Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ugly Police Action at Wall Street Protest

Veteran Atlantic correspondent James Fallows weighs in with this article about potential abuse of power by a member of NYPD. Assuming the video is accurate, the situation looks to me like several NYPD officers stand around while one of their own assaults two women with pepper spray. The video runs about a minute and a half and is worth watching. .

The viewer can decide whether or not the spray is appropriate. Notice that the women are already "captured" inside a police fence. Fallows describes the scene:
He walks up; unprovoked he shoots Mace or pepper spray straight into the eyes of women held inside a police enclosure; he turns and walks away quickly (as they scream, wail, and fall to the ground clawing at their eyes) in a way familiar from hitmen in crime movies; and he discreetly reholsters his spray can.
I don't see anything in the video that looks like the crowd is out of control. No punching, spitting, or charging the police line. Nothing but standing around and making some noise. The spray looks like selective punishment of two individuals apparently the officer didn't like. It's possible the policeman was attempting to escalate the situation, which, along with the spray, should be more than enough to get him thrown off the force.

The way the officer simply walks away strikes me as extremely cowardly.

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