No word on how much fun undercover officers did or didn’t have during their infiltration of Occupy Los Angeles in search of terrorists. Reuters reports:
Undercover police officers infiltrated Occupy LA’s tent city last month to spy on people they suspected of stockpiling human waste and crude weapons for resisting an eventual eviction, police and city government sources said.
Authorities also used security cameras mounted outside City Hall, where the camp was located, and monitored publicly available Internet chatter and video on social-networking sites such as Twitter, sources said.
They insisted that covert surveillance of the camp was aimed not at anti-Wall Street activists exercising their constitutional right to freedom of expression but at those they considered anti-government extremists bent on violence. Civil liberties advocates said they were troubled by law enforcement’s infiltration of peaceful demonstrations, although the LAPD’s undercover efforts were not unique.
In the end, nearly 300 Los Angeles demonstrators were arrested the night police raided their encampment, nearly all for defying orders to leave but with little violence.
The City Attorney’s Office has so far filed formal charges against seven people arrested before the raid and accused of violations ranging from weapons possession, battery, assault with a deadly weapon and lewd conduct.
But police said a key concern about the eviction stemmed from some individuals in the camp identified as belonging to or affiliated with radical organizations such as Sovereign Citizens, which the FBI classifies as an “extremist anti-government group,” and the Black Riders Liberation Party, deemed a “domestic terrorist group” by the LAPD.