NYC settles Occupy Wall Street pepper spray lawsuit

Kelly Schomburg screaming in pain after assault by the pig, Anthony Bologna

I don’t think I’ve been angry enough to use the word “pig” to describe a cop in decades. For Anthony Bologna, a deputy inspector in the NYPD, the use is perfectly appropriate.

New York City has reached a settlement with an Occupy Wall Street protester who was pepper-sprayed and arrested by a city police officer during a peaceful demonstration in 2011.

Debra Lea Greenberger, a lawyer representing protester Kelly Schomburg confirmed that the city agreed to settle the suit for $50,001, in addition to yet-to-be-determined legal fees.

The settlement provides a “measure of justice that was a long time coming”, Greenberger told the Guardian on Tuesday…

Schomburg, who was 18 years old at the time, was among protesters who were maced, corralled and then arrested during a 2011 demonstration against economic inequality in New York. She is now 22.

A viral video from the September 2011 Occupy Wall Street demonstration captured the incident. In the video, a New York police officer, later identified by the hacktivist group Anonymous as deputy inspector Anthony Bologna, pepper-sprays a group of protesters fenced in by orange netting. These images helped galvanize support for the movement.

Several protesters filed lawsuits in response to the NYPD’s crackdown on the protest movement. In total, Bologna’s actions have cost taxpayers $382,501 through settlements from at least seven lawsuits…

The NYPD responded by reprimanding Bologna for violating police department guidelines and docking him 10 vacation days…

I compliment the bravery of Kelly Schomburg – not only in her confrontation with the forces of political evil in NYC under the “benevolent” conservative, Mike Bloomberg – but, carrying on the fight to victory in the courts.

We’re now required to sooth the emotional well-being of those who commit crimes — witness this:

A former US campus policeman who pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters has been awarded $38,000 in compensation for psychiatric damage.

Lieutenant John Pike received threats after footage of the incident went viral on the internet in 2011…It showed him casually spraying protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement as they sat on the ground at the University of California.

His award is not much less than that received by the protesters he harmed.

Mr Pike was suspended from his job at University of California Davis after the incident and left the force in July 2012.

An official investigation found that university officials and UC Davis police used poor judgment and excessive force in the confrontation.

In June, Mr Pike filed a worker’s compensation claim with UC Davis over the incident, claiming he suffered psychiatric and nervous system damage.

Local reports said Mr Pike had received more than 17,000 angry or threatening emails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters after the video of the pepper-spraying was published.

UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell said on Wednesday that the Division of Workers Compensation Appeals Board agreed on 16 October to resolve his claim by paying him a settlement totalling $38,055…

The university paid $1 million to settle a lawsuit by the 21 students who were pepper-sprayed and assaulted while sitting on the ground immobile.

The inability of judicial processes to differentiate between citizens attacked by criminals and the thugs committing the assault is difficult to rationalize away as bureaucratic incompetence. It feels like more of the lawyerly presumption that you have to cover your ass for every eventuality – and justice doesn’t have a damned thing to do with the process.

The existential quotient that must be rebalanced requires society, groups and individuals to take responsibility for the results of their actions.

Pic of the Day – American law and order

Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

An 84-year-old woman in Seattle became a face of the national Occupy Wall Street movement after she was hit with pepper spray during a Seattle march.

A photo of Dorli Rainey with the chemical irritant dripping from her chin on Tuesday night quickly went viral, becoming one of the most striking images from the protests that have taken place in cities across the globe.

The photograph shows Ms Rainey, wearing a scarf and jacket, being helped by two people. One man is cradling her head in his arms as they walk away from the area. The Seattle activists were blocking downtown streets. Ms Rainey said police told the group they had to move.

“They picked up their bicycles and started shoving them at us and confining us in a very small place and they started to pepper spray,” she said.

