A former Occupy Wall Street protester was arrested Monday night after throwing fake blood on New York City Police Department Commissioner William Bratton and other cops during a demonstration that erupted following the Ferguson grand jury decision.
Diego Ibañez, 26, is expected to appear in court on charges of assault on a police officer, obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal mischief.
Photos of Bratton and other police officers splattered with blood were splashed across the pages of New York’s tabloids, but the NYPD’s top cop shrugged of the incident with a joke and a smile when questioned by the New York Daily News.
“My wife’s been complaining about my grey hairs, been asking me to darken up a little bit,” Bratton said. “But bright red is not what I’m looking at.”
Bratton, however, was less kind when it came to his thoughts on Ibañez, who will face nine counts of assault — one for each member of the NYPD struck by the fake blood concoction that is typically used in movies or plays. He brought the faux blood to the rally in a jar.
He is “a professional agitator,” Bratton said of Ibañez. “And I hope he’ll be a professional resident of Rikers Island if we have a successful prosecution.”
Ibañez was born in Bolivia and was active in immigration rights movements in Utah, Alabama and Arizona, before moving to New York City to work with the Occupy Wall Street movement. He has also had several prior arrests and is known to have gone on a two-week hunger strike in October 2011.
The protester’s Facebook and Twitter pages are a mix of left-wing memes and statements about topic like the 43 missing Mexican college students and links to YouTube music videos from Kendrick Lamar and Gogol Bordello.
Ibañez’s writing has appeared in the activist newspaper the Indypendent and he was also interviewed by the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs about his time during the Occupy Wall Street movement.
“The race issue was something that I was very aware about,” Ibañez said. “So I have come to realize that if the process and if the actual structure that we have limited ourselves to is not working for people of color and immigrants, then I see a separate call, something that is not within an Occupy Wall Street working group, something that's in solidarity but that's a parallel call."
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