Excessive Force


So, what’s it been, a week?  A week since that officer sprayed down those kids protesting on that college campus.  And I still don’t know how I feel.

On the one hand, the images are horrible.  The absolute nonchalant manner in which that coop was spraying down those kids was a bit creepy; just a bit [or more] too big state for me.

Again, on the other hand, this is how the Left rolls.  They “protest peacefully” just sitting back waiting to bait authorities.  They lock arms and lay down limp.  And then when the cops move in, they claim abuse or brutality.  The shots of the police trying to pull off protesters from one another to bring order to a chaotic scene are everywhere.

Back to the protests here though.  It didn’t seem chaotic.  It didn’t seem on the verge of violence.  It seemed calm.  Maybe the cops could have pulled ’em off one by one, I don’t know.

Then again….this goes back to one of my golden rules:  When a police officer tells you to “move on”, it is most prudent to move on.

I don’t think that I’dve used pepper spray, I KNOW I wouldn’t be sitting in the street protesting, and if I was that cop, I probably would’ve pried ’em loose, one by one.

Whatever else you think, this is funny:

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17 comments
  1. Pepper spraying these folks is actually a very humane and civilized way of removing them. Simply ripping them apart without disorienting them first with pepper spray could have resulted in broken arms and other permanent damage. The police have been handling these entitled clowns with kit gloves. Anywhere else in the world they’d be using rubber or real bullets. If you disobey the law, you deserve the consequences.

  2. Ryan P. Grace said:

    Not to mention the fact that Sgt. Pike kneeled down and spoke with the protesters basically at length encouraging them to move out of the way so they could get their squad car out and warning them that failing to do so would result in them being pepper sprayed, to which the protesters laughed and told them to bring it on.

    There’s another great MEME that I wish I could attach- “You know how much of that can I used”? 99%.

    • Seriously. These folks are just screaming for ways to claim victimhood. They have nothing but my contempt.

  3. pino said:

    The police have been handling these entitled clowns with kit gloves.

    It’s hard for me to say; I’m opposed to the movement so I’m biased to be sure. However, it’s clear the kid have to be removed. Further, they’ve put themselves in this position and are begging for something to happen so that they can be filmed and “martyred”.

    If the Occupy movement worked as hard at working as they do occupying, I suspect that they would find themselves better served.

    Not to mention the fact that Sgt. Pike kneeled down and spoke with the protesters basically at length encouraging them to move out of the way so they could get their squad car out and warning them that failing to do so would result in them being pepper sprayed, to which the protesters laughed and told them to bring it on.

    Indeed.

    Asshattery around.

  4. I think the photos have helped the movement and gotten people riled up at the police. The images of kids sitting there, and the guy calmly spraying them are a horrible visual for the police. I have great respect for the occupy movement, and similar respect for the tea party (though I agree with the former much more than the later). Being willing to stand up for what you believe and give part of your life for your ideals is what makes a country like this great. Historically it’s people who are willing to take a stand that make a difference. If one sincerely believes that the country is on a wrong path and the elite are controlling wealth and power in a way that harms the country and the middle class, they should be active! So to the tea party, OWS and others who are not apathetic and are willing to stand up for what they believe in, you’re both reflecting fundamental American values! Yes, pino, they’d serve THEMSELVES better if they focused only on their own situation. That’s the point – they’re thinking about the country more than themselves. Even if you disagree with him, that should be respected.

    • pino said:

      That’s the point – they’re thinking about the country more than themselves. Even if you disagree with him, that should be respected.

      They have given no clear path to solve the problem. Other than, of course, to tax the do’ers and transfer that money to the moochers.

      • No, that’s not even close. No one wants to give money to moochers. People want jobs, fairness, and a real opportunity. They believe that’s being denied by those rigging the game. Nobody right or left supports moochers. It’s a disagreement about opportunity, justice and how power is used/abused. The left thinks that the moochers are the rich using and manipulating average folk so they can life lives of luxury, far beyond what their own work would earn them. Agree or disagree, but both left and right hate moochers, though they each disagree on who the moochers are!

  5. nickgb said:

    On the one hand, the images are horrible. The absolute nonchalant manner in which that coop was spraying down those kids was a bit creepy; just a bit [or more] too big state for me.

