Woman sues NYPD official in OWS pepper spray
An Albany school aide Monday marked the anniversary of the most celebrated episode of last year's Occupy Wall Street demonstrations by suing NYPD Deputy Insp. Anthony Bologna in federal court for squirting her with pepper spray.
Kaylee Dedrick, whose screams were captured on YouTube videos that rocketed around the Internet after the Sept. 24, 2011, incident, said in her civil rights lawsuit that the attack was unprovoked and caused her "excruciating pain" and temporary blindness. She also asserts that Bologna and other NYPD officers didn't get medical care for her.
Dedrick's attorney, Ron Kuby, said his client had waited a full year after the incident to sue because she was more interested in having Bologna prosecuted than in getting money, but had become frustrated by District Attorney Cyrus Vance's inaction on the case.
"She had no desire to file a civil suit," Kuby said. "Sadly, the DA after a full year continues to dither over whether to bring charges in New York City's most well-documented case of police brutality."
Vance has said the case was "under review." Yesterday, a spokeswoman declined to comment on the status of the Bologna investigation. The city had no comment on the latest suit, one of a half-dozen filed over the pepper spray episode.
Videos of the incident show Dedrick and other women, penned in by orange plastic crowd control netting during a protest in Greenwich Village when Bologna sprayed them. The lawsuit says they were objecting to police use of force on another protester, and the spray was retaliatory.
Bologna says Dedrick and other women were hit by accident when he tried to spray two "agitators" who were interfering with cops, and his actions kept the protest from turning into a riot, said his lawyer Louis La Pietra.
"Unfortunately, a couple of non-intended targets got hit," La Pietra said.
The city has refused to pay for a lawyer for Bologna or indemnify him for damages in one lawsuit, filed in February, over the pepper spray, saying he violated NYPD rules.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has complained the decision could have a "chilling effect" on officers.
The city law department said no decision has been made about assisting Bologna in the new case. The 29-year veteran was docked 10 vacation days by the NYPD last year, and was transferred from Manhattan to Staten Island.