“1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine wins)”

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With one helluva headline, the YouTube video “1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine wins)” is getting a lot of attention in the news and on the blogs.

In the clip, a man billed as “United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY” takes about five minutes to yell at a large group of NYPD, accusing them of police brutality. Thomas is an activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has hit the streets of New York to peaceably protest the “corporate forces of the world.” If you’re interested, you can read more about the mission here.

Thomas gets in the faces of several officers and screams more than once “There is no honor in this! There is no honor in this!” It’s intense.

So, the fact Thomas is a Marine makes the whole incident a lot more interesting. But one important note to mention — missed by a lot of people out there — is that Thomas looks to be a former Marine.

Manpower and Reserve Affairs confirmed their records do show one Shamar Thomas — an Iraq veteran, who left the Corps in 2007. This explains his stubble and unbuttoned jacket.

It also seems to match the YouTube description, which says Thomas is now playing amateur football and attending college.

Does it bother you, or inspire you, that Thomas is wearing his MARPAT for this scene? No doubt he wouldn’t be getting nearly as much attention if he had his worn his football jersey or waved his college pennant.

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48 Comments

  1. midnight warrior on

    I am not a member of the Corps, however I am an officer in the NYPD. I believe Thomas showed himself to be very undisciplined. He needs to understand that officers of the NYPD simply take orders. He stereotyped officers that probably had nothing to do with what has been going on at Wall Street these last couple of weeks. Secondly, he was wearing half of his camouflage uniform, which was open, while off base and sporting a full beard. I believe he is a disgrace to the USMC, and wrongly represents those who HUMBLY serve their country.

  2. Sgt. E. Schmidt (Ret.) on

    It’s a uniform. Not an accessory. If worn, it should be worn correctly. If worn correctly, his actions and conduct reflect on the Marines. And now, with modern technology the whole world watches as another big mouth soils our uniform. His antics do not represent the best of our Corps. He’s acting like a large petulant child throwing a tantrum and his conduct is an embarassment. I expect better from Marines.

  3. I think he’s just trying to get attention. Its bothers me that he’s wearing the uniform. If he wants to wear a USMC shirt or some sorta Marines apparell thats one thing but thats the uniform he is disgracing along with his service.

  4. @midnight warrior, as a current NYPD cop, and a former devil dog, (I know once a marine always a marine) I am disgraced by this disgusting display this “marine” puts on. He says he fought for his country, join the club buddy!! You don’t see other Devil Dogs out there acting like jack asses. Stay safe midnight warrior from your brother here in PBQS…..

  5. Antics? Acting like a jack ass? It appears that, from his point of view, he was trying to protect a group of people he believed to be innocent. You’re going to fault him for that? In regards to his uniform, it’s his to do with as he wishes (though I wish he had done it in Blues because I have more respect for my cammies, personally). He used it as a tool to help those he saw in need. I won’t fault him for that.

  6. If he was in full uniform he would be impersonating a soldier, since he is no longer enlisted. He is well spoken in pointing out the weaknesses in the power hungry police, as well as representing veterans as the real heros.

  7. Really? The guy expresses a couple of points in an emotionally charged way and all most of you can say is that he looks unkempt and angry. He’s obviously a very upset man. As fellow Marines, aren’t you supposed to look out for each other? Don’t you wonder why he’s upset and hope someone talks him down? What about his words? What do you think of what he was saying?

  8. R.K. USMC, 2001-current on

    Kudos for Shamar Thomas standing up for the rights of others, but he needs to do it out of uniform. All conjecture aside, these are the rules:

    DoD Instruction 1334.01- Para 3.1.3 The wearing of the uniform by members of the Armed Forces (including retired members and members of Reserve components)…is prohibited when participating in activities such as unofficial public speeches, interviews, picket lines, marches, rallies or any public demonstration…

    Para 3.2 Former members of the Armed Forces…may wear the uniform in the highest grade held during such war service only on the following occasions and in the course of travel incident thereto: 3.2.1 Military funerals, memorial services, weddings, and inaugurals. 3.2.3 Wearing of the uniform or any part thereof at any other time or for any other purposes is prohibited.

