“What’s wrong with you guys?” Those were the last words of Lakota man Paul Castaway, uttered last Sunday night as he died from four gunshot wounds to the torso, the bullets fired by a Denver police officer. Police were on the scene at the Capitol City Mobile Home Park because Castaway, who had mental health issues, had been drinking and getting rowdy, and his mother had called them to help get him under control.
Tuesday saw a substantial demonstration outside the police station, including Castaway’s mother, Lynn Eagle Feather, conspicuously lacking the knife wound to her neck which police chief White claimed her son had put there.
She told TheCW2, “He didn’t stab me in the neck. He was drunk. I told the cops he was mentally ill. He was schizophrenic. I called for help. I didn’t call for them to kill him. All of a sudden I heard rapid gunfire. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. One right after the other.”
PLEASE COME STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH US
Paul Castaway, a Father, a son to Lynn, a companion, our beloved family member, our FRIEND, OUR community member, was MURDERED by the Denver Police Sunday night.
This is another senseless killing perpetrated by these out of control Public Servants who operate without ANY ACCOUNTABILITY to the public.
The families, loved ones and community of these beloved people deserve a VOICE!
WE DESERVE JUSTICE!
PLEASE stand with us.
As you see, we ALL are in this together
Chief White claimed that Castaway had been shot while running at two police officers, a knife in his hand. Then the trailer park manager produced the surveillance tape and showed it to the family. Their account has been corroborated by Fox News reporter Tammy Vigil, who has also seen the video. The Denver Post has the report:
Gabriel Black Elk, Castaway’s brother, said the video shows his brother holding the knife against his own throat. He had tried to escape from police by running behind a fence, but there was no gate or opening.
The video shows Castaway turning around and walking toward police, who were several feet away. The knife stays pointed toward his neck the entire time, Black Elk said.
Thomas Morado, a cousin of Castaway’s, also said he had seen the video. His account matched that of Black Elk’s.
“There was a different way to go about this,” Morado said. “It didn’t have to end in his death.”
His mother said, “I called the police for help, not to kill my son. They shot him while the knife was still to his own throat.”
Then, after he hit the ground with four bullets in the chest, they flipped him over and handcuffed him. A group of children who’d been playing nearby watched, and one fainted.
Paul Castaway died at the hospital. The officer who shot him is on administrative leave.
And Anonymous is once again on the case.
So far, their visible involvement has consisted primarily of using Twitter to consistently ask why the mainstream media has been ignoring this case, and to educate people on the issue of police shootings of First Nations people.
But it consists secondarily of temporarily wiping the website for the Colorado branch of the Fraternal Order of Police Officers off the internet.
It was a simple, but solid, DDoS attack, the default weapon when Anons want to make their displeasure known, but not risk felony hacking charges. It floods a website with more traffic than it can handle, causing the site to go offline, but it doesn’t access the databases within the site, do lasting damage, or leak any information. Within Anonymous, tradition holds that DDoS is simply an exercise of freedom of speech, and that sending a botnet’s worth of traffic to a website is no more a crime than having a demonstration in the streets or voting. Police and courts often feel differently about this: you can ask the Paypal 14 for details about that.
I was able to verify the website was offline for at least an hour, but came back late Tuesday night, as the attackers presumably retired for the evening. UPDATE: As of Wednesday the 15th at 8pm local time, it’s offline again.
If provocation is a defence, Anonymous is sitting pretty right now.
Those protestors included the bereaved family. And that tweet has been scrubbed from the timeline.
So has that one.
And Anonymous has been additionally reminding people that they first went up against the Denver force back in February, with this video:
It’s good they got an early start; looks like they’ve got a lot of work to do yet.
Next up and already targeted by protestors: The July 19th statewide conference for police chiefs, taking place at the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. While the protest is not being organized by Anonymous, it’s a safe bet there will be at least a few Guy Fawkes masks in the crowd.