Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cops Gone Wild Part 22: The Pepper-Spray A Commuter Edition

A hurried New York City commuter in a rush to catch her train, crossed under yellow tape and ran down an up-only subway staircase. The repercussions for this typical, life moves in a New York City minute act, was severe.

The commuter claims that when she reached the train platform, she was halted by a NYPD officer who asked for her identification, and told her that she was being arrested. Frightened by the prospect of being arrested for not committing a crime, she flipped open her cellphone to call her mother. It was at this point that the NYPD officer sprayed pepper-spray in the young woman's face, threw her to the ground, and handcuffed her. According to the NY Daily News, the commuter was charged with disorderly conduct and held in lock-up for 15 hours.

After the police officer was exonerated of any wrong doing by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the subway-traveler decided to file a lawsuit against the city. The NYPD denies doing anything wrong. Police Commissioner, Paul Browne released the following statement: "She began to yell and scream, causing public alarm...The woman then started swinging her arms, preventing the officer from handcuffing her. The officer used pepper spray to aid in effecting the arrest." This statement falls short. The Police Commissioner fails to address the issue of why the woman would be stopped to be arrested for such a petty, non-criminal act in the first place.

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