Inspector Anthony Bologna Sued for OWS Pepper Spray Incident
By Kiratiana Freelon on February 13, 2012 10:03pm
MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT — A pair of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have sued a high-ranking NYPD cop, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, for spraying them with mace during a protest in Union Square last year.
The civil claim filed in Manhattan Federal Court says Bologna, whose actions were caught on a viral YouTube video, deprived Chelsea Elliot, of Brooklyn, and Jeanne Mansfield, of Massachusetts, of their right to peacefully assemble and constituted an abuse of power.
Bologna committed an "assault and battery on the [women]" and the illicit policing tactics should have been stopped by the department, the lawsuit says.
The Sept. 24 pepper spray incident at West 12th Street and University Place became an early flashpoint for the movement, which began at Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan just weeks earlier.
Several clashes with police followed in the months afterward, including a Lower Manhattan incident on Oct. 14 in which a police supervisor, allegely Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona, was seen on video punching a demonstrator in the face during.
The women suing Bologna are asking for an unspecified amount of compensation and a reimbursement of legal fees and named him, the city and the NYPD as defendants, according to court papers.
A spokesperson for the law department said the city had not yet received the lawsuit but that it would be reviewed upon receipt. The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bologna, who was spoofed on "The Daily Show" with with a sketch character named "Tony Boloney," has been harshly criticized for his crowd control tactics that day. He was transferred to a Staten Island precinct from his Lower Manhattan post after the incident.
Another woman seen on tape getting pepper-sprayed in the incident was Kaylee Dedrick, 24, who met with prosecutors on Oct. 17 along with her attorney to ask that Bologna be charged with assault.
Charges have not been leveled.