ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Four Policemen And A Wheelchair.

with 44 comments

In the 21st century we are increasingly jaded. We think we seen it all, every weird video, every crime, every shooting, nearly every atrocity and certainly all of the stupidly thuggish actions that the police can take.

Yet they have surpassed themselves.

Four big and extremely fit policemen tackled a wheelchair user.

Yes, that’s correct, FOUR policemen.

Precisely what crime the wheelchair user committed is unclear, and the aggressive interviewer on BBC news shows no sympathy for the plight of the wheelchair user.

Had the wheelchair user had an axe, or a machine gun you might have understood a sense of urgency, but all he had was his hands on the wheels, and as far as I can see was not in any way a threat to the police.

However, it is fairly clear that the Cameron government have let the police off their leash, so be you able-bodied, a wheelchair user, or blind I will bet that you will find nothing but a size 10 boot coming your way, if you decide to oppose the policies of the Tory government.

Update 1: Here’s Jody McIntyre explaining things in the Indy:

“Adding insult to injury is The Daily Mail, which found it appropriate to suggest I’m faking my disability and am mentally inept when it comes to making decisions about my actions. Highlighting a somewhat backwards attitude towards disabled people and their place in society, that over 500 people have already complained about Richard Littlejohn’s depiction of me as Andy from Little Britain (I don’t wear vests for a start), shows whose side the public are on when it comes to what’s acceptable where mocking disability is concerned.”

Update 2: Marko has more on the student that was attacked by the police and the Daily Mail.

Update 3: Jody Mcintyre’s blog is here.

Update 3: CiF Watch strays into the territory of political vitriol and character attacks, all completely irrelevant to the issue of Jody McIntyre’s appalling treatment by four big police officers.

I can’t help wondering if he had held different views, would the attack upon him, as a wheelchair user, instead be condemned?

It takes a certain moral turpitude not to see his manhandling by the police as wrong, it takes an entrenched ideologue to want to use that against a disabled person.

I can only imagine that *if* Jody had been blind then the excuse would have been that his labrador dog was about to attack some riot police, or some such nonsense.

That’s the level of this mindless maliciousness.

Update 4: Littlejohn’s rant against Jody McIntyre produce a reaction:

“The Press Complaints Commission said that they have so far received more than 500 complaints from members of the public, but have yet to make a decision on whether to launch a formal investigation.”

Update 5: I don’t often agree with Sunny Hundal, but his post, Littlejohn & Tories attack Jody McIntyre, and the comments below it make some very good points, particularly Carole-Anne Melia’s:

“As a wheelchair user myself, I’m not surprised to see Littlejohn’s cartoon. For people like me it is part of everyday life to come across such attitudes. I’m forever being treated as having ‘Learning difficulties’ or being shouted at because being in a wheelchair apparently makes you deaf (news to me). The point is that we as disabled people have just as much right to protest as everyone else, though I might not agree with everything that a small minority of protestors got up, but Jody had just as much right to be there. The point is the police dragged a disabled person out of their wheelchair, they had no idea what damage that could have done to him. There was other ways the police could have got him moved, for them it was an easy option. I can walk a bit like Jody but if I was dragged from a wheelchair like that I would have been in hospital with increased damage to my spine. Thank god this didn’t happen to Jody with the what the spineless police did to him.”

Update 6: More evidence is forthcoming, slightly better picture, about 01:16 you can see him being pushed along, then when the camera returns how he’s tossed out of the wheelchair and dragged across the road by the police:

Update 7: This slide show shows how he was pulled about by the police.

Update 8: Pickled Politics has posted on this issue as well, Now Jody McIntyre is being attacked for his pro-Palestinian views.

Update 9: I posed a few questions at Pickled Politics draw out the issues:

1. For those who are critical of Jody McIntyre, would you hold a different view, if Jodie McIntyre held different opinions? In other words, do you view his treatment as acceptable because you disagree with his political views?

2. Do you think it is acceptable for four big and burly policemen to manhandle a wheelchair user in that way?

3. Alternatively, would you think it is acceptable for those four policeman to have manhandled an elderly pensioner in such a fashion?

4. Finally, do you feel that wheelchair users should stay at home and not venture out, just in case ?

I would welcome some engagement with those particular points.

Update 10: Journalism.co.uk has a piece on the Beeb interview:

“An interview on the BBC News channel with Jody McIntyre, the student protestor who was allegedly pulled from his wheelchair during the student demonstrations, has received a “considerable” number of complaints, controller of the channel Kevin Bakhurst said on the BBC Editors blog yesterday.”

