Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, November 21, 2011

Police Defend Use Of Pepper Spray Against UC Davis Protesters

The Associated Press finds a retired policeman from Baltimore who wrote the city's book on use of force who defends the use of pepper spray on seated, passive protesters at UC Davis as Standard Operation Police Procedure:

SAN FRANCISCO — As video spread of an officer in riot gear blasting pepper spray into the faces of seated protesters at a northern California university, outrage came quickly — followed almost as quickly by defense from police and calls for the chancellor’s resignation.

University of California Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a statement Saturday she was forming a task force to investigate the police action and the video images she said were “chilling.”

However, a law enforcement official who watched the clip called the use of force “fairly standard police procedure.”

In the video, an officer dispassionately pepper-sprays a line of several sitting protesters who flinch and cover their faces but remain passive with their arms interlocked as onlookers shriek and scream out for the officer to stop.


The protest was held in support of the overall Occupy Wall Street movement and in solidarity with protesters at the University of California, Berkeley who were jabbed by police with batons on Nov. 9.

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.”

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.

Lt. Kelly is absolutely correct - this is standard police procedure.

And that is the problem.

How anybody could say that a person pulling their arm away from a policeman or covering their face from pepper spray is engaged in an "active resistance" is beyond me.

But Lt. Kelly does.

And you can bet a lot of other officers in both blue and white shirts think the exact same thing all across this country.

These guys have seen the enemy and it is every American who does not meekly comply with the orders of the establishment - WORK, SHOP, OBEY.

As I wrote earlier, it is only a matter of time before they start shooting real bullets.

And they'll defend that too.

Ducking police bullets while peacefully rallying against Wall Street is, after all, an "act of resistance."


  1. You have to admit they did look pretty dangerous kneeling there on the ground. Perhaps they were planning to kiss said ground and give it germs or something.

  2. Rachel Maddow did a piece last night (Nov. 21) on the increasing use by the police of non-lethal weapons, such as the "sonic cannon." These weapons can cause excruciating pain and incapacitate a person in a few seconds. For what purpose were these weapons developed in the first place, one wonders? It's very scary.

  3. Heard on the news that Kelly just issued an edict for the cops to be careful how they treat the press. Did the criticism of the NYPD finally hit home a little?