There's this guy, a cop guy, who looked at the video of the UC Davis Pepper spray incident. This guy, whose name is Charles J. Kelly, and is apparently a former Baltimore Police Lieutenant. didn't get chills watching the infamous footage.
Far from it. This guy is a professional, see. And he observed after watching the video that "bodies don't have handles on them."
This is why, he states... as a professional mind you... that using pepper spray as a compliance tool on protesters who aren't resisting is a Good Thing(tm): "When you start picking up human bodies you risk hurting them."
Think about that for a minute.
Charles J. Kelly is a professional, professionally stating that in order not to hurt people, we have to ... hurt people. He told this to the nice folks at CBS as though what he was saying made any sense.
"What I'm looking at is fairly standard police procedure," Kelly said.
It's all for the protesters own good. The nice leadership in charge of keeping parks clean and university campuses photo ready, is just being mindful of the health and hygiene of the protesters. Because, you know.... they could all use a shower. Which makes them, like, icky.
University of California Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi has a similarly scholarly analysis about what her job entails, and why that would lead her to crack down on the protesters. "While we have appreciated the peaceful and respectful tone of the demonstrations during the week, the encampment raised serious health and safety concerns, and the resources required to supervise this encampment could not be sustained, especially in these very tight economic times when our resources must support our core academic mission."
I'm sure no one else who read that passage saw a visual of the Grinch patting Cindy Lou Who on the head and sending her back to bed with a cup of water. But the entire airily crafted PR missive set my teeth on edge. Having written that kind of thing for a living, I recognize the glee behind the rhetoric. Here, we've tied them up in knots. They can't get after us because we're all sympathetic, but we mean business. They better do what we say. We are the boss of them. They are the badly behaved children. We're the good parents, and we've counted to three. Now they have to take the consequences.
Unfortunately, when protestors take the consequences, when they absorb the consequences, when they wear the consequences, in wash of pepper spray covering your face like a bad fake tan, one can't help but see it as a badge of honor. When a hundred or more students sit silent while this presumtuous, clueless woman is escorted to her car, they show just how hollow all her careful prose and professional opinionating is.
So, Mr. Kelly -- if that is "fairly standard police procedure," it's pretty clear standard procedure needs to be rethought...and pretty damn quick. And Chancellor, being saddened as though you weren't directly responsible for this mess, well, it isn't sad, it's just disgustingly self serving and completely disconnected from reality.
And CBS, just because he is a former lieutenant from Baltimore who claims something is "pretty standard," doesn't keep it from also being pretty outrageous, and completely unacceptable.
I'm just sayin'.