Written by modernityblog

15/12/2010 at 18:56

44 Responses

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  1. http://thejc.com/blogpost/jody-mcintyre-not-an-ingenue
    Jody McIntyre, the (non-)student protestor who was pulled from his wheelchair by the police during the student demonstration last week, claims he did nothing to cause the incident. He asked Ben Brown (BBC News 24) “Do you really think a person with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?”

    McIntyre has been at several of the boycott demonstrations at Ahava, the Israeli cosmetics shop in London. I lead the pro-Israel counter-demonstrations. At one of the demonstrations McIntyre deliberately directed his wheelchair to run over my foot, causing me agonising pain (if you think I am exaggerating try having a wheelchair with occupant roll over YOUR foot).

    I have no idea if he did something similar at the student demonstration last week. But unless his condition has changed since he ran over my foot some 4 months ago, his assertion to Brown (“I can’t physically use my wheelchair myself”) is simply not true. He is only too adept at using his wheelchair.

    Jonathan Hoffman

    15/12/2010 at 18:59

  2. Tell you what Jonathan, try this exercise:

    1) get in a wheelchair.
    2) find four large healthy men
    3) viciously attack them sitting whilst in a wheelchair, with your hands
    4) let the four large, preferably rugby players manhandled you
    5) try to work out who is matched and mismatched, a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy or four BIG healthy men attacking him?

    Which is it?

    PS: I am not interested in Jody’s conduct elsewhere.

    I’m interested in the fact that four big policeman attacked a wheelchair user, I would have thought the disparity there was obvious?

    modernityblog

    15/12/2010 at 19:10

  3. Mod: Jonathan KNOWS the guy personally. You are just posing an hypothetical scenario.
    There is no doubt who is more credible in this issue.

    Fabian from Israel

    15/12/2010 at 19:32

  4. Fabian,

    I’m afraid appeals to authority don’t work, and as an academic you should know that.

    So, if a wheelchair user is attacked by four policeman, would you consider that reprehensible, irrespective of the wheelchair user’s views?

    Or is the attack more acceptable if the wheelchair user has some weird anti-Israeli views?

    Once more, should it be acceptable to attack **any** wheelchair user? or does it become more palatable because of the wheelchair user’s views?

    If I were you, I would seriously think about the implications of that type of thinking.

    modernityblog

    15/12/2010 at 19:38

  5. The facts are these:
    1. McIntyre’s disability did not prevent him from getting on to the roof of Millbank Tower last month.
    2. He has admitted that the police asked him to move and he refused – ‘I was away from the crowd, on my own. One policeman asked me to move and I shook my head’ – In that case they have every right to move him by force, wheelchair or not.
    3. He did not tell the truth in his BBC interview. He is perfectly capable of propelling his wheelchair.
    4. He is prepared to drive his wheelchair over the foot of political opponents.

    “Or is the attack more acceptable if the wheelchair user has some weird anti-Israeli views?”

    Stinking, reprehensible comment. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Jonathan Hoffman

    15/12/2010 at 19:45

  6. I am posing a question to those who wish to ignore the attack by FOUR policemen, you might do well to think of its moral implications and try to answer it, directly.

    modernityblog

    15/12/2010 at 19:58

  7. He was not “attacked” by four policemen. He was moved by (as far as I can see) two or maybe three policemen. If he refused to move then they are perfectly entitled to do that.

    Playing the “disabled” card is an insult to the disabled — and you should have the guts to say that, rather than go with the herd.

    Jonathan Hoffman

    15/12/2010 at 20:08

  8. Are you an expert on disabilities now?

    Could you tell us what you know about cerebral palsy?

    And addressing your point, you should have the confidence and ability to articulate your argument sufficiently, it becomes exceedingly tedious to drag out these exchanges.

    If you know what you think then please, articulate it, if you don’t, take Mark Twain’s advice.

    modernityblog

    15/12/2010 at 20:15

  9. The only thing that is “exceedingly tedious” is those who assume that McIntyre is some kind of innocent who did nothing to merit being moved by the police. Suppose he locked his wheelchair so that they could not move it, knowing full well that a Pallywood-style photo opportunity would be presented by the police having to move him bodily?

    Why hasn’t McIntyre complained to the police, if he is so innocent that butter wouldn’t melt?

    Jonathan Hoffman

    15/12/2010 at 20:27

  10. I don’t have to be an expert on cerebral palsy to know (a) that McIntyre can walk (he says so on his blog) (b) that he told an untruth on BBC News 24 when he said he could not propel his wheelchair.

