Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, the NYPD officer responsible for the pepper spray heard ’round the world (well, America at least), was disciplined on Tuesday for his actions against two female #OWS protesters. In many ways, it was Bologna’s cold actions that drew the media’s attention to the protesters in Zuccotti Park and helped kick the protests into high gear.
At the discipline hearing, the NYPD determined the 29-year veteran of the force violated “department guidelines” — how vague is that? — and docked him, get this, 10 vacation days, or the equivalent amount of pay, police sources told the New York Daily News.
Ten days vacation pay?!? That seems like a light slap on the wrist. Perhaps that’s standard punishment. It’s hard to tell if that’s the case, however, as the NYPD doesn’t seem to want to release any details surrounding its decision.
But if ever a statement demanded to end with an interrobang it would be that one.
Officer Bologna makes nearly $155,000 a year in salary. Just doing some rough, back of the envelope calculations, assuming for the moment he works 261 days per year (five days per week for the entire calendar year, not taking into account federal holidays), he’s been fined roughly $6,000 for the pepper-spray incidents.
As news of his punishment broke, protesters erupted first into cheers, then into chants of “Fire Bologna! Fire Bologna!”
The officer’s union were similarly outraged, but in another way altogether. Reps told the paper they were disappointed by the outcome. “His actions prevented further injury and escalation of tumultuous conduct,” said Roy Richter of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association.
Defense attorney Ron Kuby, who represented one of the victims, countered, “Frankly, I don’t want him to lose any vacation days at all. That means he spends more time on the job with an even bigger attitude. I think he needs a very long rest someplace quiet and stress-free.”
What do you think? Is this a fair punishment? Woefully unjust? Weigh in below.
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