Remember Anthony Bologna? That’s right, the spray-happy cop from New York whose attack on protesters gave himself notoriety and the burgeoning Occupy movement a surge of public support.
He seemed to get away with it — no disciplinary action was taken. But now, he’s being sued by protesters for excessive force and New York City doesn’t want to let him use their lawyers. Looks like poor old Tony Baloney is on his own.
NEW YORK — New York City’s top cop is upset that the city’s legal department isn’t defending a police inspector who doused a group of women with pepper spray during the Occupy Wall Street protests. Chief city lawyer Michael Cardozo says NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna violated agency rules when he used the spray on a group of demonstrators waiting on the sidewalk.
As a result, Bologna is paying for his own defense in a civil lawsuit filed by the women, and might have to pay damages out of his own pocket.
But Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Friday that the city’s stance could have a “chilling effect” on police officers. He told reporters it might make some officers hesitate to “engage.”
Well, if “engage” is anything like “abuse Americans exercising their rights”, then we can all agree a little hesitation is good thing.
My bologna has a first name, it’s “S-P-R-A-Y”
Video Update: NYPD arrest, abuse peaceful protesters
The NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg have not succeeded in shutting down Occupy Wall Street yet. In fact, on a Wednesday afternoon, around 200 protesters gathered in order to celebrate the birthday of folk singer-songwriter Woodie Guthrie, well known for his working class and pro-union sympathies. Though the exact circumstances are unclear, arrests and confrontations occurred both because protesters gave food to the homeless and because the police declared the sidewalk off-limits.
The Associated Press reports one such incident:
One protester was injured in a scuffle between Occupy protesters and police officers at New York City’s Zuccotti Park during a rally marking the 100th birthday of the late folk singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie.
About 200 protesters spilled into the street Wednesday afternoon at the edge of the park. Police officers began pushing protesters back onto the sidewalk. One woman fell down and was later taken away in an ambulance. The protesters had ended a six-day march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
During the so-called Occupy Guitarmy rally, protesters sang Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” and gave speeches.
Image: protesters face police in Zucotti Park
LiveStream of Zucotti Protests, Eviction
Two days into 2012, and already much has happened and is happening regarding the Occupation. Here is a selection of stories:
- The Rose Parade went off without a hitch, despite mass speculation and fearmongering. What was the fearmongering about? The Occupy protest that took up the rear.
- Obama is concerned about the restrictions some people in Congress want to put on governmental power to apprehend terrorists! By which he means he doesn’t like the negative attention the problematic parts of the NDAA bill (which he just signed into law, problems and all) are getting.
- For more cheerful news, Occupy Our Homes is helping to push back against the banks…
- … and Interoccupy is coordinating between the Occupy groups to facilitate coordinated action!
- While the Daily Beast is hardly quiet about the Occupy protests, this little article gives yet another perspective on the lead up to these days, and the fight ahead.
- And here’s another article along the same veins from Truth Out, focusing this time on the similarities between Occupy and the populist movement of 1877.
- And just to wrap this up, if you really think concerns about NDAA are out there… well.
Remember, feel free to submit articles and news!
DJ John Knefel of BreakThru Radio shares his experience in the belly of the beast that is the NYC jail:
BreakThru Radio’s very own DJ John Knefel, stand up comedian and co-host of our news show Radio Dispatch, was arrested on Dec 12 during a peaceful Occupy Wall Street protest. John was taking video of the protesters and live-tweeting the scene, when he was subsequently arrested (with 17 others) for observing the scene and held in jail for an astounding 37 hours. His sister and co-host, Molly, questioned the arrest, and wrote about her experience on Salon.com and also appeared on Keith Olbermann to talk about the arrests.
There’s a transcript of Molly’s talk with Olbermann here, and the Salon article is here. All of this is worth a read!