    He (and any other service members who see this post) should know the rules and should have been briefed on these military laws. His opinion is his own and by wearing that uniform he is, by the letter of the law, implying Service sanction of the cause for which the demonstration or activity is conducted. He is thus subject to the articles of the UCMJ.

  9. Come on guys. This former Marine is the epitome of what a good soldier should be. Never stop fighting for your country, hold firm on what our country stands for, don’t turn tail when the going gets rough. You should be proud of how he stood up for Americans’ constitutional rights to speak out and assemble peacefully to air public grievances. Yet you’re bashing him for wearing his camo, his beard, his sloppy manner? Some of you sound like the hippies of the 60’s who dissed our returning troops because the hippies did not like the mission they undertook.

    Get a grip guys. He’s a vet who served his country well, and earned his bones. He comes from a long line military family who have faithfully served in our wars. Do you at least recognize the courage that it took, courage that I’m sure he built while a Marine, for him, a black man, to call-out the cops in a tense situation?

  10. Justherefornow on

    Midnight warrior says, “He needs to understand that officers of the NYPD simply take orders.”

    Hmmm, where have we heard that weak excuse used before?

  11. Shamar Thomas has a clear right to his political opinions, but he shouldn’t voice them in the uniform of the United States Marine Corps, regardless of his inactive status. It sends a message that he is speaking as a Marine and not as a private citizen.

    Also, I’m not quite sure what he accomplished by shouting at a bunch of police officers who were just doing their jobs. Those guys weren’t beating on anyone, they were just keeping an eye on the crowd and keeping the peace in a fairly volatile situation. Still, that’s just a personal opinion — if Shamar Thomas thinks that police officers are alien invaders from Saturn, he is free to everyone that. But not in MARPAT.

  12. Interesting DoD instruction that “R.K. USMC, 2001-current” pointed out…..but I don’t recall the last time I ran into a civilian (meaning, with no further military ties) that was constrained by a DoD instruction concerning the wearing of a uniform.

    Pretty much falls into the same category as the folks that go to the thrift shop and buy a bunch of uniform items, and wear them in public. It might be in bad taste, but it’s not as though you can bust them for violating a DoD instruction.

  13. NyPdh8espeople on

    midnight warrior: the NYPD is a disgrace!!! A complete and utter disgrace – you thugs took the powers the 9/11 tragedy bestowed upon you, abused it and your fellow citizens with such abandon, you are barbaric animals and YOU should go to Iraq or Afghanistan and let these good men and women come home!!!!

  14. Shoot, at least in Texas, when we go out deer hunting my vet friends wear their military issued camos all the time. I never realized they faced the pokey. Now we talk politics on our hunting trips, so I guess this makes them doubly guilty.

  15. First Amendment! However, not a good idea to wear BDU’s while doing it, as Marines and Marine VETS we must maintain our bearing active or inactive, All active Marines know a wonderful NJP reduction of rank and a colorful ass chewing from the SNCO(maybe some “intense training” in the tree line), 1stSgt, SGTMAJ, and the Father like disapppointed speech from the CO would have been waiting….lol!

    On the same token, SOME! not all Police Officers, have serious insecurity issues! Tuff guy PUNCHING an unarmed WOMEN in the face is dishonorable. In fact a Police Officer getting into a fist fight is dishonorable and proves that the recruitment team for NYPD needs to be fired!

  16. It was great to see a former Marine standing up for the people. That is who the military works and fights for….isn’t it….remember WE THE PEOPLE? What would have happened in some of these other countries if the military followed the orders of the King instead of backing up THE PEOPLE. Get it?

  17. I’m ex Army from the year of the flood and I never knew it was illegal to wear bits and pieces of my old uniform. That’s a reg that no one knows about. The guy is a former marine and that is a big part of who and what he is and at least morally and probably constitutionally he has a right to say so.

    Moe power to him for shaming the biggest gang in NYC and standing up for the peoples’ rights.

  18. My first reaction was that he was either having a problem or just normally whacked. Then I saw how easily he came into and out of it. The last time I heard somebody go off like that, he was about an inch from my head and the brim of his cover was touching my ear during a junk-on-the-bunk.

