Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pepper Spraying Seattle Cop Might Be Worst Yet

An unhinged Seattle police officer pepper sprays
passersby for no apparent reason on MLK day in Jan.  
I know, I know, I've been complaining about bad cops quite a bit lately.

My excuse: The more attention paid to the bad ones, the better. If everybody did this, the powerful police unions might see the error of their ways, stop protecting the bad cops and help get rid of them. Then let the good ones, which are in the majority, do their jobs well.

It's a dream anyway.

So it is that I give a Seattle cop her due in the rogues gallery of really bad cops.  The as-yet unidentified cop is new Queen Of Pepper Spray, the biggest doofus with the spray since John Pike, the infamous UC Davis cop who in 2011 pepper sprayed a bunch of peaceful protestors as if he was trying to clear the odorous aftermath of a frat party with Fabreze.

Unless I'm missing some context of what might have happened before this latest viral video from Seattle went out, I have to ask: Why was this dipshit cop in a panic, pepper spraying random people as they walked by, all in the name of keeping them from walking down a certain street during Martin Luther King events in mid-January?

On that day, demonstrators blocked major roads in Seattle in a "Black Lives Matter" protest that reported resulted in 19 arrests and one police officer suffering a broken leg. There have been numerous "Black Lives Matter" protests around the country in recent months during which protestors block roadways.

At least judging from the video, things didn't look out of hand at the scene of this pepper spraying, that is until the cop went totally off.

If you watch the video at the bottom of this post, you see the cop that did the pepper spraying is totally unhinged. She's yelling frantically, sounding panic stricken, as most passersby don't seem all that tempted to go down the street she doesn't want them to go down.

The other cops there look pretty chill, although I fault them for not calming our panicked cop down.

As the very brief video opens, you do see people off to the left, many of them clearly demonstrators of some sort. Some of them look like they might be itching to go down the street where cops, for whatever reason, don't want them to go.

Then this unhinged cop starts yelling frantically randomly spraying passersby, including Jesse Hagopian,  a locally well-known social justice advocate and a teacher at a Seattle public school.  It appeared that nobody on the scene was being particularly threatening.

All he seems to be doing in the video is walking by, then away from the police barricade, talking on a cell phone, seemingly in a hurry to get to another appointment elsewhere in the city.

I wonder if the woman just to the left of Hagopian triggered this. She seems to be a mild mannered, middle aged lady looking bemused as the cop with the pepper spray can yells incoherently. Maybe our unhinged cop noticed this and opened fire?  
Jesse Hagopian, a Seattle teacher and activist, was pepper sprayed
for the sin of walking down a street while talking on a cell phone.
Not surprisingly, he's getting ready to sue. 

Glad it was pepper spray and not a gun in her hand.

It's lucky this got captured and uploaded to YouTube, because I'm sure the police would have just said Hagopian was threatening officers, he was a menace, blah, blah, blah.

Aside from the pepper spraying, which apparently was inspired by Hagopian being guilty of walking in the city where he lives while black, this cop is apparently not good at crowd control, and keeping the peace.

It's hard to tell, because the video cuts off, but it looks like things were fairly mellow until the stupid cops starts spewing pepper spray in all directions. Then it seems people are starting to get angry.

The video ends with a woman scolding the cop: "We have the right to walk on this sidewalk!"

Maybe you used to, lady, but now cops can do what they want, apparently, laws and First Amendment be damned.

Way to de-escalate, stupid cop.

Why is it the worst cop, the incompetent ones, seem to be always itching for a fight? Yes, sometimes things escalate to violence in the police world, and it's totally not the fault of law enforcement. Face it, some people are jerks, and police, like it or not, have to respond with force.

But in this case, WTF?

Hagopian has announced his intention to sue, and good for him, especially with Seattle's reputation of stonewalling and denial when law enforcement is questioned.

Seattle Police say the incident is "under investigation," code word for letting this die a quick death after the media attention dies down and we hope no nosy reporter follows up in a few months.

We don't know the identity of this officer, or any other details.  It'll be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

Hagopian's lawyer, James Bible is not optimistic.

"They're not going to respond......I would be surprised if the city of Seattle finds yet another way to absolve itself of any wrong-doing. They've made a mockery of accountability and until that changes, we're not holding our breath."

The U.S. Department of Justice in 2011 said Seattle Police engaged in a repeated pattern of excessive force, and critics say little has changed since that report came out.

A Seattle police officer recently got in trouble for arresting a 70-year-old black man because she apparently thought a black guy using a golf club as a cane is a menace to society.

It practically took an act of Congress to suspend that police officer, though.

All cops accused of wrongdoing deserve due process. But when the due process shows that they've done wrong, why is it so hard to get rid of them?

I think a lot of people in this country want to know the answer to that question.

I know I do.

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