Pepper spray “potentially deadly” force? Now we’re getting silly…

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by friendorfoe, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Can you name one other occupation besides police and the military that run TOWARDS the sound of gunfire, instead of away from it?

    Not brave? Really?

    Here's a thought......if the protesters obeyed the lawful order to disperse, I absolutely, positvely, 100% guarantee that they wouldn't have been pepper sprayed.

    Obey the law, and you won't land on the radar screen of the police. Easy peasey.

    100% of whom (at least as of a year ago) died as the result of drug intoxication and/or pre-existing medical conditions.

    If you're whacked out on crystal meth and/or have a bad heart, you really shouldn't put yourself into the position of having the police use less-than-lethal force on you.

    Don't resist or fight the police, and your chances of being injured hover between 0% and 0%.

    And you don't even need a residential or DL degree in Statistics to figure that one out.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2011
  2. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    "Occupy" literally is more or less about occupying public space. This doesn't speak for every detail of every Occupy protest around the world, but it seems to focus pretty overwhelmingly on parks, symbolic government spaces, and public university campuses.

    Meanwhile, the Tea Party commemorates people who forced their way onto boats - private property not their own - and destroyed three boatloads of tea, high-value international trade goods at the time - again, private property not their own. Umm.

    There seems to be ample evidence that both groups are predominantly nonviolent. Around the edges of the Tea Party there are "Second Amendment remedy" extremists, around the edges of Occupy there are "black bloc" "direct action" extremists. I don't think we should paint broad brushes from either extreme to the greater mass of either the Tea Party or Occupy movements to try represent either movement as a whole, because it wouldn't represent either movement fairly.
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Further videos show that the protesters surrounded the police and shouted that it was time for them- the police- to leave.
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, that's exactly how a civilized society should work. :rolleyes:
  5. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    Has anyone actually died from pepper spray?
  6. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    There's a reason I said "those police" and not "all police". Those police weren't running toward the sound of gunfire. They were pepper spraying nonviolent protesters.

    Because that's what it's really all about. It's not about "public order" or anyone's safety. It's about immediate compliance with any instructions given by a police officer, no matter the situation or what it takes to ensure that compliance.

    The police there could simply have waited the protesters out. It's not like they could have sat there with their arms locked together forever. This situation didn't call for force. It called for patience.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    This is true. And for what it's worth, I broke my hand in a fight once and yes, pepper spray sounds less bad than dragging people apart or assaulting them with batons or tasing them. But since you understand the importance of police being part of the community, surely you can see there would have been long term value from their saying, "Look, we have to arrest these people, but we won't use force against nonviolent protesters. We'll simply wait for them to get tired of resisting passively, and take them in then."
  8. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I'm not trying to fight Steve's battle for him but I think he was referring to their being "morally brave" and disobeying unconstitutional orders.

    The problem here Steve is that though the cops are sworn to uphold the constitution, the interpretation of the constitution is not their responsibility; it is the responsibility of the courts. Police are procedural by nature and the courts should (and have) rule on that procedure ( Mirand Rights, etc.).

    That said an order to shoot the protesters would be a clear violation…this action however is not so clear (lawful orders to breakup protests have been upheld in courts time and again) and in my opinion the force was not unwarranted (though it was politically less than fortuitous). The officers followed established procedure.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2011
  9. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Steve, that may have worked however the officers were ordered to remove the individuals from private property and were bound to follow those orders. Now if there had been what I mentioned earlier (COPPS/POP management), a highly decentralized chain of command, it would be up to the ranking officer at the scene how best to handle the situation but that is not the likely reality here. The cops were given orders and they used the least amount of force possible to carry them out. Now the person who issued the order...that's debatable.
  10. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Read my earlier post...with the NIJ report linked and my observations. It has happened but is very, very, very rare and literally millions of people a year are sprayed (including cops and cadets). If you see a cop carrying mace/OC, it's much more likely than not that the officer has been sprayed with it before.
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    They were following the lawful orders of their superiors to disperse an unlawful assembly. If they were ordered to start shooting the protestors, I guarantee that no one would have followed that order, because it's blatantly unlawful.

