goddman why do I do this...
He will probably say something to the effect of "the protesters were ordered to disperse and refused, and so the police followed their orders to obtain compliance", except he would say it in a much less polite way and with more negative adjectives to describe the protesters.
The problem is - he'd be right - minus his presentation.
I don't agree with some of the way things are happening, but when people are ordered to disperse, even for a time, it is the job of the police to enforce the law. When people are refusing to listen, they have a list of tools are their disposal from least to most intrusive. Pepper spray is one of the least intrusive and provides less likelihood of injury than physical altercation, restraint, etc.
The cops have been painted as the bad guys all around on this whole Occupy movement and I don't envy the position that they are in, because I'm sure most of them are hesitant to even get in and do anything, due to the hostility they are facing when they are just the guys trying to do their jobs.
Just like the Occupy folks, there is probably a percentage of them who are nitwits, as well, and go way beyond what they need to get the job done, and those should be dealt with accordingly.
Personally, I'd just say to the protesters - you have a choice -
You can have a police presence to be there to assist those who need it, to investigate and break up crimes and to enforce the law...
You can do away with the police presence and you're on your own when shit rolls down from the idiots causing the problems.
You can't have it both ways. The police's job is to enforce the law...they are given orders and are obligated to follow it according to their training. If people want to b###h at those making the decisions, that's fine with me, although I do see some need for some of it (200 pounds of shit cleaned up in one of the parks...used needles...fires...I mean, there IS a health and safety of the people component to all of this) but making the police the fall guys is pretty disingenuous, imo.