Thursday, September 29, 2011

From the Wall Street Protests: The Police As Thugs?

Yes, the protests that the media has tried so hard to ignore. Several YouTube videos suggest that the police is over-reacting. Here is one example:

But this is the one I had planned to write about when I saw it, even before I found references to it in the media:

Here is what the powers-that-be say about the incident:
Raymond W. Kelly, commissioner of the New York Police Department, said Wednesday that its Internal Affairs Bureau would look at the decision by the officer, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, to use pepper spray, even as Mr. Kelly criticized the protesters for “tumultuous conduct.”
At the same time, the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has opened an investigation into the episode, which was captured on video and disseminated on the Internet, according to a person briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry is continuing.
Inspector Bologna was identified on Wednesday in another video spraying others in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration with pepper spray. Recordings of the episodes show Inspector Bologna striding through a chaotic street scene along East 12th Street, where officers arrested some protesters and corralled others behind orange mesh netting.
Deputy Inspector Roy T. Richter, the head of the Captains Endowment Association, the union that represents the upper echelons of city officers, said Inspector Bologna, who formerly led the 1st Precinct and now works in counterterrorism, would “cooperate with whatever investigative body the police commissioner designates to perform this review.”
Inspector Richter continued: “Deputy Inspector Bologna’s actions that day were motivated by his concern for the safety of officers under his command and the safety of the public. The limited use of pepper spray effectively restored order without any escalation of force or serious injury to either demonstrator or police officer.”
Mr. Kelly said he did not know what precipitated the action, but seemed to offer a justification for it. He said the group was disorderly and “intent on blocking traffic” as it marched on University Place, returning to the financial district, where protesters have camped for more than a week.
While the department’s Patrol Guide says pepper spray should be used primarily to arrest a suspect who is resisting, or for protection, it does allow for its use in “disorder control” by officers with special training.
Others suggest that Inspector Bologna is not a sharp-shooter with the spray, that he aimed it at some other protesters and got the young women in the corral by accident.

I report, you decide...