UPDATE: Here is a terrific first hand account by a woman who was there: Kelly Schomburg
You've seen the video. It is outrageous. You know, the one where the girls are corralled in an orange plastic fence like sheep cut from the herd. Where they are crying and bewildered and already in distress. What is happening? How can this be happening? What have we done? When suddenly a high ranking officer lunges forward from off camera and emits a long blast of pepper spray point blank at the girl's face. Pepper spray is a chemical weapon. Even a tiny bit of it is extremely painful. Why did the officer need to do this? How on earth was this appropriate?
There are many diaries here that analyze and editorialize on the situation. Read them if you haven't yet. But right now I ask you to take action. Take a couple of minutes to fill in some online complaint forms. Flood these offices with your smart, well articulated outrage.
The perpetrator has been identified as Deputy Inspector Anthony V. Bologna of the NYPD Borough Manhattan South. Dave's Camera Craft has information about the badge ID, and a fascinating firsthand account of the incident. It is worth the read.
Send an email to the following departments:
• Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office.
(eataTree in comments below suggests that "The only way anything is going to happen here is pressure from above, and that means the Mayor's office. If you live in NYC, contact him every day.").
• NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly's office.
• NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board: here.
Thanks, Kossacks! May the emails rain like the Letters to Santa in Miracle On Thirty-fourth Street!
UPDATE: Official Report on proper use of Pepper Spray. (Feel free to cite this in your complaints to Mayor Bloomberg)>
The Patrol Guide prohibits the use of pepper spray against subjects who passively resist (e.g., going limp, offering no active physical resistance). It further cautions that if possible, pepper spray should not be used against persons who appear to be in frail health, young children, women believed to be pregnant, or persons with known respiratory conditions.
In situations where pepper spray is used, the Patrol Guide stipulates several guidelines to ensure the safety of the subject. Officers are required to request the response of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) once the situation is under control. If tactically feasible, according to the Patrol Guide, the subject should be removed from the contaminated area and exposed to fresh air while awaiting the arrival of EMS or transportation to a hospital or station house. The Patrol
Guide warns that the subject should be positioned on his/her side or in a sitting position to promote free breathing and that he/she should “never be maintained or transported in a face down position." Additionally, officers should not sit, stand, or kneel on a subject’s chest or back. If water is readily available, officers should flush the contaminated skin area of a subject with profuse amounts of water. Lastly, officers are reminded that subjects should be transported to the emergency room of the nearest hospital if he or she is “demonstrating difficulty breathing, or exhibiting signs of severe stress, hyperventilation, etc.”