Monday, November 21, 2011
Pepper Spraying Students
Saturday morning I sat there horrified watching a campus police officer casually pepper spraying a group of University of California Davis students, as if they were cockroaches. I looked at the area in the back of the armed policemen and didn't notice any threat that they were under. The two officers have been put on administrative leave but is this what it's come down to? I know policemen have to enforce" trespassing and civil disobedience" laws but there's also human decency. I think the students were prepared to be arrested and there was cause but military-grade pepper spray should not be used at a distant less than 6 feet. As you can see in the picture, the officer used it at point- blank range.What's next,rubber bullets,tasers, or high pressure fire hoses?
The Campus police chief, Annette Spicuzza, immediately took up for the officers saying that the students have surrounded the officers from their support. She should know in this era of smart phones and small camcorders, evidence, to the contrary, will be produced. She might have taken the word of her trusted officers buts he should've put up a wall of silence before damaging her credibility on the truth.I know they are campus police but first responders of any sort should know better. I know pepper spray does not have long lasting effects but these are our children,grandchildren or our friends children. We don't need another Kent State.
I've kept up with the protesters across the nation, and I've come to the conclusion that they are a community onto itself. A community will have its misfits and as well as any other community. The Occupy Wall Street group in New York is not coordinating their efforts with Oakland, California. It's not to be compared with the tea party and because these protesters seem to be younger, unemployed, and unsure about their prospects. I also see a worried Wall Street because they see a large movement that will not go away. For now, the protesters are a leaderless group without a formed agenda. Several conservatives think of them as the old left wing, liberal, hippies they used to put down in the sixties.
I don't know the answers, on one hand, peaceful demonstrations in public Parks should not be met with batons, pepper spray, or police brutality. On the other hand, the protesters should not impede businesses, and if they don't want to respect trespassing laws, then they must except to be arrested and charged. That all sounds easy until the adrenaline starts flowing, causing people to lose their tempers. A retired police lieutenant from Philadelphia was recently arrested in New York. He told his fellow officers not to be a pawn for the corporations; yet, he understood that policemen cannot back away or retreat. He also said that the white shirts" police supervisors" are not supposed to be making arrests, they are supposed to be supervising or else the street officers don't have anyone to turn to for appropriate restraining methods.
I heard where 18 mayors were trying to coordinate their efforts in dealing with protesters. Really! Do they call the other mayors when they deal with a local domestic hostage situation? I think the mayor's just wanted to be on the same public opinion page.