Friday, February 24, 2012

Bad Lieutenant

Lt John Pike, under color of authority as a University of California - Davis - policeman, was captured in photos and video that went "viral" around the world, as a real life "Bad Lieutenant," spraying down passive students with the care and precision as one who was eradicating pesky dandelions.

Unlike Harvey Keitels pathetic spiral into evil as the "Bad Lieutenant" raping nuns, Lt. John Pike was not a Hollywood drug induced rotten cop. But he re-defined the relationship of law enforcement to peaceful protest. Police will NOT defend peaceful protest! And Pike became the poster boy for "memes" that flooded the Internet.

His "pesticide of choice," the MK-9 "Magnum," is not that far removed in it's lethality, as the pepper spray being applied, at close range, directly into the faces of an unresisting group of students, protesting in the theme of "Occupy Now," without immediate decontamination!

Billed as the world's most widely used pepper spray in law enforcement and corrections, First Defense® "has just gotten better!" Manufactured by Defense Technology out of Casper, Wyoming, Lt. John Pike's choice of weapons to use on prone students at the University of California, Davis, was the First Defense® MK-9, 1.3%.

Looking at the product "spec" sheet, this product is the most powerful pepper spray within this "tactical" group. More chilling details can be gleaned from the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS.) "OC" is the active ingredient in pepper spray, "Oleoresin Capsicum." OC is a chemical derived from the fruit of plants in the Capsicum genus, including chilies. Capsicum is the primary ingredient in the pepper spray used as an irritant weapon.

Why this article today?

Hidden behind the Republican Primary circus, this news item just crossed my desk: UC Davis pepper spray cop to go on trial.

Realistically, who really cares about John Pike. He will fade into obscurity, having enjoyed his 15 minutes of glory.

I have highlighted, as points of reference, the apparent heating or burning sensation you feel when you pop a Jalapeño Pepper in your mouth. This measures 3,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units, as compared the 2 to 5 million Scoville Heat Units your body feels when pepper spray is applied to exposed skin, depending on the designed strength of the pepper spray!

Water has very little effect on removing pepper spray because the chemical capsicum is not soluble in water. Victims have been encouraged to try milk or baby shampoo on the affected areas to remove the toxins.

Pepper spray’s creator, Kamran Loghman, has gone on the record saying that "the spray was never intended to be used so casually."

Loghman described his horror at watching a clip of the UC Davis incident:

“Prior to [the existence of pepper spray], in the use of force by law enforcement, when you encounter somebody who is aggressive, let’s say somebody who is under the influence of narcotic or alcohol and you arrest them and the highway patrol wants to take him out of the car and they become combatant. At that time, police officers had really little choice. It was either baton or go to deadly force.

"By introduction of pepper spray, it was very quick. Police officers were trained to do that. They could arrest the individual, take him back to the jail, wash their face and give them proper decontamination and that was the end of the story. And in that regard it was a great weapon. It saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the last twenty years.

“It is becoming more and more fashionable right now, this day and age, to use chemical on people who have an opinion. And that to me is a complete lack of leadership both in the police department and other people who cannot really deal with the root of the problem and they want to spray people to quiet them down. And it’s really not supposed to be that. It’s not a thing that solves any problem nor is it something that quiets people down."

Of course there are those who don't see the harm in spraying another human being with a little street justice. Unless of course, it is they themselves.

Indeed, one of the dolts masquerading as a "news person" over at Fox uttered an incredibly naive statement about pepper spray, in her "report" to Bill O'Reilly:

Ms. Kelly should look for some other type of work. This clip is unbelievable. Imagine how calm Ms Kelly would be, if she got a dose of pepper spray. I generally try not to personally attack people whom I have never met. But in this clip, Megyn, who does not even know how to spell her name correctly, bolsters the stereotype blond image as a "ditzo."

And "Billo?" As a long time resident of Portland/Vancouver, I remember him from his nine month stint on KATU-TV in Portland Oregon. He made an ass of himself and embarrassed the management of KATU-TV with a three part series on Mark Hatfield, "The Prince of Oregon."

Then he was gone! Confirming the urban legend that a person "is promoted to his highest level of incompetence!"

And had Miss Kelly been a "true" reporter, presenting "fair and balanced news," she would have taken the time to learn more about the product, the MK 9 Magnum, manufactured in Wyoming, and to experience just how lethal the product is, by interviewing citizens who have been on the receiving end of a steam of pepper spray.

I'm sure her mascara would be running ....

Use of Pepper Spray Deadly?

Oleoresin Capsicum, (OC, Pepper Spray) was legalized for use by California law enforcement agencies in October, 1992. It was legalized for civilian use in March, 1994. By May 31, 1995, California police officers and sheriff ’s deputies had used pepper spray nearly 16,000 times — in 1995 at an average rate of 24 times a day statewide.

The report identifies 26 deaths among people who were pepper-sprayed by police officers in the period Jan. 1, 1993, through June 1, 1995. The fatality total suggests that one person dies after being pepper sprayed for about every 600 times the spray is used by police. (From "Pepper Spray Update," Southern California ACLU.)

I have seen worse examples.

Do you remember the cops who physically pried a woman's eyelids open to administer pepper spray directly on the eyeball using a Q-tip? That happened several years ago - 2005 - down in Humboldt County in Northern California. Activists were protesting the harvesting of redwood trees by Pacific Lumber Company.

In that case, after only twelve hours of deliberation, a federal jury returned a unanimous verdict finding the Humboldt County Sheriffs used excessive force when they swabbed pepper spray into the eyes. (two of the women were minors.)

They did not receive medical attention for more than two hours.

Jurors found that former Sheriff Dennis Lewis and current Sheriff Gary Philip approved illegal use of force on passive protesters. The jury also held the City and County liable for its officers' unconstitutional actions.

Now before you get ready to send me a scathing comment, here is my position. Just as the inventor Kamran Loghman has explained, I believe the use of pepper spray by well trained sworn officers is totally justifiable when dealing with an out of control individual or mob, hell bent on creating havoc.

End of story.

MSDS for MK 9 1.3%

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