Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Pro-Palestinian doctor acquitted"

"Pro-Palestinian doctor acquitted"

December 20, 2007

On Dec. 3, an Ann Arbor jury acquitted Dr. Catherine Wilkerson of two counts of obstructing police and emergency medical technicians. On Nov. 30, 2006, Ann Arbor and University of Michigan police brutally removed pro-Palestinian demonstrators from a public meeting at the university featuring former Reagan and Bush security advisor Ray Tanter. Wilkerson responded when a protester in the hands of police called out he could not breathe. He was face down and handcuffed with police pressing on him.

Wilkerson identified herself as a medical doctor and attempted to attend to the injured man, who was by then unconscious. Police twisted Wilkerson’s arm, causing injury. She objected to the improper use of ammonia inhalants by the EMTs. Since then, ammonia inhalants have been removed from ambulances.

Wilkerson was charged in February 2007 after she filed an assault complaint against the Ann Arbor police. Packed courtrooms reflected community support for Wilkerson. Her acquittal sets back attempts by university administrations in Michigan to use police brutality to restrict protest against promoters of racism and war.