Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Pepper Spray Retrial Coming Up

Yet another retrial of the famous "Pepper Spray Incident" will begin in a week or so. We’ve been through this twice already and I can’t help but wonder: If you’ve already had two hung juries maybe we should just drop the subject and let bygones be bygones? But, I guess that’s not the way it works especially with plaintiffs and their lawyers in pursuit of the big money.

Libertarians, more than anyone, are concerned about excessive force being used by government but I don’t think the use of pepper spray in the incident that brought about this trial was excessive force. The protesters knew what they were getting themselves into, were warned about what was going to happen and refused to remove themselves from the premises [even after pepper spray was used]. The deputies that applied the spray were exposed to it themselves (and I don't see them suing anyone). You can tell just from watching the video. And, if you watch the video of the entire affair from start to finish, which I have, you’ll see the police bending over backwards, imo, trying to talk the protesters into giving up before force of any kind was used. You’ll also see, after the protesters are removed and arrested, the protesters joking a bit with the deputies before they were taken to jail. No harm done the way I see it, at least by law enforcement.

Sure, there were all kinds of options law enforcement could have used to remove the protestors. They chose pepper spray, among others. Libertarians had some heated discussions about what options should have been used with much disagreement. I didn’t see a problem with the pepper spray. I find it interesting that one Libertarian from Orange County insisted pepper spray was excessive force but still believes we were perfectly justified in invading Iraq. Gotta love the diversity in the LP.


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