a hoof stepped down onto the top of my right foot (It is a miracle I escaped with only bruises). I looked up and saw a lucid vision of fear in the horse's eyes. I will never forget this moment when I realized how this horse was being utterly used as a violent implement to carry out aggressive police actions. I felt only sadness for this horse and others.
Instead of calmly and rationally arresting peaceful demonstrators on the road, the police decided to first use tactics of intimidation, aggression, and force. This quickly threw the scene into a chaotic spiral which endangered the safety of everyone. At one point a moblike panic occurred and I was pinned to the ground by four protesters who were jumping out of a horse's path.
It is imperative that the Massachusetts State Police and the Boston Police departments receive proper training in how to handle themselves during large demonstrations; especially peaceful ones. They also need to consider that horses such as "Frenchie" may not be happy or readily willing to engage in police aggression--or "crowd control."

--Kyle M. Hall, 12 October 2000


Horse abuseCarole Whelan
31 Oct 2000
I have trained many horses of many breeds over the last few decades. Though very large and powerful, these qualities are totally the result of their being a prey animal and are used only for flight and self defense. They are among the most timid and easily panicked of all animals. Most of their training is to allow them to learn to relax and not fear things that will not hurt them. Good training developes an extraordinary trust on the part of the horse,to the degree that most of us will never experience from a person. It is unconscionable that this police officer abused this trust when he used his mount as a ram-rod, an agressive act toward humans that is contrary to all the horse's training, knowledge and instinct. Maybe it is an extention of the lack of respect for the horse that can be seen when mounted officers use their horse as a chair, a pick-up truck or a hot car. In any case, it shows gross lack of understanding and should not be toloerated by the humane society or the police department. The police would have bigger influence on the community if they emulated the kind and gentle natures of these mounts
Witness
20 Jan 2001
I also had the lovely experience of watching the P.ublicI.nterestG.uard's trample kids with their horses. As soon as the barriers were crossed and kids began sitting peacefully in the streets, the cops moved in. I for one did not move up until I saw kids getting trampled. I pulled more than one person out from underneath a horse as the cops were violently tugging back and forth on the horses reigns (?) causing them to lift up their front legs. My freind and I both ended up being stepped on by hooves and had considerable bruises...my friend having a nice hoofprint on her ankle. I feel more for the animal though who probably wishes it was out in a field rolling around and running without care. Anyways..we were of course attacked with pepperspray and I actually had a cop threaten me repeatedly. After we took the second barrier down and moved directly into the entrance road to the debate site we were confronted by a lined formation of cops in riot gear. Everyone was encouraged to sit down in unity and we did. I was sitting in the front and after being peppersprayed I held up the peace sign. As everything kind of settled down one of the large officer's in front (sporting a mustache noless!) began pointing at me...tapping his baton...and telling me, blatantly, that he was gonna crack my fucking skull. I continued to hold my ground...I even stood up...and asked him why he was so angry...continually holding up the peace sign...trying to show him that I was not there to be violent. He was pissed because he couldn't be at home watching television and drinking Budweiser. The moral: Don't hate cops because they are cops...hate them because they are the type of people who become cops. Peace everyone, If we keep struggling...with no tolerance for their perpetual injustice system...we will someday be free. For now...live free in your mind, one place they can never lock up.