Protesters Demand Answers From Burlington Police

08/06/12 6:30AM By Kirk Carapezza

Protesters in Burlington say police still need to explain their response to an altercation last week outside the downtown hotel where New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers were meeting.

Police used pepper spray and sting ball pellets on demonstrators who were blocking a bus carrying dignitaries when the protesters refused to clear a sidewalk.

Jared Carter, the managing attorney of the Vermont Community Law Center in Burlington, says police used excessive force against protesters. He says videos suggest the force was disproportionate to any threat raised by the protests.

"There's a couple of videos showing an activist who is shot from about five feet away with one of these rubber sting bullets in her abdomen area," Carter says. "So that raises serious questions that deserve a hard look."

Burlington Police Chief Mike Schirling says that he believes a small group of protesters came with the intention to provoke an altercation, and that his department is reviewing the incident.


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