It's been so long since I've caught up with the pepper-spraying coward cop story from this weekend that, way back then, his real name wasn't even known. For now I won't drum in his name and will just stick with "coward cop" -- because it was the cowardice, as much as the cavalier cruelty, that was so breathtaking in the original video. A cruel or sadistic cop would have blasted pepper spray into the eyes of penned-up civilians (who all were young women) and then stood and stared them down or laughed at them. A coward would blast them and then turn quickly away and try to melt into the crowd, as this one did.
Brief summary since then, with a few reader messages:
1) Of course, the coward-cop has been named.
2) This afternoon new video surfaced, via Daily Kos, indicating that he'd done more or less the same thing to other civilian protestors that same day. Similar spray in the face, similar slinking away. Difference is that the objects of the spray weren't penned this time.
3) I may have missed it, but it appears that the city officials were paying no notice to this cowardly behavior until reports of the second episode surfaced.
3A) According to the NYT City Room blog, one of the coward's colleagues explained that it wasn't really two "separate" incidents:
>>Inspector Roy T. Richter, the head of the Captains Endowment Association, the union that represents the upper echelons of city officers, said that he believed the second snippet of video was part of the same episode as the initial incident.
[And also:] Inspector Richter continued: "[The coward's] actions that day were motivated by his concern for the safety of officers under his command and the safety of the public. The limited use of pepper spray effectively restored order without any escalation of force or serious injury to either demonstrator or police officer."<<
Convincing. Especially after he slunk away and left one of the blue-uniformed cops saying (according to many accounts I've received and this in the Village Voice) "He just fucking maced us."