A very unfortunate turn of events at the protests against the biotech industry confab that just concluded in Philadelphia, organized under the banner Biodevastation to Biojustice. This June 21 account from Philly’s KYW News Radio:
A Philadelphia police officer involved with a scuffle with protesters outside the Convention Center has died of an apparent heart attack. Officer Paris Williams, 52, a 19-year veteran of the force, was among many Civil Affairs officers monitoring the protest outside the “BIO 2005” conference at the Convention Center.
Police Commissioner Johnson says when a scuffle broke out, Williams rushed in: “He went towards the scuffle, he collapsed. Rescue came and immediate transported him to Hahnemann Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:15pm.”
Homicide detectives questioned some of the protesters. Those interviews and the autopsy may determine whether any charges could be warranted.
While Philly police ponder charges against protesters, this June 22 report from the Philadelphia Daily News indicates some police reacted violently:
They [police] pushed forward, forming a human barricade. Some cops swung their bikes at demonstrators to move them away from the fallen officer, hitting some people.
Ian Cox, 16, of Moorestown, N.J., said he was standing taking pictures. “One cop turned and just punched me in the gut,” he said.
This development will likely provide more fodder for the ongoing terrorist-baiting of political protest.