Via Fallows, it's worth checking out this below in which a cop pepper-sprays a bunch of protesters and then walks away. NYPD, for their money, think they did nothing wrong:

The Police Department's chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said the police had used the pepper spray "appropriately."

"Pepper spray was used once," he added, "after individuals confronted officers and tried to prevent them from deploying a mesh barrier -- something that was edited out or otherwise not captured in the video."
I don't think that really means anything. It's "appropriate" because the cops say its "appropriate."  The level of violence which we accept from -- no, which we request from -- our criminal justice system is amazing.

The best thing about living in New York, and not having a car, is that I have virtually no contact with the police. Except when they detain me Chelsea because I look "Latino." Yeah, that happened...