NYPD Launches Probe Into Pepper Spray Incident as New Video Surfaces
DOWNTOWN — The NYPD has launched an internal investigation into a now-notorious video of a police official pepper spraying a crowd of Wall Street protesters, Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.
His announcement, made at an unrelated press conference, came as a new video emerged of the same officer apparently spraying a second group of people during the protest, which occurred on Saturday near Union Square.
Kelly said the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates reports of excessive force by the NYPD, is also looking into the incident.
Police sources said Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna was the officer caught on video apparently pepper spraying protesters on a sidewalk during a Saturday demonstration near Union Square Park in which 80 protesters were arrested for marching without a permit.
Several protesters were penned in with orange netting, when Bologna appears to walk up and pepper spray several women.
A separate video was published Wednesday by Daily Kos of a second incident during the protest in which a white-shirted officer who looks like Bologna walks up to people on a sidewalk — including one person wearing press credentials — and sprays in their direction before walking away.
The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment on the second video.
But Kelly condemned the decision by some protesters to release Bologna's name, as well as his personal information, as a "terrible practice."
Sources said Bologna has recieved additional police protection in the wake of the incident.
Occupy Wall Street, the group that has been organizing the protests Downtown, released Bologna's name. The hacker group Anonymous, which has been tied to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, released Bologna's home address and information about his children.
"Putting the names of children, or where children go to school — that is inappropriate," Kelly said Wednesday.
Kelly added that were was "tumultuous conduct" on the part of the Saturday protesters, saying they were intent on blocking traffic.
An NYPD spokesman said previously that the police used pepper spray "sparingly."