After viewing dozens of OWS protest videos, I've managed to uncover a 'triggering' mechanism that seems to set the NYPD personnel into an arrest frenzy.
There are two protest behaviors that get drastically different responses from the NYPD:
Protest Behavior Usually Leading to Arrest:
a) The protester, when asked to keep walking, fails to turn face and body in direction of the officer's request. The second time the officer attempts to make this request, the protester is clearly seen standing his/her ground. The officer is then seen going into an arrest frenzy.
b) The protester is yelling within 2-3 feet of the officer's ear, and at the officer. This close proximity yelling would be threatening to any person, officer or protester.
c) The officer physically pushes the protester with the force that should knock you down, and the protester stands their ground. Yes this is assault, but that levity will never be given the credit it deserves in court. The protester who is indignant enough to stand their ground and not continue walking in the direction of being shoved, they will be arrested.
b) The photographer, when asked to keep walking or is pushed away from a SPECIFIC spot STANDS THEIR GROUND!
Non Threatening Body Language - No arrest is made.
a) The protester, when asked to keep walking, exhibits compliance by physically turning head & body in direction of officer's request.
b) The photographer, when asked to keep walking, or pushed away from a SPECIFIC spot, swiftly creates a large distance between self and that officer.
Law enforcement is trained to interpret non compliant as combative. Combative behavior is usually, from the perspective of the NYPD, interpreted as threatening. Yes, I know this sounds too simple minded, but the NYPD have a narrow window between combative and compliant.