USMC Veteran Shamar Thomas Faces Down & Scolds 25-30 Cops In Times Square; They Leave

The gruesome violence against unarmed protesters in Oakland by the police made me think of a recent and potentially similar situation in Times Square. In the Times Square situation, a single man, former Marine Sergeant Shamar Thomas, spoke the truth loudly to the police, made them see for just a moment that what they were doing was un-American and without honor, faced them down, caused them to leave the area, and defused the situation before violence occurred.

This happened on October 15, two weeks ago this upcoming Saturday. A group of the Occupy Wall Street protesters had marched from Zucotti Park to Times Square. The police, who were out in large numbers had separated them into several smaller groups and were firmly trying to force them back. The protesters were trying to rejoin together, but the police were preventing this. There was no violence this time, but there were some arrests.

Sergeant Thomas was in one of the smaller groups which was slowly falling back under pressure from the police. Thomas was himself moving toward the police. When he was face to face with them, he started. If you haven’t seen this video, watch it. If you have, watch it again. We need more Sergeant Thomases.

Transcript — it’s a crowd on a street at night with parked police vehicle and at least three kinds of cops, hatted black uniforms, hatted white shirts with megaphones, and helmeted black uniforms, all milling and coming and going, some gathering around, some engaging Sgt. Thomas, eventually walking away from him, defusing the situation.

MARINE SGT. SHAMAR THOMAS wearing camos, walking up the street towards clump of people, cops, calling back over his shoulder: Have a good night, guys. (laughs) See it, baby. They don’t lie. (stopping, holding his chest ribbons out for the cops to see) They don’t lie. They don’t lie. They don’t lie, tough guy. This is not a war zone. This is not a war zone. These are unarmed people. It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people. It doesn’t make you tough to hurt these people. It doesn’t.

(camera pans around to black-uniformed cops, at least five standing facing him, one has his hand on his nightstick, one has his hand on his holstered gun, one reaches over to put his hand on his holstered gun) (somebody yells something to Sgt. Thomas) I don’t care! I don’t care about these people. I put in my work. It doesn’t lie. (again holding his shirt, schooling the cops) It does not make you tough to hurt these people. There’s nothing tough about it. Nothing. If you want to go fight, go to Iraq and Afghanistan. (camera pans again, it’s eight cops in this clump) But you want to be here, huh? U.S. citizens. Where is that in the contract? Where is that in the contract? Leave these people alone. They’re U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens! U. – S. – citizens! U.S.! It does not make any sense to do this to them! It doesn’t. Stop hurting these people, man! Why are y’all doing this to our people? I been to Iraq 14 months for MY PEOPLE! You don’t get to hurt them! They don’t have guns! They – don’t – have – guns! They don’t! Why are you hurting these people? It doesn’t make any sense! It doesn’t make any sense! How do you sleep at night? There is no honor in this! There is no honor in this! There is no honor in this, man! There is no honor in this shit! There is no honor in this shit! There is no honor! In what you’re doing! Chase people! No honor!

How do you do this to people? How do you do this to people? How do you sleep at night doing this to people? Why do you do this to people? Huh? You’re here to protect them! You’re here to protect them! Protect us! Why are you hurting U.S. citizens? This is the United States of America! Why are you hurting people? If you want to go kill Iraqis, go to Iraq. Why are you hurting U.S. citizens? Why? What’s that do, make you? Do you get honor out of this? You get honor out of hitting these people with batons? Is that what you get? (cop upstreet to his side gestures in our direction, says “Let’s go,” walks toward us, past Sgt. Thomas and camera) Why are you doing this to people? (Now white-shirted officer facing him talks in megaphone, gestures with hand like traffic cop directing people to move away. Cops are in a loose ring around Sgt. Thomas, crowd of people with cameras gather beyond them)

