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Lawrence O’Donnell’s Report On Officer’s Use Of Pepper Spray On Protestors Leads To Investigation

On The Last Word Wednesday night, Lawrence O’Donnell shared how he had brought national attention to an incident that had occurred over the weekend during the Occupy Wall Street protest: A few NYPD police officers (and one high-ranking officer in particular) responded to the protests with force and the use of pepper spray. He showed video footage of the attacks — both at regular speed and in slow-motion — taken by witnesses that showed NYPD officers dragging a protester across an asphalt street as well as one officer who indiscriminately sprayed pepper spray into a group of people who were walking away from him.

O’Donnell reported that The New York Times has now confirmed the name and rank of that pepper spraying officer: He is Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna. O’Donnell added that, on Monday, the police department insisted that the officers’ use of force and pepper spray were “appropriate.” However, council member Peter Vallone (who represents Astoria and surrounding communities) looked at the footage and opined that the use of pepper spray “didn’t look good.”

O’Donnell stressed that the group of people who were sprayed had been walking away from the officer and were not resisting arrest or acting violently, nor was Officer Bologna even attempting to implement the use of force as a means of arresting anyone. Since The Last Word‘s report, Officer Bologna’s use of pepper spray will be investigated, as O’Donnell predicted on Monday.

Watch the report, via MSNBC:

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