The unprovoked pepper-spray attack on peaceful protester at UC Davis

Scoville ratings: 500,000 – 2,000,000 – Most Law enforcement grade pepper spray
More About Pepper Spray.

The unprovoked pepper-spray attack on peaceful protester at UC Davis by Lt. Pike has now gone viral, being picked up even by the major news outlets that have so far offered cavalier and tepid coverage to the Occupy movement. Accordingly, the official police “spin” of the unprovoked pepper-spraying has begun. Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters. “When you start picking up human bodies, you risk hurting them,” Kelly said. “Bodies don’t have handles on them.” (How considerate of him to prefer chemical warfare as against traditional police work.) After reviewing the video, Kelly said he observed at least two cases of “active resistance” from protesters. In one instance, a woman pulls her arm back from an officer. In the second instance, a protester curls into a ball.

Each of those actions could have warranted more force, including baton strikes and pressure-point techniques. “What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure,” Kelly said. UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said the decision to use pepper spray was made at the scene. “The students had encircled the officers,” she said Saturday. “They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.” A similar statement suggested that the Officers were “cut off” from their “support.” The above statements are the Lies of a Gestapo Police State attempting to cover its collective ass.

What IS true, as Kelly said, is that this has become “fairly standard police procedure.” Unfortunately, we don’t often pay attention, because the police are brutalizing suspected criminals, drug users, prostitutes, and individuals that “nice people” don’t care too much about (unfortunately).

But now they’ve gone public. In the few weeks of the Occupy Movement, we’ve seen:

Four young women “kettled” behind orange fencing and sprayed in the face in NYC;

An 84-year old in Seattle sprayed for not moving fast enough;

A young man’s head profusely bleeding from baton brutalization (The ridiculously slanted NY Daily News had a headline blaming the victim for creating a “Bloody Nuisance.”)

Seated, peaceful students at UC Davis sprayed in the face.

Scott Olson, an Iraqi war veteran shot in the head in Oakland, with resultant fractured skull and speech difficulties, whose injuries were ignored by the police who caused them.

Kayvan Sabeghi, another Iraqi War Veteran, chased and pursued by an Oakland officer who beat him with a billyclub.

Press beaten, detained, and having their press passes confiscated by NYPD officers refusing to give names or badges.

A suspect in a parking garage brutally kicked 13 times, and now hospitalized in critical condition.

A NYC Police trial where undercover investigators admitted to routinely planting drugs on innocent suspects in order to meet an arrest quota.

This, in spite of clear 9th Circuit Federal Court Guidelines against such brutality:

HEADWATERS FOREST DEFENSE v. COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
No. 98-17250. January 11, 2002
Before:  BRIGHT,PREGERSON, and W. FLETCHER, Circuit Judges.

“During three nonviolent protests against the logging of ancient redwood trees in the Headwaters Forest, plaintiffs-appellants (“protestors”) linked themselves together with self-releasing lock-down devices known as “black bears…

… Beginning in the fall of 1997, defendants began using olesoresin capsicum aerosol (“OC” or “pepper spray”) to cause the protestors to release themselves from the “black bears.” The use of pepper spray under these circumstances was entirely unprecedented:  in California, its use was “limited to controlling hostile or violent subjects” and it had never been used in Humboldt County, the State of California, or anywhere in the country against nonviolent protestors.

At issue in this case are three protests that occurred in the fall of 1997, in which defendants used pepper spray on the protestors, and then refused to give them water to wash out their eyes, in order to force the protestors to release themselves from the “black bears.”

…We…conclude that it would be clear to a reasonable officer that using pepper spray against the protestors was excessive under the circumstances. The Fourth Amendment permits law enforcement officers to use only such force to effect an arrest as is “objectively reasonable” under the circumstances.  Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 397, 109 S.Ct. 1865, 104 L.Ed.2d 443 (1989) (citations omitted).   “[T]he essence of the Graham objective reasonableness analysis” is that “ ‘[t]he force which was applied must be balanced against the need for that force:  it is the need for force which is at the heart of the Graham factors.’ ”  Liston v. County of Riverside, 120 F.3d 965, 976 (9th Cir.1997) (quoting Alexander v. City and County of San Francisco, 29 F.3d 1355, 1367 (9th Cir.1994)) The facts reflect that:  (1) the pepper spray was unnecessary to subdue, remove, or arrest the protestors;  (2) the officers could safely and quickly remove the protestors, while in “black bears,” from protest sites;  and (3) the officers could remove the “black bears” with electric grinders in a matter of minutes and without causing pain or injury to the protestors.

Defendants asserted at trial that the protestors’ use of “black bears” constituted “ ‘active’ resistance to arrest,’ ” meriting the use of force.   The Eureka Police Department defines “active resistance” as occurring when the “subject is attempting to interfere with the officer’s actions by inflicting pain or physical injury to the officer without the use of a weapon or object.” 240 F.3d at 1202-3.   Characterizing the protestors’ activities as “active resistance” is contrary to the facts of the case, viewing them, as we must, in the light most favorable to the protestors:  the protestors were sitting peacefully, were easily moved by the police, and did not threaten or harm the officers. In sum, it would be clear to a reasonable officer that it was excessive to use pepper spray against the nonviolent protestors under these circumstances.

Defendants’ repeated use of pepper spray was also clearly unreasonable.   As we recently concluded, the use of pepper spray “may be reasonable as a general policy to bring an arrestee under control, but in a situation in which an arrestee surrenders and is rendered helpless, any reasonable officer would know that a continued use of the weapon or a refusal without cause to alleviate its harmful effects constitutes excessive force.”  LaLonde v. County of Riverside, 204 F.3d 947, 961 (9th Cir.2000)… Finally, it would have been clear to any reasonable officer that defendants’ refusal to wash out the protestors’ eyes with water constituted excessive force under the circumstances.”

The Court concluded by reaffirming its decision that in spite of Police generally being immune from lawsuits, they were, in fact, liable for such an unnecessary and egregious use of force:

“…we conclude that Philip and Lewis are not entitled to qualified immunity because the use of pepper spray on the protestors’ eyes and faces was plainly in excess of the force necessary under the circumstances, and no reasonable officer could have concluded otherwise.”

“[The protest] was just an opportunity for a bunch of unions to complain or to protest, or whatever they want to do.” –The Arrogance of Michael Bloomberg, the 12th wealthiest man in America, in a radio interview with WOR.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s