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Home  >  Topics  >  Use of Force

October 03, 2011
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Video: Police arrest combative labor union members

A labor union president is criticizing police for their treatment of two protesters

By PoliceOne Staff

VANCOUVER — A labor union president criticized police for their treatment of two protesters who became violent during a demonstration last two weeks ago.

Police arrested several members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, who sat on railroad tracks at the Port of Longview to block a train carrying a shipment into an EGT grain terminal, Townhall Magazine reported.

Two men started fighting with officers during the arrests, and video of the incident shows one man apparently try to put an officer in a headlock. The officer uses his pepper spray in response.

Union president Dan Coffman claims police acted inappropriately, but at a later press conference, he told a version of the story that differed from the footage of the incident.

In a video of the conference, Coffman says the two men who attacked the officers did become violent, but only because they were aiding "women who were being physically abused" by police.

The union members have damaged railroad cars, sabotaged brake lines, destroyed property, criminally trespassed, taken security guards hostage, and threatened police with baseball bats over the course of their dispute with EGT, according to reports.

The two men were charged with felony assault.

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