Pepper spray politics: one woman’s story of being maced in the face

The following comes from an activist who was standing near Mark Schauer when they were pepper sprayed by the Michigan State Police. She is a retired teacher and she attended the rally as part of a group event from her home town.

I was in the group of people, including former Sen. Mark Schauer, that got pepper sprayed yesterday. After the pepper spraying incident, a group of us older activists decided to go to the front of the line. At the very least, if the State Police decided to make another unprovoked assault on the group, they would have to trample a group of gray-hairs in order to do it.

I want to make it very clear – no one ever tried to grab any police officer or drag any of them into the crowd. That’s not true.

The gray hair strategy worked. They didn’t try to charge the crowd again.

I asked about whether she felt this pepper-spray incident should be investigated. This is her response:

Absolutely. The State Police way, way over-reacted. … The overhead video you posted shows it perfectly. There was someone up in the very top (3rd floor) office on the very far end of the House wing opposite the Capitol steps (window facing into the alcove, not out towards the Capitol lawn) who seemed to be giving signals.

Over the jump for some pictures …

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I will have more of her story later.

We need to hold the Michigan State Police accountable. If there is an investigation that finds no wrongdoing then I can accept that, but there must an investigation into this matter in order for us to have confidence in our state police force.

Related: Time to investigate these Michigan State Police actions

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