    Sometimes (often) leftwing loyalties blind people to the truth….

    Jonathan Hoffman

    15/12/2010 at 20:31

  11. “those who assume that McIntyre is some kind of innocent who did nothing to merit being moved by the police.”

    Having been on a jury, I take the view innocent until proven guilty, an elementary concept in modern society

    We can suppose many things, we can argue about this all day an all-night, but it won’t change your view as you obviously loath this individual and don’t mind if he is physically attacked.

    End of discussion.

    modernityblog

    15/12/2010 at 20:32

  12. “you obviously loath this individual and don’t mind if he is physically attacked. ”

    I am terminating this exchange since your leftwing loyalties are preventing you from being rational and are leading you to abuse me. I am unable to give as good abuse as I get, since I use my real name, rather than cower behind a pseudonym.

    Jonathan Hoffman

    15/12/2010 at 20:43

  13. Jonathan,

    I am not abusing you, if I were you would know, I am very direct.

    I am pointing out that you have put no rational arguments, you have implied much, produced no evidence and generally tried to paint an exceedingly bad picture of Jody McIntyre.

    I am naturally left to conclude that this is because you loathe him.

    I freely concede that there may be another reason, but as you don’t seem capable of articulating reasoned and consistent arguments then I am slightly at a loss to explain your vitriol towards this individual.

    PS: If a Tory wheelchair user had been treated so, then I would have objected. As I’ve pointed out several times, his views are irrelevant, his views are not germane to the issue.

    The issue is the treatment of a wheelchair user by four big and meaty policemen, what the individual actually believes not relevant, it is what happened, as per the video.

    Again, his other views don’t come into it, it is how the policemen treated him that concerns me.

    modernityblog

    15/12/2010 at 20:57

  14. Okay Jody McIntyre may be a bit of an arsehole vis a vis his political views but I agree with you here Mod. Heres a thought…Did it not occur to the police to wheel him to the kerb?

    jams o donnell

    15/12/2010 at 22:43

  15. Mod, I honestly don’t understand why you’ve chosen to frame this debate as one about the rights of the disabled. If McIntyre was treated unfairly by the police (and, like you, I don’t know exactly what happened) then the police in question should be disciplined.

    However, the more important story, and the ONLY major issue I addressed in my post, is McIntyre’s vile anti-Zionist activism. As I noted in my CiF piece earlier in the year, he’s someone who has compared Israel with Nazi Germany, and has openly defended Hezbollah (In McIntyre’s view they’re not a terrorist group!). Even Christian Aid found his views too abhorrent to defend. His disability has absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Adam Levick

    16/12/2010 at 01:48

  16. Now why would I frame in terms of disability rights?

    Oh yes, because I believe that four burly policeman manhandling some one with cerebral palsy, who is a wheelchair user, is excessive.

    That’s why, wasn’t it elementary? Wasn’t I direct enough.

    I don’t care what views he holds, I am not interested in people like Jonathan who have a grudge against him.

    I think that if four burly policeman were to manhandle an able-bodied person then it would be wrong, and doubly so someone with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair.

    I have read his blog and disagree with him profoundly, but that doesn’t change the fact the police were wrong in their dealing with him as a person. As an individual.

    I shouldn’t have to explain why individuals are important, should I?

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 01:56

  17. Modernity, I am disabled. I have good compensatory upper body strength. I could punch the lights out of anyone from a wheelchair and very quickly too if I had as little self-control as McIntyre.

    Were you there? Did you actually witness this alleged attack by the policemen? If not, how can you know what happened? Given what Jonathan has written is it beyond the bounds of possibility that this not-so-passive aggression constitutes a pattern with McIntyre and that he attempted to attack them in the way he attacked Jonathan Hoffman? He could wheel the chair himself, as Jonathan describes.

    From what Adam Levick has written McIntyre hardly seems to be a saint, and being disabled doesn’t qualify him for sainthood as you seem to believe.

    “I shouldn’t have to explain why individuals are important, should I?”

    Of course not, but I would like you to explain whether this nasty individual who holds reprehensible and antisemitic views so important to you simply because he is disabled. Would you be so forgiving of me, who is also disabled, if I walloped you?

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 02:30

  18. PS: This bugger ran over Jonathan Hoffman’s foot deliberately! I doubt that Jonathan’s reaction to his behaviour at the demo is down to holding a grudge. So far as I can make out, this active aggression is part of a pattern as is the passive aggression in “Ow, he hit me and I’m disabled…” response by McIntyre. He could wheel his own wheelchair. He should have got out of the way when things got out of hand.