The former schoolteacher has been active in Seattle’s liberal politics for decades and once ran for mayor. She says on Wednesday that she showed up at the downtown protest to show her support…

…Six people were arrested.

Ms Rainey was not among those arrested. She says she has no plans to stop protesting, adding “I’m tough.”

Good for you, sister.

If I had a photo of the “heroic” copper who hit you with the pepper spray, I’d post that, as well.

A lovely autumn weekend on Wall Street with the NYPD

Same as it ever was.

I’m glad Lawrence differentiated between most cops and the prick-bastards who get off on attacking a peaceful demonstration. Cops who act out their hatred of people who are “different” – because of color or education or that they have the gumption to dissent – are not different in the least from the cowards who join lynch mobs. Excepting their immunity from prosecution.

Though I have obvious reasons to remember a few coppers who beat and attacked demonstrators – scars 🙂 – I always smile remembering the state troopers assigned to follow the car I was in in a southern border state on the way to a sit-in in 1959 who pulled alongside to offer directions to the town while we were gazing blankly at a road map by the side of the road.

Copper makes arrest despite being tasered — by his mate

Jason Mepham on a happier day

A police officer managed to arrest a suspect despite being squirted with his own pepper spray, punched and kicked in the head and then shot with a Taser by a colleague.

Pc Jason Mepham had been called out to deal with a drunk troublemaker when the series of unfortunate incidents began:

Finding the suspect, Jason King, aggressive and threatening, the officer deployed his pepper spray.

He sprayed once – which temporarily halted King – but a second burst of gas then blew back into his own face, leaving him disorientated with a burning face and watering eyes.

By this time a police colleague had arrived at the scene, but so had a friend of King’s who struck Pc Mepham in the face, dislocating his jaw.

The other officer responded to the attack by releasing the first suspect and firing his Taser gun at the new assailant

However, only one electrode hit its intended target, the other striking Pc Mepham and knocking him off his feet.

With the policeman on the ground, King seized his opportunity to kick him in the head, an action which jarred his jaw back into place.

Only when further police back-up arrived were both offenders finally subdued

Jason King, of Camborne, Cornwall, pleaded guilty via video link from Exeter Prison, at Truro magistrates Court to assaulting a police officer.

He also pleaded guilty to being drunk, two charges of travelling on the railway without paying a fare, and two of threatening behaviour towards a train manager.

Something rather like shoveling out the Augean stables comes to mind for this lout.

Homeowner holds political fundraiser, no band – busted by Sheriff for noise complaint! Hostess arrested.

Candidate Busby
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

A fundraiser for Francine Busby, who is running for Congress, ended in chaos Friday night when sheriff’s deputies responded to a noise complaint, pepper-sprayed some of the guests and arrested the party’s hostess.

Shari Barman, 60, was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of obstructing a peace officer and battery on a peace officer. She has since been released…

I have never seen anything like it. Most of the people were stunned,” Busby said, adding that there was no music or entertainment.

Pepper spray was dispersed on the crowd, and the deputies were able to reach Barman…and arrest her.

A statement from Busby’s office said a man shouted an “obscenity-laced tirade” from a wooded area as Busby spoke to the guests. It said about 25 mostly middle-aged guests…were “quietly chatting” when a deputy arrived and asked to speak to the homeowner.

Busby said she was outside the house at the time of the incident and saw some of it unfold.

“When the homeowner asked the deputy sheriff why he needed her date of birth, the deputy reacted by restraining the homeowner,” said Busby’s statement. “Alarmed guests pleaded with the deputy to let the 60-year-old homeowner go and stop hurting her. She had recently had shoulder surgery and was clearly in pain. His response was to spray the women with pepper spray which caused confusion and outrage.”

The event had been highlighted on Busby’s campaign Web site as an evening cocktail party hosted by Barman and her partner, Jane Stratton, who co-founded the Acura Classic tennis tournament in San Diego.

O.K.. San Diego coppers not certain who they’re serving – or who they’re protecting.