Pepper sprayed non-violent Occupy Wall Street protesters in a video that went viral very early on in the Occupy Wall Street movement are suing the City of New York, the New York Police Department and several individual officers, it was revealed today.
Even before the controversial Occupy movement pepper spraying incident at UC Davis in November that saw then-Officer John Pike mass-hosing a group of students on the campus quad made the campus policeman an unwitting worldwide star (coincidentally, Pike was confirmed to be no longer with the force as of July 31st, 2012), the clip of a group of young protesters, mostly women, being “kettled” behind orange netting before officers then sprayed the trapped OWS participants shocked the internet.
The clip made its way into pop culture, with popular late-night parody news show The Daily Show parodying the incident and its unfortunately named police star NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna — referred to by host Jon Stewart as “Tony Boloney” and played in a spoof clip by SVU‘s Christopher “Melogna.”
According to the New York Times, plaintiffs Kelly Hanlin, Damien Crisp and Julie Lawler allege constitutional rights violations as well as assault in the incident shown in the widely-viewed clip, and the suit names Bologna, reading:
“Inspector Bologna’s pepper spray went directly into Mr. Crisp’s right eye. The pepper spray went into Mr. Crisp’s lungs and burned the skin on his face, arms and hands… Ms. Lawler felt a searing, burning sensation in and around her eyes and face, like a hot iron, causing her to drop to the ground.”
The Occupy Wall Street protester lawsuit seeks monetary damages as well as changes to police policy concerning demonstrations.