In a long, carefully worded statement, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is now apologizing for yesterday's pepper spraying of peaceful Occupy protesters—which I take to mean he's also apologizing to 84-year-old Dorli Rainey:
Last night, the police used pepper spray in two separate incidents, and many are now questioning whether the police use of force was appropriate to the circumstances. I have seen video and written descriptions of the incidents.
To those engaged in peaceful protest, I am sorry that you were pepper sprayed. I spoke to Dorli Rainey (who I know personally) to ask how she was doing, and to ask for her description of events.
I also called in Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and the command staff to review the actions of last night. They agreed that this was not their preferred outcome. Here are the steps we are taking in response, to achieve a better outcome next time:
- Reviewing with our officers the deployment of pepper spray last night.
- Developing a procedure to ensure appropriate commanders are on the ground at these kinds of events.
- Making sure that we have appropriate levels of police resources at protest events.
Read the rest of the mayor's statement, including his plea for the Occupy protesters to "work with us," right here.