Occupy protesters sue New York City over pepper spray incident

NEW YORK Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:20pm EST

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two women caught on camera being doused with pepper spray by a New York police officer during an Occupy Wall Street march in September have sued the city, saying it failed to train police officers properly.

In a viral online video, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was shown pepper-spraying several protesters involved in a march in September, about a week after the Occupy Wall Street movement set up camp in a park in the city's financial district.

The video helped draw attention to the Occupy protests, which spread throughout the country last fall with calls for greater economic equality before the movement lost some ground as many U.S. cities evicted them from tent camp footholds.

Chelsea Elliott of Brooklyn and Jeanne Mansfield of Massachusetts filed the lawsuit last week in Manhattan federal court against Bologna, the city, the police department and other unidentified officers.

Bologna was docked 10 vacation days for "using pepper spray outside of department guidelines," police said in October.

The Manhattan district attorney's office opened an investigation into his conduct but has not released any results. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment on Monday.

Aymen Aboushi, the lawyer for the two women, said he waited several months for the investigation to conclude before filing the suit.

"We've given them more than enough time to follow up on this," he said.

A spokeswoman for the city's law department said in an e-mail on Monday that the city had not received a copy of the lawsuit but would review it upon its arrival.

(Reporting By Joseph Ax; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (11)
MetalHead8 wrote:
Good. Sue the Pigs

Feb 14, 2012 11:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
Marla wrote:
I fail to understand how a police officer can spray an unarmed, non-violent person point blank in the face, and have it not be considered assault.

Feb 14, 2012 1:55pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jacobonline wrote:
You have to hit them where it hurts the most. In the pocket. That is the only thing they understand. Bologna is one of those old school NY cops that thinks he can do whatever he wants. Fortunately for the public it is a new day and we all have video ready to go. He looked like he was in his late 50′s and probably has no clue how the new world works. He sure as hell knows now. Smile.. Your on not so candid camera and your brutality will not be tolerated.

Feb 14, 2012 2:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.