    Thank you, devil dog. No greater friend…

    Also, respect to the NYPD for giving him his space because his anger might be a product of Fallujah or the Anbar and nothing good would have come from physical contact. Well done, sirs.

  19. “I was just following orders.” That’s the Nuremberg defense, used during the Nazi war tribunals – by Nazi soldiers.

    The police are sworn to protect the citizens, not to follow orders. If they receive orders to break the law, deny civil rights, they MUST refuse those orders. If they do not, they are cowards, unAmerican, and unworthy of the uniform. Give me an ex Marine defending his fellow citizens over a robotic cop breaking the law any day.

  20. If all NYPD are guilty of brutality, then all armed forces personnel are guilty of rape and murder (see the Mahmudiyah murders, for example).

    What I’ve seen of police actions thus far are lawful responses to Occupy tactics.

  21. Ssgt. Dontknow on

    Well i used to want to be a cop until i realized there just a gang of oppressive pogues who pray on unarmed citizens

  22. Too easy. I can give him props for standing up against (NYPD) behavior that he decided was morally wrong, while at the same time busting his chops for disrespecting the uniform.

    Wouldn’t be the first time I patted someone on the back and put my boot up their 4th point of contact at the same time.

  23. The uniform – regardless of being worn incorrectly – is protecting him. He would have been taken down and charged with disturbing the peace had he not worn it. Regs aside, is that not the purpose of a military uniform – to identify and protect the wearer?

  24. Devil Dog, the wear of the uniform was not the best choice and I know you know. BUT I WANT TO ASK EVERYONE WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPEN TO HIM IF HE DID NOT HAVE IT ON?????

    I see a marine that see something happen that was unjust and like the good marines I know he stood up!! Hunkered down and stood his ground for what he believed to be right for the citizens! whether we agree with the demonstration or not this Devil Dog represented America for which it stand ONE NATION under god with LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL! God Bless America

    Enoch!!

  25. Nikita, You say it’s a reg that no one knows about. I knew about it. I paid attention to those classes in basic training all those years ago. Apparently you slept through that one.

    Ricardo, I wear my old GI clothing too, but with the badges, insignia, and devices REMOVED.

    All that being said, I fully support all our rights, including the right to protest, as long as it is done properly.

  26. I am a USMC Vietnam veteran who smoked pot, had too-long hair, wore purple shoelaces, and my sergeant called me a sh*tbird. But I would never even DREAM of making a public ass of myself promoting an agenda, WHILE HIDING BEHIND MY SERVICE TO MY COUNTRY!!. Shamar Thomas is an Iraq vet, so now everyone is supposed to kiss his butt and take orders from him, since he’s obviously been promoted to General, and it seems he’s also become an expert on Wall Street financial affairs. NO – He’s just another miscreant who is paraded by the leftists, who want what doesn’t belong to them. His outrage and diatribe surely didn’t match the situation at the scene. If the cops were as brutal as he was accusing them of being, they would have kicked his butt, and made many of us happy. I KNOW that sounds hardcore, but I’m just saying what most of you are thinking. But to show you I DO have a heart, I’d like to thank Mr. Thomas for his Iraq service, and put him up for an award. The “Congressional Medal of Ugly” award was inaugurated in the movie, “Full Metal Jacket”, and is still the nation’s highest award for asinine behavior. His actions went well and above the call of duty, and reflect the highest stands of the Leftist Movement. Congratulations!!

  27. PS: In case you DOUBT me – All the America-hating a-holes have embraced this guy as their new hero. That should tell you all you need to know.

  28. Adirondack Patriot on

    For those who think Thomas was justified, when was the last time you had a conversation with someone while jerking at your ribbon rack?

    He is an embarassment. A cheap prop. The antithesis of what a Marine should be.

  29. From what I saw in the video, there didn’t seem to be anything that validated his anger. Plus when asked what he saw that made him so angry, he stumbled his words and gave no real clear reason. On the matter of the police, all they were doing is their job. It looked like a large demonstration was going on, and we all know how quickly things like that can spin out of control in an instant. The police were there to maintain order and safety. Also, he yelled about serving his country for 14 monthes. Police serve the people of this country everyday, every month, every year. They may not be in a warzone, but the face enough threats to deserve a little respect. I don’t know enough about what happened there, but in my opinion, his actions seemed a little over board, in uniform or not.