This is unbelievable, that y’all are doing this to people. That y’all are doing this to people. (Camera faces cops, you see their faces, taking it in. “Come on. Let’s go people.”) Why are y’all doing this to people? (One young cop walks up to Sgt. Thomas and says something quietly. Sgt. Thomas is speaking now, not yelling.) No, I know that everybody’s not bad, but why are y’all doing this to people? Y’all walk around and why … this is a war?! (screaming again) These people don’t have guns! (lots of cops and officers are gathered, milling, watching… “crazy”) Okay, maybe I’m crazy … you people … y’all protect … ! (cops say something to him, “back up”) No … me, protecting this country! I under– but I’m not out here trying to hurt these people, I’m not walking around trying to hurt – (Cops are gathered tighter around him — “just keep moving” “but your history doesn’t” “I was in Iraq with you”) So why, so why do you allow this? (“What?”) Why are you walking around trying to hurt people? (camera is tight on cops, conversation officer taking pushy steps toward Sgt. Thomas, “keep walking”, megaphone officer to crowd “Please … just walk down the block please”) And I can’t speak, y’all want to shut me up. Y’all want to shut me up. (Camera pans around again, milling cops and crowd, one cop is filming Sgt. Thomas)

Why are you all walking like there’s a war going on? Nobody has guns! (camera pans and you can see bunch of helmeted cops coming up, stop) Why are y’all treating people like this? This is America! Why are y’all treating people like this? Why are y’all gearing up like this is war? (“… sir, move back”) This is not war! (“Let’s go folks … ”) This is not war! Why are y’all acting like this? No one has guns. It takes a tough guy to act like this. (“Let’s go folks … ”) … put away your guns. Nobody’s trying to hurt you guys. There are no bullets flying out here. (“Folks … “) There are no bullets flying! How tough are you? How tough are you? (three white-shirt megaphone officers meet beyond Sgt. Thomas, turn away, gesture others)

Jump cut

SGT. THOMAS addressing people gathered around, no cops now: There is no honor in hurting unarmed civilians.

FILMING GUY: What did you see today that bothered you?

SGT. THOMAS: I was here October 5th. I saw them beating people – people that had nothing to do with anything, just grabbed them from out of the crowd. There is no honor in that. My mom, my father, everybody has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, where I did 14 months in Iraq. My father was in Afghanistan. My mother did a year in Iraq. We fought for this country. I don’t come home – I’m in New York City! I am from New York City and these cops are hurting people that I fought to protect. There is no reason for this. There’s no rea– There is no honor in hurting unarmed civilians and I won’t let it happen. Have a good night.

Crowd cheers

LADY WITH CAMERA: What’s your name? What’s your name? What’s your name? What’s your name?

SGT. THOMAS: Sgt. Shamar Thomas. I was born in New York. Sgt. Shamar Thomas. I was born in New York.

MAN: … President!

SGT. THOMAS answering guy with camera, gestures down the street: Huh? I don’t know what they’re doing. They walked away. They’re scared.

Sgt. Thomas walks up the street to cheers and handshakes, hugs a guy in a red hoodie.

SGT THOMAS: Did you see that?

For more information on this story, including an interview Sergeant Thomas had with Keith Olbermann a couple of nights later, please refer to The Daily Kos at Marine vet scolds/puts NYPD in their place(AMZNG VID!)Now w/Olbermann interview!

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2 Responses to USMC Veteran Shamar Thomas Faces Down & Scolds 25-30 Cops In Times Square; They Leave

  1. poppi panama says:

