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USLaw.com's Analysis of Occupy Wall Street Participants Pepper Sprayed by New York Police Department

The New York Daily News was first to report online that over 50 arrests were made by the New York Police Department on September 24, 2011 in connection with the "Occupy Wall Street" protest movement. The same story mentioned "unconfirmed reports that mace may have been used" and the online story contained an embedded video which described the barricading of demonstrators behind mesh netting. USLaw.com's original and widely distributed slow motion analysis of the same video revealed a senior New York Police Department officer deploying a pepper spray canister in an unorthodox manner on the group of women being 'kettle netted' by a half dozen officers:

View 3,000+ comments on youtube.

The New York Times, MSNBC, CBS, NPR, NY Observer, Tech Dirt, The Atlantic, The Guardian, TIME, UPI, Village Voice, and other mainstream media published and broadcast USLaw.com's analysis, creating a national conversation about the treatment of demonstrators by the New York Police Department with particular attention on the actions of the senior officer wielding the pepper spray canister in the video, who was identified by a witnessing photographer. The police department's initial reaction was to condone the officer's actions as being 'sparing' and 'appropriate' while discrediting the video's integrity. The officer was also said to have justified the use of gas as an attempt to arrest men fleeing from the area. USLaw.com respoded to the department's accusations and the officer's reported rationale by publishing further analysis of the original video and additional videos that captured the incident from multiple angles. Pressure exerted by continued media scrutiny-- in part driven by USLaw.com's analysis and the sharing of a video revealing a second pepper spray deployment-- caused Commissioner Ray Kelly to initiate an Internal Affairs Bureau investigation and Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. to do the same.

USLaw.com has interviewed several individuals seen in the videos, collected numerous firsthand accounts, and analyzed four raw videos that capture the events before, during, and after the gas deployment. We have developed theories about the motivations of various demonstrators and police officers seen in the videos. Until publishing this additional analysis, we are sharing produced versions of the following eyewitness videos which were shared on youtube:

Precipitating Events

Immediate Aftermath

Second Deployment of Pepper Spray

Approximately thirteen seconds after the first (USLaw.com analysis of multiple videos).

Another Controversial Police Action Near Union Square on 9/24

Original USLaw.com reports.

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USLaw.com will cotinue reporting on this and other law-related issues arising out of the ongoing civic participation movement in lower Manhattan. Bookmark and/or subscribe below to be updated. You may also share information about these events or any ofther feedback by commenting below, tweeting USLaw.com, or sending private email.

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