    Yes! This is exactly the response that small government libertarians ought to have. How dare the state use force to deprive students from peacefully exercising a first amendment right? Obviously there’s a lot more to the argument, such as free speech zones, interference with the unversity, etc., but this sentiment is exactly where people who care about rights ought to be coming from! Instead, I see all these people who keep talking about individual freedoms cheering because the dirty hippies got sprayed, and it sickens me. Loving freedom means loving it for all people, whether you agree or not.

    Again, on the other hand, this is how the Left rolls. They “protest peacefully” just sitting back waiting to bait authorities. They lock arms and lay down limp. And then when the cops move in, they claim abuse or brutality.

    Well, yes. They peacefully protest, they refuse to leave (otherwise it’s not a protest), and then the cops use force to get rid of them. Sometimes the cops use excessive force, and the protesters claims that they were abused, rightfully. The fact that the protesters are putting themselves in harm’s way for their beliefs doesn’t mean they don’t have a right not to be abused by the police.

    Whatever else you think, this is funny:
    No, it’s really not. It’s an officer using excessive force on a peaceful protest, and then LOLing about it because we’re supposed to hate hippies. Replace the picture with anything from the civil rights movement, and replaces “hippies” with “negroes”, and see if it’s still funny. If you think it’s a bad analogy, then explain why african americans shouldn’t have been forcibly removed from sit-ins and forced from the streets with water hoses.

    I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the police had stepped in to break up a tea party rally for, just as an example, talking about watering the tree of liberty while people are openly carrying firearms. Would those people have quietly acquiesced to disperse when asked to?

    • Nick,

      I have no problem with people expressing their first amendment rights. What I do have a problem with is people getting upset when police use appropriate force to remove people who are breaking the law. Heck, if Tea Party protesters broke the law like this and the police did the same thing, I would fully support it.

      Heck, the US Government gassed me on multiple occasions to prepare me for combat, and I fully supported that. It wasn’t pleasant and it certainly would look appalling on 20/20, but it caused only mild discomfort and no permanent harm.

      The analogy you make about African Americans is a fascinating one, and one the left is entirely responsible for. You are absolutely right to say that if this group consisted entirely of African Americans, there would have been national outrage, even if that group broke the law. Yet, if that group, or any Tea Party group, broke the law in a similar manner as these protesters, the cops’ judicious use of minimum force would be justified. I agree with you that a double standard exists on race, but it is nothing more than the natural extension of the left’s seeing a racial bugbear in any setback.

      • nickgb said:

        The analogy you make about African Americans is a fascinating one, and one the left is entirely responsible for.

        You’re missing my point. I’m saying that it’s pretty much universally accepted that we find reprehensible the police officers in the photos of the civil rights era, with dogs and firehoses turned on protesters (white and black both). No one walks around saying “Well, that was police procedure,” or “They did tell the protesters that they’d get hosed if they didn’t leave.”

        These defenses of the pepper spray are only coming from people who are predisposed to disapprove of the protests already. If the government had pepper-sprayed a peaceful tea party protest, you all would be outraged at the government’s over-reach, and so would I, because our opposition to this is the force used.

        If the US Government gassed you in this manner on several occasions, and you experienced only mild discomfort, then you’re lucky. That’s not normal, and that’s why pepper spray is used in the first place. If it caused only mild discomfort, it wouldn’t be much of a tool.

    • pino said:

      <Yes! This is exactly the response that small government libertarians ought to have.

      Good. I’m glad that we agree that it’s possible the State can exert too much influence. This is a critical point we often don’t agree on.

      such as free speech zones

      From what Ive read/heard about Free Speech Zones, I’m not a real big proponent of ’em.

      but this sentiment is exactly where people who care about rights ought to be coming from!

      Well, I think we are. What’s this is going to come down to are two positions:

      1. Where do the students rights to sit in campus refusing to leave end?
      2. What is excessive force?

      They peacefully protest, they refuse to leave (otherwise it’s not a protest),

      This is not true. The Tea Party applied for, paid for, was granted and then used legal permits to protest. Then, when their legally allotted time was up, they cleaned the place and left. Not one single time did a group of grandmothers sit down, refuse to leave, shit in a newspaper and then bait the cops to move ’em.

      Not once.

      THAT was a textbook lesson in peaceful protest. And before you doubt the success of that movement, consider the elections of 2010.

      What these hippies are engaging in is FORCEFUL protests. They are not peaceful. They are forcing their presence and ideas on everyone around them.