    Well the time has arrived. The movement is taking on an identity of its own. This man was placed in a hostile situation and with GOD defused the situation. There has to be some elements put in place as an example to continue to mainstream the messages that Americans are aware that nothing has been resolved on Wall street. The sophisticated financial institutions have been untouchable because the very people hired to oversee the different commissions and financial reserves and the corporates such as the current global crisis is and inside job. WAKE UP AMERICA! The infrastructure of OWS is to exploit the banking regulations and non practiced deregulations by all the banks and corporates and investment banks and the fact that the banks are going to get bailed out is systematically implemented. There has to be an understanding and a layman interpretations of what role Washington is playing with the banks because the regulators in America are not infiltrating the untouchable wall street barriers and bringing wall streeters to justice. In other words Washington is incahoose with the wall street industry and the activities are larger than life because Washington still have the same staff members that will deter deregulations and investigations and now that we are becoming aware that the regulators have the power to do their jobs and are not doing it the financial markets ie. (banks) have been untouchable because the investigations are not aggressive because of its allegedly sophistication. So the erection of OWS has been considered the most dangerous opposition since the civil rights movement in the Dr. Martin Luther King’s era. Now this veteran has put himself in arms way with assertions of truths as the law enforcement agencies throughout America are stereotyping the movement and attempting to use brutal forces and abusive techniques and engage in wars against unarmed citizens who are joined in a civil rights movement that is nonviolent. The movement is going to have leaders raised up as the movement gain ground and seniority. USMC Veteran Shamar Thomas was in the right place at the right time. Thank you potluck for your insights and undertones on giving us an education lesson and I remember when it was a struggle for minorities to vote and until Johnson signed the bill July 2, 1964 it was against the law for minorities to vote. Even though Washington and Wall Street is a sophisticated operation it can still be exploited! There are certain financial financial instruments that can not be regulated and the regulations for derivitives are and should be regulated but The Federal Reserve Board Commisons, The House Financial Services Committe and other treasury agencies would not thrust forward and do the right things to deter a financial crisis from coming into fruition. Now that OWS is willing to wake up this country in layman terms the rich are going to pay as much money as deemed necesssary to keep this exposure at a bare minimum of exposure by staging a war on non violent protesters in this country by using armed law enforcement agencies that are suppose to protect U.S. citizens. The Board of governors of the Federal Reserve System have the power to go after Wall street and significantly issue regulations but the apointees by Washington will not allow process to take on a FULL BLOWN LIFE OF ITS OWN! Revenuer and Potluck I will continuously be praying for you daily and thanks for you both doing the same, You are a great and dynamic duo and I appreciate what you teach me. Thank you so much. WAKE UP AMERICA and pay attention because OWS is going to grow and grow and grow and grow! Trust me it is not going anywhere! Sooner or later the walls of Wall Street will come crumbling down!

    • ssapotluck says:


      I think that the majority of Americans are awake now. They know what has been done to them, and they are fighting mad.

      I agree with your statement that Wall Street and Washington because the regulators have been bought and will not carry out their regulations. Obama has been bougjht too; if not how do you explain that the regulators, who work for him, have done basically nothing. Some of these Wall Street predators need to be in jail, but the Justice Department does nothing. There is a quotation from Benito Mussolini, the creator of fascism, which I repeat a lot because it fits our situation so well, “Fascism should more correctly be called “corporatism,” because it represents the merger of corporate power and state power.”

      The OWS movement are all heroes. They are speaking for all of us, and taking a lot of police brutality and harassment for their efforts. As of last night, there is another veteran hospitalized in “fair” conditions. The police in Oakland beat him with clubs and ruptured his spleen. He was walking away from the area where the non-OWS infiltrators were spraying graffiti and breaking windows and starting fires. Sgt Shamar Thomas has become a defacto leader in the movement in New York. He has obvious leadership skills, and is a definite asset to the movement.

      The OWS movement will succeed. It may take awhile, but I think that the 113th Congress, which will convene in January 2013, will be much more representative of ordinary Americans than the current 112th Congress is. I expect a lot of teabaggers to be thrown out on their behinds next November.

      As far as Wall Street goes, one thing Congress could do is restore the Glass-Steagle Act. This was a law which was put into effect as part of the New Deal, in the early 1930’s. It separated the investment banks on Wall Street from the commercial banks which did the people’s business, such as maintaining bank accounts and lending money. Glass-Steagle was repealed in 1999 (yes, Clinton was President and he signed it) which made it possible for all banks to get involved in the Wall Street lottery. This indirectly led to the 2008 bank crash. Now we have six or seven giant banks holding ordinary Americans’ money and playing monkey tricks on Wall Street with it. 650,000 Americans have already taken their money out of the giant bank where it was before (us among them) and they expect another 70,000 to do so later today.

      If you want to keep track of the movement, visit this link every day The Daily Kos’ Group ‘Occupy Wall Street’. There are hundreds of articles in this group, the newest on top.

      Thank you for writing.

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