  30. An embarrassment. He shouldn’t have worn his Cammie Blouse.

    Retired Master Sergeant, Brother, Father and Uncle of 7 Marines

  31. What i thought was telling was the spontaneous cheers from the crowd. From my observations of the NYPD i would think there is a lot of resentment toward them.

  32. As a NYPD please explain to me what laws these people are violating? We have a civil right to do this, people are attempting to peacefully change society. People like them are trying to save you just as much as they are trying to save themselves, quit being such an impotent animal and help change this country without full blown unrest and civil war.

    “When you push someone too far, they will push back and they push hard.”

  33. The real split in opinion here seems to be about whether or not people have seen the other footage of alleged Wall Street brutality. You should at least view the footage and know what he’s referencing before making a defense for either side.

  34. So am I gonna get NJP’d for wearing my camis paint balling even after I have been out for years? HMMM keep drinking the kool aid. He used it as a way to get attention for something he believes in. Forget your MCO’s because they don’t exhist in the real world where you have to make your own choices and have no one holding your hand. He used it as a vice get over it.

  35. Exactly WHICH part of the OWS agenda appeals to Mr. Thomas? The “Anti-Capitalism” signs? The anti-Semitic hate speech? The refusal of the crowds to move when ordered to by the police, and the disrespect for our laws? The trashing of private and public property? Does Mr. Thomas care about the rights of shop owners and merchants? Oh, I’M SORRY – I forgot – they’re part of the GREEDY CAPITALIST SYSTEM we’re all supposed to hate. Mr. Thomas was just the loudest, most obnoxious voice in a sea of obnoxious voices who, like spoiled children, want what they haven’t earned. I was contacted by other Marines or ex-Marines who identify with the OWS crowd. While I certainly respect their views, I would like to remind them that they’re supporting a crowd that has little or no respect for this country and it’s laws and traditions. The following is a short list of OWS’s supporters:1.The Communist Party of America 2.Bill Ayers, the former terrorist 3.American Nazi Party 4.The leader of Iran. 5. Anti-Semites 6.The president. What else do you need to know? The current financial crisis can be blamed on #6, and others like him.

  36. Marvin Weatherspoon on

    The images that we produce illicit strong emotions. For this we seek images that mean something more to us, or to others. The projection of a personal image is meant to garner the appropriate kind of attention that will allow a person’s voice to be heard behind the image.

    The trouble is these images, like the meaning and intention of works of art, are often misinterpreted and misunderstood by the individual that has no point of reference for the influence of another.

    A uniformed individual protesting sends a strong message on the behalf of any organization. Rules and guidelines exists to eliminate the possibility of conflicting agendas produced by individuals that might misrepresent the foundational pillars of a given organization. However, the true conflict is trying to illicit public interest in a message. In order to achieve this a specific image must be portrayed that will make people respond in a matter that will project the meaning of the message to be conveyed.

    For Shamar Thomas, his unkept way of displaying the uniform is a traditionalistic image that has been carried by many veterans since the postwar years of World War II. A mark of government issue attired doned by several individuals as a testemonial souvenir of the sacrifice made from volunteering or conscription.

    Seeing his image in the fashion he carries, while organizationally inappropriate, creates an image that people will draw parallels to from the heart-wrenching images of downtrodden Vietnam Veterans; a suiting image that would help him get his point across.

    I don’t advocate the use of the uniform in protest or political assmebly for service members, but veterans who’s time has already passed should be immune from penalties of uniform wear protocol (just short of impersonation of course).

    For this reason, the image Shamar Thomas chose to project was necessary for him. As an African-American male, even with something intelligent to say, in order to pass a message along to the masses he must seek an image that will speak volumes and grant him the attention he needs for a given situation and audience. Simply for the fact that his message may not have met such acclaim had he chosen to wear a pair of Reeboks, baggy jeans, a hoody and a fitted Baseball cap.