      No, it’s really not.

      It is. In the same way that Jon Stewart bits are funny. In the same way AL the Photoshopped images of this guy spraying everyone from Ali/Frazier to Harry Potter to the first thanksgiving is funny.

      I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the police had stepped in to break up a tea party rally

      I think that is an important consideration. Because, years after its formation, we still have to wonder. There hasn’t been a need for the police to break up a Tea Party rally.

      That is what we’re, or at least I, am making fun of. These kids are protesting in the ways and manners in which they are out of immaturity and some noble romantic image they have of a revolutionary. It’s boring to go down to city hall and get a permit, further, it can be expensive. And to leave when asked by law? Psh’aw, Not I leave, no sir.

  6. nickgb said:

    Well, I think we are. What’s this is going to come down to are two positions:

    1. Where do the students rights to sit in campus refusing to leave end?
    2. What is excessive force?

    I think those are absolutely the two issues that matter. Now, other than the fact that the administration told the protesters to leave, what evidence do you have that they infringed on anyone’s comfort?

    As for excessive force, I do believe this was excessive, but given your statements in support of police brutality earlier on, I doubt we’ll ever find agreement there.

    • pino said:

      Now, other than the fact that the administration told the protesters to leave,

      There doesn’t have to be another reason. If the administration tells you that you can not form a chain and just camp out on campus, a concept that is very likely given the patterns we’ve seen of OWS camping out all over the place all over the country, you have to leave.

      As for excessive force, I do believe this was excessive, but given your statements in support of police brutality earlier on, I doubt we’ll ever find agreement there.

      We probably won’t find agreement. However, if you were the cop[s] who had already decided that the kids were GONNA move on, how would you have done this differently?

      • Yeah, but protests throughout history never get very far if the protesters obey every command the authorities make. Certainly those rowdy colonists back in 1776 would have settled down. Ever hear of that terrorism in Boston when they attacked a ship and threw tea overboard?

      • pino said:

        Yeah, but protests throughout history never get very far

        The Tea Party took helped Republicans take control of the Congress and were instrumental in the biggest Republican win in years. Here in North Carolina, the Republicans control both the House and the Senate for the first time since before the Civil War.

        if the protesters obey every command the authorities make.

        How about obeying just one?

        Certainly those rowdy colonists back in 1776 would have settled down. Ever hear of that terrorism in Boston when they attacked a ship and threw tea overboard?

        Well, that’s okay; most of ’em were Masons 😉

        But we’re really not equating OWS with a revolution, are we?

  7. I think the point is that if people think injustice is great, they may be willing to go against the law and the authorities. If it’s non-violent (and one could argue property rights about the tea in Boston harbor — like some argue about OWS now costing tax payers money), that’s OK. I’m sure the British had a view of the colonists much like conservatives might see OWS! Ultimately I tend to be tolerant of protests that are non-violent (violence only on the fringes), even though I personally am not one to participate in protests. I went to one back in the 90s in St. Paul for a friend who worked for Planned Parenthood. It was to protect women seeking abortion from abuse by protesters.

    Well, first of all it was a charade — the women seeking abortions were fake, designed to distract protesters from knowing when the real women getting abortions were coming (though the women acted the roles well!) Second, the two sides were obnoxious. The anti-abortion folk were bleating out weird slogans like “you’re like Hitler, murders, holocaust, blah blah.” Then equally weird responses from groups like “Act Up” came like “people as ugly as you should be aborted,” and “why are you so intolerant when you worship a guy who butt f**ked 12 other guys all the time.”

    Annoyed with almost everybody, I drifted off to the side and had some interesting conversations and vowed then and there that protests were not for me. I haven’t been involved in another one since, except one ‘peace rally’ in early January 1991 at the University of Minnesota (but that was more a political event led by Paul Wellstone.)

    I wonder how much of a role the tea party ultimately had in 2010 — the economy was really bad, and most Americans voted on that basis. More importantly, I wonder if the tea party will have any lasting effect. Was it a ‘flash in the pan’ that reflected a moment of anger at a particular President or set of policies, or did it portend a long term shift in US politics? Either answer is possible – and we don’t know where OWS will go. They could impact 2012 and then fizzle. Or perhaps they could have a long term impact, even globally — it does seem like the tea party has at least gone silent.

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