By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 27The nation's capital looks like it is in a virtual state of siege today. Cops in full riot gear stand grouped in twos and threes on every corner. At Dupont Circle, they form a protective cordon in front of shops.
The air is full of sirens as cop cars escort busloads of officials from one part of the city to another for their World Bank meetings. Convoys of unmarked, all-black vans speed through the streets, agents peering intently out of the tinted side windows. By noon, more than 500 demonstrators were reported to be under arrest. There's been nothing like this in Washington since the Vietnam protests.
This morning a Department of Energy employee, John McGill, told WTOP reporter Christy King that as he and his girlfriend were riding to work on their bikes, cops pulled the girlfriend off her bike, and, with D.C. police chief Charles Ramsey joining, in "beat her to the ground.''
"We got caught up in all this,'' said McGill, who claimed that when he complained to the chief, Ramsey paid no attention. The woman was taken into custody and hauled off.
Ramsey denied any role in the incident. "I didn't beat down anybody," Ramsey told King. "I wasn't there. I didn't touch anybody. . . . If he wants to file a complaint let him file it. . . . I don't care. It's just not true."
King persisted. "Are your officers acting appropriately?" she wanted to know.
Replied Ramsey: "You're following a [line of questioning] that is total bullshitand air that please."