When are assault rifle-backed arrests necessary in Chapel Hill?

Apparently, in my hometown, it depends less on your actions towards other people’s property than on your politics (or lack thereof):

NO in 2009:  UNC Wins NCAA B-Ball Championship:













YES in 2011:  People in plaid shirts “occupy” derelict building a few blocks down Franklin Street:



  1. Brady Cody

    November 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Public Property vs. Private Property. This article is pointless

  2. HunterC

    November 14, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    That sidewalk in the lower picture looks just as public as that power pole in the upper picture — perhaps more so.

  3. BradyC

    November 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    It would have been fine if they were on the sidewalk; being in the building was the problem

  4. James

    November 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I’m embarrassed to call Chapel Hill home. The Mayor and the lawn-order apologists can wring their hands all they want about private property … this so-called show of force was excessive in every way. Not only that, it was stupid.

  5. Adam Searing

    November 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    And Brady – so it’s OK to destroy taxpayer-owned public property, but not private property? I’d say destruction of either should be stopped. My point is that you can stop both using a reasonable police presence, and that it appears from these photos that CH has tolerated some pretty out-of-control destruction of property – not to mention mid-street bonfires – without resorting to a SWAT team and assault rifles.

  6. John Grooms

    November 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    The overblown show of lethal force was so far out of bounds, it’s insane that anyone is arguing that it was OK. What’s worse is that this kind of overkill and military style tactics have become more and more common in America (where, believe it or not, we used to laugh at countries where the cops acted like storm troopers, even called their leaders “tin horn dictators”). The increasing militarization of American law enforcement is a serious problem, but fits in well with the current claptrap we constantly hear from conservatives about what a “dangerous world” we’re living in. OK, but in Chapel friggin Hill?!

  7. Alex O'Connor

    November 14, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Probably calling in the swat team seems like over kill. Having been an innocent bystander in a drug bust years ago (I was repairing the heating system in the building in Downtown Raleigh) I can say the swat team follows special procedures they can not vary from. I was not really afraid. They burst in so fast and secured the area. Everyone is treated the same until the area is secured. I can tell you having an assault rifle to my head and being placed up against the wall and then detained was disconcerting. I was treated the same as everyone else. These guys are less likely to hurt anyone because there moves are so carefully planned out. They do not do anything spontaneously. I would much rather face them then the New York or Oakland Riot Police who might decide to improvise.

    Vandalism in under any guise is vandalism.

  8. C James Tournbleau

    November 14, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    This is overkill! The powers that be here in Chapel Hill need to educate themselves. They blindly go in with assault rifles to disperse unarmed young people. This shows a total lack of knowledge as to what they are dealing with. Pulling assault weapons on people involved with peaceful protest. SHAME on you! You better get used to young people taking over all the abandoned retail spaces. Where else will they sleep? Not everyone can go back and live with their parents and grandparents. This country has failed them and now punishing them. Where is the charity in this country. You are a bunch of self serving hypocrites. Christmas is coming. Time to buy yourself a bunch of crap and pat yourself on the back after tossing them a few cans of food. SHAME ON YOU!

  9. Eunice

    November 16, 2011 at 7:22 am

    The political strategy of Obama’s administration is to turn all groups against each other so as to divert attention away from his failed economic policies. For a candidate who claimed to be a unifier, the results are not good.

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