84-Year-Old Woman Pepper Sprayed At Occupy Seattle
An 84-year-old woman was among those doused with pepper spray by police on Tuesday night at Occupy Seattle. Another woman who was three-months pregnant was also hit by pepper spray.
The 84-year-old has been identified as Dorli Rainey. A photo of Rainey after she has pepper sprayed has gone viral. The picture shows Rainey with a chemical irritant and the liquid used to treat it dripping down her face while being helped by two people. A man is cradling her head as they walk away from the scene.
“It’s a gruesome picture, I’m really not that bad looking,” Rainey told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday.
Rainey said she was on a downtown bus when she heard helicopters and thought, “Oh boy, I’d better go show solidarity with New York.” Occupy Seattle protesters had gathered Tuesday evening following police actions in New York City that cleared a Manhattan park of people there.
The Seattle activists were blocking downtown streets. Rainey said police told the group they had to move.
“They picked up their bicycles and started shoving them at us and confining us in a very small place and they started to pepper spray,” she said.
The Seattle Police Department responded to the incident, saying in a written statement: "Pepper spray was deployed only against subjects who were either refusing a lawful order to disperse or engaging in assaultive behavior toward officers."
Video of the incident Tuesday night (shown above) was posted online by journalist Ansel Herz. Herz, who said he was pepper sprayed in the face, wrote on his blog:
Some protesters did not immediately clear the intersection once the order to disperse was given. But when the police advanced in formation with pepper spray, protesters did peacefully clear the intersection.
For all their hyperbole, the guys yelling at the cops were accurate in pointing out that people were, at that point, standing on the sidewalk. When one protester seemed to puff his chest out aggressively, face-to-face with a cop, they grabbed him behind their police line and seemed to pile on top of him. As I tried to get it on camera, I was hit with a blast of pepper spray directly to the face. I saw it as it reached my eyes.