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 02:34

  19. “Would you be so forgiving of me, who is also disabled, if I walloped you?”

    No, but then I wouldn’t ask four burly policemen to manhandle you either.

    You might want to engage with Carole-Anne Melia’s points.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 02:34

  20. I have seen no end of assertions concerning his physical capacities.

    But no evidence, and I have no doubt that Jonathan bears him a grudge, which would explain his post on the matter.

    But even IF Jody McIntyre were the most reprehensible individual on the planet, that does not excuse his treatment by FOUR big policemen.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 02:37

  21. You didn’t answer my question as to whether you actually saw the incident or are relying on second-hand information about it.

    Of course wheelchair users have as much right to protest, but that shouldn’t mean that they lose all contact with common sense in potentially dangerous situations. I can identify with Carole-Anne’s reactions to some of the stuff slung at her, but again, why did McIntyre remain at the scene when things kicked off? If it was his choice to stay and he is afflicted of poor self-control when thwarted then he shouldn’t whinge, should he, when he is thwarted?

    Did Carole-Anne actually witness the event?

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 02:42

  22. Once again, modernity – DID YOU SEE THAT TREATMENT BY THE “FOUR BIG POLICEMEN” or are you relying on McIntyre’s or others’ accounts?

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 02:43

  23. “..I am naturally left to conclude that this is because you loathe him….”
    There’s absolutely nothing “natural” about that conclusion. It is evidence of wonky reasoning and your use of “loathe” is hyperbolic.

    And abusive because you have no evidence that this is the case.

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 02:46

  24. I have already made it clear I’m going on the video evidence and I’ve added new material.

    And let me ask you a question, do you think those who are arguing his treatment wasn’t too harsh, were there as well? well?

    The video evidence in my view is sufficient, if you don’t think it is then there’s little point in continuing our exchange.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 02:48

  25. So someone actually shot a video while this was happening and didn’t attempt to get McIntyre out of the way?

    That smacks more of Pallywood than anything else.

    Until I see the video myself then I can’t say, can I?
    And you are right, it’s like banging my head against a wall.

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 02:54

  26. Mod. This person is not deserving of your sympathy. He is simply using his disability to get sympathy from the uninformed.

    Find somebody more worthy of your efforts.

    Clap Hammer

    16/12/2010 at 04:46

  27. “He has admitted that the police asked him to move and he refused – ‘I was away from the crowd, on my own. One policeman asked me to move and I shook my head’ – In that case they have every right to move him by force, wheelchair or not.”

    I can assure Modernity that police in every civilised country on the planet, will not tolerate their orders being ignored and will force the citizen to comply, even if by manhandling. McIntyre was lucky not to have been arrested as I have often seen when demonstrators ignore police.

    If the citizen thinks excessive force was used to achieve the objective of compliance with the police, then in most developed countries there is a mechanism for complaint, particularly if the citizen has been struck or injured. But the McIntyre videos I’ve seen would be insufficient to sustain such a complaint.

    Manifestant

    16/12/2010 at 06:13

  28. Thank you for posting “Update 7”. It shows McIntyre being incredibly aggressive to the police. No rational person could have any sympathy for him after seeing this.

    And your bullshit about “Jonathan bears him a grudge” just demeans you.

    Jonathan Hoffman

    16/12/2010 at 06:45

  29. Mod. Would you be wasting your sympathy on this person if he was supporting BNP rallies, screeching racist epitaphs and provoking police and other demonstrators?

    Clap Hammer

    16/12/2010 at 06:59

  30. At one of the demonstrations McIntyre deliberately directed his wheelchair to run over my foot, causing me agonising pain (if you think I am exaggerating try having a wheelchair with occupant roll over YOUR foot).

    Jonathan Hoffman last night.

    And your bullshit about “Jonathan bears him a grudge” just demeans you.

    So you’ve forgiven him? It doesn’t sound like it.

    Modernity, I am disabled. I have good compensatory upper body strength. I could punch the lights out of anyone from a wheelchair and very quickly too if I had as little self-control as McIntyre.

    Snigger, you don’t have cerebral palsy. You also appear to have unusually long arms.

