The following message comes from the a16-international-planning list serve,it concerns a photo a protestor took of a man
in plain-clothes who was beating him – quite a startling image. Initially the protestor thought it was an incident in
road-rage. Now, with the photo as evidence, the protestor is seeking justice….
Being bashed.. (Rob Fish snaps a policeman beating him.)
A message from Rob Fish
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN! Here's a photo of him beating me! if so please email me and call the legal team ASAP
I need your help. Monday morning at about 8:30 am near the corner of 18th and K on Monday, April 17th, 2000 I was
beaten by a plainclothes officer (not sure if fed or mpd) after photographing him going crazy though the streets hitting
people over the head with his baton. At the time I didn't even think it was a cop! Being a part of the Independent Media
Center, and wearing my Indepentent Media Center id, I photographed this man, who I believed was an angry motorist. After
seeing me about to take the photograph of him, he lunged towards my neck with his hands and proceeded to club me at
least two times with this club like device and pushed me to the ground. He then hit me several more times and wrestled
the camera from my hands. I called for police to arrest this man still believing this was a case of road rage. Upon
arrival the police officer (not sure if MPD,secret service or another agency) informed me that the man was a
The camera at this point had been knocked to the ground and the plainclothes officer attempted to stomp on it. He was
able to crack the frame, but the camera slipped out from under his foot. As he was about to stomp down a second time I
was able to swipe the camera and throw it back into the crowd. In turn I received several more blows to the head. This
continued for I believe about 20 seconds. I have little recollection of this time period and believe I may have briefly
lost consciousness. My glassed were ripped from my face and i yelled for them back as they dragged me away yelling for
medical attention after realizing the extent of my head wound and thrown into a pile near an approaching group of
They made no effort to get me medical attention more or less smirking when I made this request. As I laid in a pile
bleeding the medical team for the collection pulled me away to the sidelines and treated me for severe head wounds. I
was bandaged up to stop the bleeding (by this point I had blood running down my face into my ear and onto my pants) and
then helped to the opposite corner where we called cab to bring me to the hospital. At this time I was extremely dizzy
The man was in a beige trench coat with a pin stripe dress shirt underneath. He was older and larger and apparantly had
a chain with id hanging from his neck. He was away from any police line and just going crazy. AFter taking the photo I
recieved the same treatment and required seven stitches and have a concussion. I need you help - I know some of the
witnesses from the event were from NY (syracuse I believe) and the medics who treated me were from NYC. I was wearing
jeans and a green shirt covered by a black trashbag - well, before the cops ripped it off me and had on glasses with
black plastic frames. If any of you out there think you saw this take place, please email ASAP.
Below is some info on the media coverage - if any of this sounds like something you may have witnessed, please email me.
Media: Immediately after my attack I was interviewed (if you can call it that!) by the Washington Post (see Tuesday,
April 18's paper), C-SPAN, and CBS News and possibly others. C-Span aired my complete statement about the incident while
I sat there in a bloody and bandaged mess while the CBS Nightly News aired a brief quote from me stating that the the
attacked was entirely unprovoked. The Washington Post presented my info as the following:
"In one, near K & 18th Street NW, Rob Fish, 21, of Stanhope, NJ., said he was taking pictures of police activity. He said an undercover
officer hit him with a billy club, knocking him down. 'I got thrown to the ground and hit over the heard,' Fish said.
Fish was left with a stream of blood running down his face, straining his jeans and green shirt. Several friends tended
to his wounds."
Later in the day, I took part in a closing press conference called by the protest "organizers". At the conference I told
my story and was interviewed by several other media outlets. The press conference was also broadcasted in full on
C-Span. There may also be video footage of the beating that was broadcasted in the NYC area. Tuesday morning I told my
story on "Democracy Now" with Amy Goodman.-
Currently, I am still feeling dizzy and have a major headache. I may seek further treatment if these symptoms continue
into tonight. Please email me with any information!