Pressure has been mounting for the NYPD to do something about the pepper-spraying of peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters on Saturday. If you haven’t seen it yet, there’s video above (and also a new one out today) of a cop who’s since been identified as Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying young protesters in the face without much provocation.
Now, Ray Kelly says that the police department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will “look at” Bologna’s pepper-spraying incident. What that actually means, he didn’t say.
Kelly told reporters he’d seen the video on TV news, and “questioned whether the snippet he saw offered enough context to evaluate what occurred.”
The pepper-spraying fiasco is adding up to a big PR problem for the NYPD, as it’s become the focus of Occupy Wall Street coverage in the last few days. As we’ve noted before, this anger at the cops has the potential to dilute Occupy Wall Street’s original message (whatever that may be), but it’s also providing ample opportunity for the protests to stay in the news.
Occupy Wall Street isn’t yet satisfied with the NYPD’s response. Spokesman Patrick Bruner told Runnin’ Scared that “now it seems like Kelly is further into the coverup” of the pepper-spraying. “This is indicative of more than just a rogue officer.”
“If anyone else had done that, it would have been a lot more than getting fired from their day job,” he said. “Every time an instance like this happens there should be mass firings.”
[via City Room/NYT]