The prosecution's case should be finished tomorrow. I thought it was going to go on for days, but finishing Commander H. was the biggest hurdle, and now they've only got three more witnesses.

Commander H. has been on the stand for something like two full days now. He started testimony on Thursday afternoon, testified all day Friday, and much of Monday. It's not that he had a lot to say, but more that there are four attorneys, each with separate questions, and the only one he cooperates with is the prosecutor. When any of the defense attorneys question him, he becomes deliberately obtuse, playing little games.

He said that the people who obeyed the dispersal order are the ones who went east and west, even though the dispersal order explicitly says to go south.

He said that the police didn't shoot anyone. Last time he said that they don't beat people.

He implies that he has some kind of 6th sense that allows him to know who's a demonstrator, rioter, protester, whatever, and who's not, with me in the 'rioter' group, of course. He claims I'm interacting with people who are standing more than 10 feet away from me, when I'm facing away from them. He apparently can't see the part of the tape where a police officer pushes me into the street, despite going over it frame by frame.

He refuses to watch parts of the video, saying that he was there and doesn't need to see them.

Commander H. is pretty obviously someone's trained monkey, which is very sad. He's fine answering the prosecutor's questions, prosecutor leading him by the hand. He nearly misidentified someone as one of my codefendants because he thought that was what the prosecutor wanted him to do. Commander H. structures his narrative in us-them terms, talking about the event in terms of police and rioters, without room for anyone not part of either of these groups. He refers to the demonstrators consistently as "rioters", and says "your people" when he talks to the defense attorneys.

The jury got pretty sick of him, especially towards the end. Unfortunately, the judge continues to side with the prosecution, and capitalized on mistakes made by my codefendant's attorney, letting him rant about anarchist training methods for a long time after the attorney had tried to withdraw the question.

Next: May 16, 2002.
Previous: May 11, 2002.