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Pepper-spraying NYPD officer at Wall Street protests identified

By Lynn Herrmann     Sep 26, 2011 in Politics
New York - The New York City Police Department officer who walked up to a group of penned protesters Saturday at the Occupy Wall Street protests and fired mace in their faces has been identified and online complaints have already begun.
Saturday’s peaceful Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City were marred by what appears to be excessive use of force by several police officers, as video shows, and one officer who calmly walked up to police-fenced protesters and pepper-sprayed them, point blank, has been identified as Deputy inspector Anthony V. Bologna, of NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan South, according to Common Dreams.
In response to the video (embedded in this article), the Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul Browne, said the officer used pepper spray “appropriately,” according to the New York Times. “Pepper spray was used once,” he said, adding “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.”
Online comments connected to the Common Dreams story reflect an overriding consensus against the police officer’s actions. OldBeforeHisTime wrote: “Don't count on US police having a conscience however that can be swayed because just like military soldiers if they aren't already of a mindset that suits their profession with a talent for thuggery, it's soon enough developed, fostered, and encouraged so that it takes hold and becomes their normal existence.” Other comments were less polite.
A list of website addresses for filing an online complaint can be found here.
Thomas Graham, a retired deputy chief who once commanded the department’s Disorder Control Unit, said: “We don’t use it indiscriminately like other cities do. You’re not just spraying indiscriminately into a crowd,” the NY Times reports.
Graham noted police officers “have the choice between spraying the guy or struggling with the guy with the night stick. Get poked with a nightstick good and hard and you might have a cracked rib from that.”
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