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Charge Pepper Spray Cop, Protester's Lawyer Says

By DNAinfo Staff on October 11, 2011 3:38pm  | Updated on October 11, 2011 5:07pm

MANHATTAN — The high-ranking police officer allegedly caught on tape pepper-spraying a demonstrator during an Occupy Wall Street protest march should be arrested and prosecuted for felony assault, an attorney for the woman wrote in a letter to prosecutors Tuesday.

Kaylee Dedrick, 24, a former teacher's aide from Albany, was among the women seen in a now-viral YouTube clip who was pepper sprayed on a sidewalk near Union Square on Sept. 24, after police began erecting an orange barricade around protesters. Approximately 80 people were arrested that day.

Dedrick can be seen in the video dropping to her knees and buckling over after one officer — who protesters and police sources identified as Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna — pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed it onto the crowd.

Civil rights attorney Ron Kuby, who represents Dedrick, penned a letter to the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance on Oct. 11, asking him to take immediate action in charging Bologna with assault. 

"While you may choose to convene a grand jury to consider felony charges ... there is no reason, except politics, to delay charging and arresting D.I. Bologna," Kuby wrote, adding prosecutors have sufficient evidence to move forward with the case.

"It's a very straightforward assault captured on video, and it should be prosecuted as such," Kuby said.

"Arresting D.I. Bologna at this juncture would hardly be a rush to judgment," Kuby added.

The New York Times reported last month that the Manhattan DA's office was looking into the incident.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment on the investigation or the letter.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said previously that the Civilian Complaint Review Board is investigating the incident, as is the NYPD.

An NYPD spokeswoman said previously that the police use of pepper spray was "necessary."

Dedrick was working as a teacher's aide in Albany but moved to the city a few months ago and has been unemployed since, Kuby said. She joined the Occupy Wall Street movement to protest against corporate greed, he added.

The Occupy Wall Street demonstration has been active in Zuccotti Park, Union Square and other parts of the city Since Sept. 17.