Police brutality creates more publicity for Occupy Wall Street

It seems like only yesterday when protesters at Wall Street were complaining that the media was completely ignoring their impassioned cause to make the richest Americans pay their fair share. Now, the public eye is on Wall Street, but the New York Police Department is in the sharpest focus, while the reasons for the protest have been temporarily pushed to the periphery.    

Reports of police brutality during the Occupy Wall Street protests have surfaced, through the testimony of protesters and videos posted on the Internet. Some of the worst scenes include protesters being herded in by New York policemen with orange barricade netting, a woman seized and dragged over a fence by cops and a man with a camera being violently thrown into the hood of a car.  

Most infamously, footage shows a NYPD officer pepper-spraying several female protesters, seemingly without provocation, and walking away as they screamed in pain.

On Oct. 1, 85 people were arrested for “disorderly conduct”, supposedly justifying the NYPD’s actions. More recently, several hundred protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge were arrested by the police for blocking traffic. Protesters have responded by stating that police herded them into the middle of the roadway and then used that as an excuse to arrest them, since protests can legally be stopped if the event blocks traffic.  

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell made a sweeping statement about police brutality in general:

“This is just a story of a few cops being tougher than they had to be, and, yeah, technically breaking some laws. And cops know they can always get away with that. American police know that no mayor and no police chief is ever going to call them on just being what they think of as a little too