by Steve Haruch
On Friday, Occupy Nashville posted this video, with the somewhat ominous title "Covert surveillance at Occupy Nashville?" It was taken outside the dinner that activists interrupted briefly in order to hurl "war criminal" charges at former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In the video, a white van — with magnets that say "NES" affixed to its sides and what appears to be a camera of some sort mounted on its roof — sits idling on the side of the street. Occupy types start heckling whoever's inside the van for being parked illegally, and there look to be computer monitors and other electronic equipment inside.
After the video was posted, speculation spread fast and furious about who was in the van and what they might have been doing: Was it TBI? Homeland Security? Blackwater? Today, Metro Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford told the Scene that it was actually undercover Nashville cops:
The van was a Metro Police Department undercover vehicle that was part of the dignitary protection plan for Donald Rumsfeld. Given his obviously controversial status, and the police department hearing talk of possible disruptions to his visit, officers were assigned to proactively work to ensure everyone's safety.