    Dave Weeden

    16/12/2010 at 07:37

  31. Some of the pieces hostile to JM have been disgusting and offensive – and I think most people will have been horrified by the video and impressed by his interview. (Though I strongly disagree with the views expressed on his blog.) But – I think Jonathan Hoffman’s experience is somewhat relevant. Over on another blog I said it was reasonable for Ben Brown to quiz him about whether he’d been moving his chair towards someone aggressively, and I got a very hostile response, as though it was absolutely unthinkable that this might be so. Maybe he did nothing on this occasion, and maybe the police response was outrageous (though it’s probably safer for all concerned to involve four police officers than two and if they had moved the chair he might have got up, as he does have at least limited mobility, or braked the chair) but I think it’s potentially helpful for JM to have the chance to answer the questions sceptical people might be asking themselves about the incident.

    Sarah AB

    16/12/2010 at 09:25

  32. SarahAB, Jody McIntyre has distracted us from the discussion. And he has a record of aggression towards people with whom he disagrees (see Jonathan Hoffman’s account above and at the JC).

    Modernity, I am sorry if I have offended your sensibilities but I have to agree with Clap Hammer. As I said, I am disabled but if I were to mix it in a potentially dangerous situation and come to grief then I wouldn’t bleat or expect sympathy or make capital out of it as JM seems to have done.

    Snigger

    16/12/2010 at 12:08

  33. Did Hoffman injure his foot trying to kick Jody McIntyre? I’m only asking as Hoffman has a track record of associating with violent far-right thugs and lying about it later.

    Erica Blair

    16/12/2010 at 13:51

  34. Sarah AB,

    Fair points.

    “I think it’s potentially helpful for JM to have the chance to answer the questions sceptical people might be asking themselves about the incident.”

    Do you think so?

    I doubt there is anything that Jody McIntyre could have said to his critics, I think they’ve made their mind up already and argumentation doesn’t even come into it.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 14:11

  35. PS: If any comments go missing please let me know.

    The blog is suffering a spam attack at the moment and I might miss key something by mistake.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 14:23

  36. Snigger –

    Did you actually witness this alleged attack by the policemen? If not, how can you know what happened?

    This bugger ran over Jonathan Hoffman’s foot deliberately!

    *Snigger*.

    BenSix

    16/12/2010 at 14:27

  37. Given that the guy can move and can even walk I don’t even know why palsy comes to the equation. The guy can punch you, palsy or not. End of the question.

    Fabian ben Israel

    16/12/2010 at 14:32

  38. Fabian, he can probably walk in the same way that you can climb the sheer face of a mountain, with great difficulty.

    Frankly, I don’t expect much from the partisans here, but you, as an academic, should make a positive effort to research cerebral palsy before you comment.

    I would recommend that you utilise the Web in your research on this topic and if you want you can view the videos, etc which I have included.

    Please, at least make some effort.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 15:00

  39. PS: I have updated the post with a few questions.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 15:23

  40. Here’s a blog post idea, Mod. How about:

    “Police, under a barrage of bricks, bottles and metal fence panels, (thrown by adolescents who seem to think that low tuition is a fundamental right in a democracy) overwhelmingly maintain professionalism throughout the ordeal. ”

    A bit, wordy, I agree. But, I bet it represents a theme you never considered exploring. (How difficult it must be for police to act perfectly in every situation during a RIOT)

    Adam Levick

    16/12/2010 at 16:32

  41. You asked me a direct question, my concern was purely how a wheelchair user was bullied by the police.

    If you ask me why I dislike the post at CiF Watch, it struck me as character assassination and fairly pointless, even counterproductive.

    The comments thread at CiF Watch only reinforced my view that had Jody McIntyre held *other* views, then his treatment by the police might have been seen in a different light.

    Which in my view is profoundly wrong.

    As I said before, even if he had been a Tory, a Conservative, etc then I would have objected to his treatment by the police in such a fashion, and I need not remind you that I positively loathed the Tories and have little if any time for the Conservatives, but I’m concerned with his **treatment**, physical treatment and not his political views.

    I am concerned with individual rights, and I would welcome you addressing my questions in update 9, if you can

    Please do let me know if you want me to clarify my opinions again.

    modernityblog

    16/12/2010 at 16:41

  42. Please do let me know if you want me to clarify my opinions again.

    No. And I suggest that you don’t reply anymore and consider your responses on this thread in a few days time.

    Clap Hammer

    16/12/2010 at 17:10

  43. Modernity, have you considered my points above?

    Manifestant

    18/12/2010 at 01:42

  44. Won’t somebody please think of Jonathan Hoffman’s foot?

    barry

    22/12/2010 at 03:55


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