There have been demonstrations against Wall Street for more than a week now. Some people have been arrested. But this cop was really out of line.
Oh, you didn’t catch what happened? Let’s slow things down for you.
The women are penned off. They are not providing any resistance. They present absolutely no threat or danger. They’re just yelling. And the cop in the white shirt (a white shirt signifies a supervising officer) pepper sprays them.
What does the NYPD say about this? Here’s the New York Times:
The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said the police had used the pepper spray “appropriately.”
“Pepper spray was used once,” he added, “after individuals confronted officers and tried to prevent them from deploying a mesh barrier — something that was edited out or otherwise not captured in the video.
Well, there’s the video. What the spokesman is saying about them trying to prevent the police from deploying a mesh barrier just isn’t true. As is the case in many news stories these days, you have to go to another source to check out if any relevant details are missing. Here’s the Guardian of London.
A senior New York police officer accused of pepper-spraying young women on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrations is the subject of a pending legal action over his conduct at another protest in the city.
The Guardian has learned that the officer, named by activists as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, stands accused of false arrest and civil rights violations in a claim brought by a protester involved in the 2004 demonstrations at the Republican national convention.
Police departments across the country are arresting people who videotape them in action. That’s unconstitutional (at least until the U.S. Supreme Court says it isn’t). Using pepper spray on the defenseless is the reason videotaping should remain legal. But the arrests continue.
You can disagree. Maybe you think the demonstrators got what they deserved. This will probably be the audience cheering moment at the next GOP debate. But you’ll sing a different tune when you get stopped and this happens to you.
- The Now-Infamous NYPD Pepper-Spraying of #OccupyWallStreet Protesters (dissenter.firedoglake.com)
- Occupy Wall Street: ‘Pepper-spray’ officer named in Bush protest claim (guardian.co.uk)
- Wall Street Demonstrations Test Police Trained for Bigger Threats (nytimes.com)
- Video Appears to Show Protesters Being Pepper-Sprayed (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Pepper Spray Cop Already Had Civil-Rights Complaint [Video] (gawker.com)