Soon after Occupy Austin protesters began their months-long demonstration at City Hall last fall, Austin police officials assigned at least three undercover officers to infiltrate the group to gather intelligence on any plans that might break the law.
The officers also may have crossed a fine line in undercover police work: They helped plan and manufacture devices — often called "lock boxes" — that allowed Occupy members to tie themselves together during a protest in Houston, according to interviews and court records. The use of the devices, which makes it harder for police to break up human chains, resulted in Houston police filing felony charges against seven protestors who had attempted to block a port entrance in Houston on Dec. 12.
It's not clear who first proposed making the lock boxes. But during the hearing, attorneys and Austin Police Detective Shannon Dowell — who wore a long black beard and was known to Occupy members as "Butch" — disclosed that Dowell had purchased PVC pipe and other materials with Occupy Austin money and delivered the finished lock boxes to movement members.
TVNL Comment: Police are there to protect us, not inspect us! When police try to set you up to commit crimes so that they can arrest you...they are the enemy.