NYPD cop pepper sprays Wall Street protesters; now faces probe sting

A New York Police Department deputy inspector twice pepper sprayed Wall Street protesters and even some of his own colleagues today, drawing angry reactions and the promise of a probe from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Videos released by victims show then scurrying for cover after Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper sprayed them. The first attack, captured in the video below, also provoked an angry reaction from a fellow cop, who according to the Daily Kos said: “That’s not procedure! You just fucking maced us!”

The second attack followed soon after, and was captured in a video sent by a victim, Ashley Drzymala, to the Guardian.

The Daily Kos also released a slow-motion edit of the second pepper spray incident.

The protesters were marching though Greenwich Village when the police tried to pen them in on East 12th Street, according to the Guardian. The Guardian reported that Kelly told reporters the Civilian Complaint Review Board would investigate Bologna.

The New York Times reported that the NYPD’s own internal affairs bureau would probe the incident.

According to another report in the Guardian, this isn’t Bologna’s first brush with controversy over his behavior with protesters. Alan Levine, a civil rights lawyer, told the newspaper that he had filed a case against Bologna and another officer Tulio Camejo for allegedly making false arrests and violating civil rights during protests against the Iraq War and former President George W Bush’s policies at the 2004 Rebublican national convention.

A patrol guide for police officers bars them from spraying pepper on “subjects who passively resist.” The videos do not suggest any violence by the protesters.


As UN debates Palestine, ad war on New York streets

Blogger threatens to sue MTA if her anti-Islam ads aren’t shown

An anti-Islam blogger known for her provocative statements is threatening to sue the Metropolitan Transport Authority if it doesn’t approve advertisements she has pitched that describes Israel’s opponents as “savage.”

“I will sue,” Pamela Geller, the blogger, told the Daily News. “It’s a free speech issue.”

Her lawyer has sent a letter to the MTA, demanding approval of the ads, which Geller submitted to transportation agency last week to be placed on buses and in the subway, according to the New York Post.

Geller is arguing that the MTA will stand in violation of the First Amendment if the ads are rejected. “This is fair warning,” Geller said.

The ads, issued in the name of Geller’s group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative, read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

According to the Post, her move is a reaction to ads put out by Westchester County based WESPAC Foundation in over a dozen subway stations that feature pictures of smiling children and carry the message: “We are on the side of peace and justice. End US military aid to Israel.”

The battle over the advertisements comes at a time when the world’s eyes are focused on New York where the UN General assembly is debating statehood for Palestine.

In remarks that may attract criticism in the Middle East, President Barack Obama today rebuked leaders pressing for separate statehood for Palestine, CNN has reported.

Geller’s threat also coincides with the decision by a Columbus, Ohio lawyer to drop a $ 10 million defamation lawsuit against her, after she agreed to withdraw five posts in which she linked him to terrorists, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Aggregated news for Washington Heights and Inwood on September 17, 2011

September 17, 2011

Their Demand: Justice

The family and friends of an Inwood man shot dead by an undercover police officer earlier this month took out a procession go the precinct headquarters, demanding justice. (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110917/washington-heights-inwood/march-for-justice-police-shooting-death-of-john-collado) But the procession was peaceful, and the victim’s family and friends insisted that they were not anti-police but merely wanted justice, and that the police become more sensitive. (http://manhattantimesnews.com/2011/residents-join-in-march-for-justice-in-response-to-shooting-death.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+manhattantimesnews%2FOMhT+%28MT+Blog%29)

Man shot in the neck

A man was shot in the neck in Washington Heights, and was taken to the New York Presbyterian Hospital. His condition is not life-threatening. (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110917/washington-heights-inwood/man-shot-neck-washington-heights)

Aggregated news for Washington Heights and Inwood on September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011:

Back to school

The first few days in school were challenging for new students in Washington Heights. (http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/2011/confidence-and-a-few-jitters-mark-the-first-days-of-school.html) The students also received free school services, contributed by two education-promotion groups and a local politician. (http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/2011/free-school-supplies-distributed-to-local-schoolchildren.html)

Inwood man killed in police fire

An Inwood man was shot dead fatally by police in a freak incident that threatens to further damage relations between the community and the police. An off-duty officer was arrested earlier this month for allegedly sexually assaulting an Inwood woman. (http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/2011/inwood-man-fatally-shot-by-police.html) An upset community met the commanding officer of the 34th Precinct, which covers Inwood, to raise its concerns over its fast-declining trust in the police force. (http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/2011/shooting-death-by-police-officer-main-agenda-item-at-cb12-meeting.html)

Community safer than thought, claims news group

The Washington Heights and Inwood neighborhoods, battered by a spike in crime over the past year, are still among the safest communities to live in within Manhattan, analysis by borough news group Dnainfo.com suggests. (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110914/washington-heights-inwood/residents-slow-celebrate-wahi-safe-neighborhood-rankings)

Aggregated news content on Washington Heights and Inwood for September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011:

Playing up life in the Heights

A popular new play celebrates living in the Northern Manhattan community of Washington Heights in the process capturing the challenges immigrant communities from the world over face in a new country. (http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=727722&publicationSubCategoryId=70)

School challenges can be managed

The start of the school year can be challenging for new students, particularly if they come from immigrant families that have just moved arrived in the US. But there are ways to adjust quickly, as 8-year-old twins Jose and Angel, and their 7-year-old sister Estefani learned. (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/where-all-work-is-created-equal/)

Solution to traffic problem becomes new problem

Inwood residents who live near 218th Street and Broadway are complaining that new cobstruction work which was meant to ease their traffic problems is turning into a new menace.
(http://www.dnainfo.com/20110915/washington-heights-inwood/locals-say-construction-makes-dangerous-corner-more hazardous?utm_content=charusudan%40gmail.com&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Locals%20Say%20Construction%20Makes%20Dangerous%20Corner%20More%20Hazardous&utm_campaign=Locals%20Worry%20About%20Construction%20at%20Dangerous%20Cornercontent)

Popular park gets facelift

Authorities are finally renovating Bennett Park in Washington Heights, creating new possibilities for residents to use the park. (http://www.dnainfo.com/20110914/washington-heights-inwood/bennett-park-construction-begins-hudson-heights?r) A community group is also providing updates on the project. (http://hudsonheightsguide.com/2011/09/15/the-new-bennett-park-is-under-way/)