The remarkable photo above [hat-tip Mother Jones' Mike Mechanic] was taken yesterday by Randy L. Rasmussen of The Oregonian who reports the incident occurred in Portland, where the "police officer deployed pepper spray at SW Yamhill, between the JP Morgan Chase bank and Pioneer Courthouse Square."
He says "The photo was taken from the southeast corner of the square, looking toward the intersection of 6th and Yamhill after a day of marching through downtown Portland, Ore., by Occupy Portland participants."
Rasmussen goes on to report that "Several people were arrested" during the march to the Wells Fargo downtown branch in recognition of "N17," standing for November 17th, the two-month "anniversary" of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
I'm guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show tonight, so haven't had time to confirm for certain, but I suspect one of those "arrested" was not the officer pepper spraying the apparently peaceful demonstrator in the face.
Add this incident to the growing body of apparently unprovoked police abuse of peaceful citizen demonstrators in the Occupy movement, including (but not limited to):
- Two-tour Iraq War vet Scott Olsen whose skull was fractured by a tear gas cannister fired allegedly by a law enforcement official with Oakland PD's multi-agency task force on October 25, despite no evidence of a threat from demonstrators;
- Iraq and Afghanistan vet Kayvan Sabehgi whose spleen was ruptured by Oakland cops who allegedly beat him up, even though he was not even demonstrating that same night;
- citizen journalist Scott Campbell who was shot with a bean-bag round by Oakland PD while simply rolling his camera on November 3;
- the Berkeley CA cops who slammed (I'm sorry, AP, "nudged") batons into the guts of peaceful student demonstrators on the UC Berkeley campus;
- the Dallas cop who pushed a peaceful demonstrator off a 4 foot ledge;
- the Mother Jones journalist Josh Harkinson (who will join us on tonight's Malloy Show) who reports that he was dragged behind a moving truck by an NYPD officer after midnight on Tuesday morning as riot cops were clearing Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan;
- and, of course, 84-year old Dorli Rainey who similarly received a face full of pepper spray from cops at an Occupy Seattle march on Tuesday.
This is not a Police State. It is a fully weaponized Military State, at this point. Just ask the folks at Occupy Tampa if it feels that way to them...
UPDATE 11/19/11: The outrage --- and, yes, torture --- of the fully-weaponized Military State continues, as peaceful student demonstrators are lined up and pepper sprayed by cops at UC Davis on Friday. Details/Video...