    So, if the Occupy Boston people decide tonight to stage a sit-in on the Southeast Expressway, completely gridlocking all traffic coming in and out of Boston, the police should "wait them out"? How about the ambulances trying to get critical patients to a hospital? Should the person suffering from a cardiac event also have "patience" so these idiots can prove a point they can't even intelligently articulate?

    When we allow radical protestors to flout the rule of law, we're finished as a society. I don't think we're that far off.
  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    No, because as you point out, in that case the protesters would be endangering other people -- unlike in Davis.
  13. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    So you would have no problem being delayed for a few hours on your commute to/from work (no one endangered) so the great unwashed can sit in the street and block traffic?

    One of the many things that the police are tasked with is the maintenance of public order. Allowing people to block points of access for vehicular or pedestrian traffic is not maintaining public order.

    Whenever I see ridiculously slanted media criticism of the police, I immediately think of this, which about sums it up;

    LEO Interview SF PD - Nick Burko - YouTube
  15. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Absorbing some demonstration should be part of the function of public spaces, including streets. I'm glad there are Santa Claus parades and Labor Day parades and Tea Party rallies I largely disagree with and Occupy protests I have mixed feelings about, and Marches for Life and Take Back the Nights and parades for Chinese New Year and Diwali and commercial sports teams, and street festivals and religious processions and funeral processions and marathons, and streets closed and lined to greet the President, and streets closed and lined to greet the candidate running against the President. I'm okay that these things happen on streets and sidewalks and in parks and outside City Halls and inside City Halls. I know they'll cause rerouting and delays for everyone else. I'm usually part of "everyone else." Still. I'm okay with that.

    I appreciate that most of these events get permits, and that things would break down significantly if most of them didn't get permits.

    But isn't another test of a free and healthy society that it can absorb at least a few of these here and there without a permit, without responses like pepper spray at point blank or so in the faces of maybe 20 students sitting down across a campus sidewalk, with clearings apparently a few feet away on either side?

    And I'm reminded of the saying Steve posted on the Occupy Wall Street thread: "If you ask the government for permission to protest it, you deserve to be told no." I wouldn't take this as a rule, but.

    Or, from an observer watching a follow-up rally at UC Davis Monday:
    Via Today's UC Davis News, Including Defenses of the Police (James Fallows, The Atlantic blog, November 23, 2011)
  16. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    My understanding is that the UC Davis spraying took place on private property. I agree that public property should be used for peaceful protests as long as they do not disturb the peace or otherwise create a hazardous condition...but again it is not the police who get to determine when and where protests end (usually). My personal opinion is that you shouldn't be required to obtain a permit to protest either, but then I'm an anarchist like that.
  17. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    But wasn't it private property only in the sense that it was property of the university, which while it has a private form is in turn a public body?
  18. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Tax subsidized does not mean "public body"...even state schools are private property and you can technically get trespassing notices on public property like public libraries.
  19. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    The examples you cited (parades, festivals, etc.) not only have permits, but public safety (police, fire, EMS) know exactly when and what roads will be inaccesible, so there are contingency plans in place. My city hosts the largest Christmas parade on the East Coast (Macy's is a Thanksgiving parade), and everyone working police, fire, and EMS that day knows alternate routes to skirt the parade route.

    What's not shown in th videos being broadcast is that these protestors were blocking the passage of a police cruiser, which may have been on the way to an emergency, and campus roads being what they are, they might have been blocking the only access road. first 6 years were with the Boston Housing Police, and we would issue trespass warnings and make trespassing arrests all the time for non-residents who had no legitimate business in the public housing projects. If the city police came across some sketchy people in the projects, we would often respond at their request to issue a trespass notice as agents of the BHA.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2011
  20. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Weren't they across more of a sidewalk? And via Occam's Razor I'm thinking the cruiser was there to bring or support the officers who were there on foot entirely on account of the protest at that same site. It would be a different story if they were blocking something else.


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