Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Officer Friendly

There's a photograph I would like you to look at.

Courtesy of the Associated Press. The caption reads: "Seattle activist Doris Rainey, 84, reacts after being hit with pepper spray during an Occupy Seattle protest, Nov 15, 2011 at Westlake Park in Seattle."

Many of us grew up in the suburbs, and heard over and over that the police are our friends, that they are here to protect and serve, &c. &c. I honestly think that most friends of mine who have positive impressions of the police are not being contrarian - I think that many of them have had few interactions with cops at all, and that those few have been from an unrecognized position of privilege.

Even so, would the people who taught us to respect and obey the police have believed this picture? Would they have even let children see it, or would they have considered it "too graphic?"

Whose side are the police on?


  1. It is difficult to comprehend a video of Dorli Rainey being interviewed about her advocacy, see that photo, and watch another video of the police casually pepper-spraying a non-violent crowd.


  2. Holy lord, those videos

    "There's something happening here / What it is ain't exactly clear"