  37. It is disappointing to see so many non-thinking marines criticizing this young man. There should be more marines out there protecting citizens from the abuses of power. You go all over the world doing it for people in other countries why not here at home. If your orders are bad, whether as a marine or a police officer then it is your duty to revert to the oath you took to the rule of law and the Constitution. Serve and protect, don’t attack US citizens!

  38. If they police had confronted him, there would have been an escalation, he would have been shot, the camera. What over a million have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Around the same number that we are fighting in Afghanistan. 15 percent of the Pashtun population support the insurgency, that is a million. If it was 50,000 it would have been over years ago.

    So out of that 1 million that say it is a 50/50 split for or against, then how many out of that have PTSD. Look at the suicide rates, arrest rates, police KIA rates of veterans.

    Anyway that is a lot of lone wolves, compartmentalized cells. So it would end up with a tit for tat, between the police and some veterans. The more it escalates, the worse it gets. It would be like the Real IRA ROE targeting police not civilians.

    Some these people they worked in intelligence, they are paid not to be seen, look at the Arab Spring for example, which OWS is a by-product of. The Arab Spring was sanctioned, it is China OP.

    This no one knows about this it is a by-product, the leaderless manifesto of the leaderless manifesto of the leaderless manifesto.

    The IRA, Qaddafi and his gold, the ROE, no help, no mass casualty attacks, that was sanctioned.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41235743/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/police-fear-war-cops/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350523/Police-shootings-America-Sudden-wave-sparks-fears-secret-war-cops.html

  39. I am not a member of the Corps, however I am an officer in the NYPD. I believe Thomas showed himself to be very undisciplined. He needs to understand that officers of the NYPD simply take orders. He stereotyped officers that probably had nothing to do with what has been going on at Wall Street these last couple of weeks. Secondly, he was wearing half of his camouflage uniform, which was open, while off base and sporting a full beard. I believe he is a disgrace to the USMC, and wrongly represents those who HUMBLY serve their country.

    Sir you are so obviously not with the program. Nazis JUST take orders. Even in the Corp. and the rest of the military there are rules concerning orders that strike at an officers or corpsmens’ conscious. No one is to JUST follow orders or what kind of hypocrites are we?

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  41. Charlton Butler, I think that he probably knew that and yes he may have been undisciplined or on obnoxious but how else was he to voice his opinion? Write a letter or see an office? I think that it was perfect timing because during those riots there were news reporters going round, and he certainly got their attention which more or less probably what he wanted.

  42. I watched the video several times, and keep thinking how the police are being. Just because he is a large man, a black man, and ex marine, should not give him any more soap box time. After the first few minutes it just becomes a rant, it does his cause a disservice.

    When he bring up the ‘black man’ into the story, and about iraq and Afghanistan etc … it sounds like he is taking a leaf out of RAMBO’s book. Imagine if one of the police officers stepped up to him and shouted in his face? That would be fair, but it seems that we have gone so PC that anyone can rant and cause a public disturbance to make themselves an internet sensation. its a shame.

  43. This punk is a disgrace to the uniform. Charlton Butler can’t even spell “Corps,” and thinks Marines are “Corpsemen,” so his opinion just became irrelevant.

    What baffles me is this, regardless of him confronting cops, why did he wear a desert cammie top with his ribbons on it out for a night on the town UNLESS HE WENT OUT LOOKING FOR ATTENTION WHEN HE WALKED OUT THE FRONT DOOR?

    Next, the cops were dispersing a crowd peacefully. That disgrace for a Marine asked them why they were in riot gear…they weren’t in riot gear, they were in regular police uniforms. He went off at the top of his lungs in a uniform he pre-staged before he went out to look for trouble and attention, and began screaming at cops as soon as he saw a viable audience.

  44. I believe that sgt. Shamar Thomas should not be in trouble with the USCG corps as it was clearly all Steven Harper who did this he must have called Shamar Thomas before this event just for the trouble i have sent you a mother fucking pizza for no reason

  45. well some may say it is disgusting to see a uniform worn is such a manner, i do believe that this is the first time i have ever approved of such a thing- and yes this is inspiring. sworn to defend the constitution and its people right? seeing marpat- the few the proud is comforting to people, knowing that we arent big brothers pawns… or is it just me? i’ll find out if i get a random njp – semper fi.

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