Occupy Wall Street: How often does the NYPD pull out the pepper spray?
Not very often at all, according to the New York Times. In the weekend’s most unbelievable video, a number of young women were pepper sprayed after reacting towards another man’s arrest, seemingly arbitrarily. “A cop in a white shirt — I think he’s a superior officer — just comes along and does these quick little spritzes of pepper spray in my and these three other girls’ eyes,” said Chelsea Elliott, one of the four women sprayed. It’s not a common occurrence for the NYPD to use it. While it got used during a 2003 antiwar protest, it didn’t get used in a much-larger 2004 protest that accompanied the Republican National Convention. “We don’t use it indiscriminately like other cities do,” notes former deputy chief Thomas Graham. So why was it needed for this protest? source