Yesterday, it was revealed that NYC's Law Department refused to represent NYPD Detective Inspector Anthony Bologna in lawsuits stemming from his pepper-spraying of Occupy Wall Street protesters. The female protesters were already penned in by police officers and did not seem to be attempting to get out, but video shows Bologna spraying them as well as others in the crowd. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly spoke out about the decision yesterday—and he wasn't happy.
Kelly said, "I think it can have a chilling effect on police officers taking action,. It’s a discretionary decision on the part of corporation counsel [the Law Department]. And I’m concerned about an adverse effect on officers’ willingness to engage."
CityRoom also quoted NYC corporation counsel Michael Cardozo's statement, "State law prohibits the city from representing or indemnifying city employees who are found to have violated agency rules and regulations. Since an internal Police Department review found that Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna had violated agency rules in connection with the Occupy Wall Street incident, we determined the city could not represent or indemnify him in the Elliot case."
Now Bologna, who was docked 10 vacation days and exiled to Staten Island, is liable for monetary damages. Today, some of the folks at NYPD Rant agree that Bologna crossed the line, "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy... Karma is a bi+ch. Too bad for you Tony," "Hit and Run pepper-spraying is not 'within the scope of your employment'" and "Macing someone is using physical force. Why would you use force, then walk away? If they need to be maced, they needed to be locked up. It's usually US holding the bag. I'm glad it's a boss who usually sends you out to 'take care of business', then denies all knowledge of you when the shyte hits the fan." And another draws a comparison to Patrick Pogan, the police officer who was fired after body slamming a Critical Mass cyclist in Times Square:
Bologna deliberately assaulted unarmed civilians who were not engaging in conduct that justified the physical force he used against them. He then ran away- flight equals guilt. Period.
If you think a white shield COP caught on video doing the same thing would have received the same pass from Kelly and the DANY, I've got a bridge to sell you. In fact, go ask the rookie COP who knocked a skell off his bike, he didn't even injure him.
Bologna holds a rank 5 levels higher than a lowly Police Officer, and is paid accordingly. Commensurate with that rank and salary comes a level of accountability the white shield doesn't have. In short, he gets paid to know better, and comport himself better, than the lowly Police Officer.
Like any other rogue COP, he disgraced the rest of us who wear or wore the shield, and for that he should have been collared and dismissed.