March 22, 2012 at 3:58 PM ET
Nassina Ali had a very personal message at an Occupy rally Thursday in New York City. Just an observer the day before, the Brooklyn resident told the Associated Press that she turned activist when police officers smashed her MacBook Pro. One day and a repaired laptop later, Ali returned to Union Square to participate in the demonstration, where she carried a short-but-sweet cardboard sign summarizing her experience as a member of the 99 percent:
COPS SMASHED MY LAPTOP (A MACBOOK PRO) APPLE SAID "F" THE POLICE AND FIXED IT 4 FREE.
We're still working to corroborate the story told on Ali's sign. Did this really happen, and in the way she describes? What's more, did an Apple Genius really quote late '80s hip-hop group N.W.A., or is this new demonstrator using shorthand to cut to the chase? We're still trying to get in touch with Ali, and we've also reached out to Apple and the NYPD.
In any case, this isn't the first time an Occupy participant accused the NYPD of purposely breaking a pricey laptop. During the failed Zuccotti Park raid in November, police officers confiscated laptops as evidence. Protesters said that when they claimed their devices, they found their electronics mangled, suggesting police had been less than gentle in their handling of the computers.
Gothamist covered the damage done to several laptops, showing several trashed netbooks recovered after the raid, at the city's sanitation building in midtown Manhattan.