Pepper Spray Girl exposed as antagonizer of the police at Occupy Portland – will the Oregonian notice?

Posted on November 21, 2011 by


Remember the picture of the girl getting maced that went viral, and became a supposed symbol of police brutality?

Yeah, about that. Check out Occupy Portland’s own video, showing her antagonizing the police and getting in their faces (starting at the 1:51 mark):

UPDATE: My buddy Victoria Taft has a great breakdown of this whole situation on her blog.

UPDATE #2: Upon close up comparison of the picture and the video, the two women are distinct, if similar looking, human beings. HOWEVER, now that we know the identity and police record of the recipient of the blast of mace, our point is made even more clearly. The blast of mace appears to have been in response to repeated refusals to obey police commands and repeated attempts to antagonize and enflame the situation.

Check out the arrest record Elizabeth Evon Nichols.

Then check out the Portland Police statement and video, which shows multiple arrests for Liz:

Police Statement Excerpt:

Police made repeated loud-hail commands and officers on the ground reiterated those commands for people to clear the street and leave the area. A confrontation occurred between a group of protestors who would not disperse. Projectiles were thrown at police and an unidentified man struck a police horse.

During this confrontation, police deployed pepper spray on 20-year-old Elizabeth Evon Nichols. Nichols had been told by police repeatedly to disperse. Immediately following the pepper spray, officers applied water to Nichols’ face. She was then arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Interfering with a Police Officer.

And for those who failed to click on the Victoria Taft blog link above, here are the pertinent sections describing why the police were forced to disperse the crowd:

Why was she sprayed?

So now that you’ve seen the “After” picture that will go on every protester poster and may even be included in the next PSU sociology syllabi,  what about the “Before” picture?

Here’s a photo from KPTV from their helicopter:

Photo Credit: KPTV Screen Shot

There’s also something else that former Sheriff and Police Chief (and Blogforce member) Bernie Giusto notes about the above photo. The cops’ backs are almost against the wall of the bank. They’ve got nowhere else to go. They’ve got to protect the space or be overwhelmed.

“Police officers with nowhere to go and faced with an overwhelming number of demonstrators who are outwardly aggressive, need to push back and push back hard.”

Police say the protesters were pushing on the cops in unprecedented fashion as Officers tried to keep them from rushing the bank:

Photo Credit: KPTV Screen ShotHere’s another overhead from the KPTV chopper to give you more context.
Photo Credit: KPTV Screen Shot

Clearly the Portland Police were just looking for a fight, right? I don’t think so.