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N.Y. Police Officer Who Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Protesters Is Disciplined

An incident that happened in the early days of the Occupy Wall Street protests — a New York City police officer's pepper-spraying of some women on Sept. 24, which was caught on videotape and spread around the Web — has led to disciplinary action against the NYPD commander responsible, according to New York news outlets.

The New York Times says that "Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna ... has been given a so-called command discipline, according to a law enforcement official." The charge "could cost him 10 vacation days, the police said Tuesday." reports that:

"President Roy Richter of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association said in a statement on Tuesday, 'Deputy Inspector Bologna is disappointed at the results of the Department investigation. His actions prevented further injury and escalation of tumultuous conduct. To date, this conduct has not been portrayed in its true context.'

"Ron Kuby, the lawyer for [one of the women] who was sprayed, said the punishment did not go far enough.

" 'He needs a lot of vacation. He needs to go to a place very quiet, far away, for a very long time,' Kuby said."

According to the Times, the NYPD's "patrol guide, its policy manual, says pepper spray should be used primarily to control a suspect who is resisting arrest, or for protection; it does allow for its use in 'disorder control,' but only by officers with special training. The Internal Affairs Bureau reviewed the episode and found that Inspector Bologna 'used pepper spray outside departmental guidelines,' said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department's chief spokesman."

If you haven't seen it, here's the video that drew so much attention.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.