What's a little mace among friends?
Minneapolis authorities launched an investigation into police response during a downtown street protest that turned unruly Wednesday night in which chemical spray used by officers hit a 10-year-old boy.So what was a 10-year-old boy doing in downtown Minneapolis during a protest, anyway?
Susan Montgomery, the mother of the boy who was sprayed, said that she and her son, Taye, were among the protesters.
At one point, the officer drove up abruptly to Montgomery and the others with his siren on and lights flashing on S. 7th Street. “People started running. It seemed like he was mad at that point,” she said.
After stopping, the officer “just jumped out of his car and started spraying everybody,” Montgomery said.
Other protesters confronted the officer, screaming that he had sprayed a child, Montgomery continued. The officer responded by spraying them as well, she said.If ever a story called for the "one the one hand/on the other hand" approach, this one is it.
Taye, who his mother said is autistic, fell to the ground and was carried into a nearby hotel. Milk was poured into his eyes to deaden the chemical irritant, his mother said.
Asked Thursday about the incident, Taye told reporters, “He didn’t give us any warning. He just went right ahead and sprayed. … It hurt!”
- Let's not have law enforcement officers using chemcial sprays indiscriminately, please?
- And let's not bring 10-year-old children to a protest, please?
- The blocking traffic tactic is getting pretty damned old, folks. It doesn't engender any sympathy for your cause, either.
- Still, blocking traffic shouldn't be a cause to bring out the chemical spray.
- Our governments ask cops to behave in antisocial ways
- It's evident that a lot of cops really groove on their antisocial assignments way too much
- Most of the protesters these days are more about moral vanity than the causes they claim to espouse
You think that's a mean statement? Consider the mother's justification for bringing her son:
Taye’s mother on Thursday defended her choice to bring her son to the previous night’s protest, saying she wanted to instill a sense of social justice in him.I will defend this woman's right to believe what she wants. Bringing a child to a protest doesn't make her a bad mother. But she needs to understand there are some bad mothers of a different sort out there.
“If people want to call me a bad mother for taking my son there and fighting for justice, then so be it,” she said. “But I think I’m doing the best thing that I can to break cycles and make change.”