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Sources: Police Officer Who Used Pepper Spray On Protesters To Lose Vacation Time

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TWC News: Sources: Police Officer Who Used Pepper Spray On Protesters To Lose Vacation Time
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As hundreds of "Occupy Wall Street" protesters marched to the Manhattan District Attorney's office on Tuesday to demand prosecution of alleged police brutality against demonstrators, a police officer who was seen on video using pepper spray on a protester last month was found to have violated city guidelines.

Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna, seen above, was seen using pepper spray on a crowd during a demonstration on September 24.

An NYPD investigation has found that Bologna violated the department's rules on pepper spray use, and he will lose 10 paid vacation days, sources say.

Bologna can reportedly accept the punishment or bring the issue to an administrative trial.

President Roy Richter of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association said in a statement on Tuesday, "Deputy Inspector Bologna is disappointed at the results of the Department investigation. His actions prevented further injury and escalation of tumultuous conduct. To date, this conduct has not been portrayed in its true context."

Ron Kuby, the lawyer for the woman who was sprayed, said the punishment did not go far enough.

“He needs a lot of vacation. He needs to go to a place very quiet, far away, for a very long time," Kuby said. "He's supposed to be there in an advisory capacity, to ensure that the young patrol officers aren't doing what in fact the deputy inspectors are doing."

Another video shows that during a Friday demonstration, a ranking police officer punched a protester in the face.

Police said the protester tried to elbow the officer in the face and someone sprayed an unknown substance, hitting the officer on the head.

Hundreds of demonstrators have been arrested over the past month, and protesters marching to the office of Manhattan district attorney on Tuesday wanted a change in the New York City Police Department's policies.

"We would like the NYPD to be investigated for all the attacks that have been happening during this occupation," said one marcher.

"End police brutality and recognize other people who are suffering a lot and not to punish them for that," said another.

The district attorney offered no comment on the alleged incidents on Tuesday but said his office will examine each arrest case separately.

"We take every case that comes to our office individually and look at it as an individual matter," said Vane. "We've received about 500 arrests from the NYPD to date, roughly speaking. And each of those cases will receive that review process."

No arrests took place during the march on Vance's office.

Protesters Storm Governor's Award Ceremony

Meanwhile, after 6 p.m. Tuesday, other protesters swarmed a West Village event where former Governor Mario Cuomo presented a "Changer of the Year Award" in politics from the online news site The Huffington Post to his son, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The protesters called Andrew Cuomo "Governor 1 Percent" and objected to how the governor has not extended the so-called "millionaires' tax," allowing for the state's wealthiest residents to pay fewer taxes starting next year.

Cuomo said the tax code change is needed to keep businesses in the state, but protesters said it hurts the most vulnerable.

"We just had some of the largest layoffs of teachers around the state, 2,000 [fewer] teachers in classrooms in the city of New York right now. Cuts to firefighters, cuts to cops, cuts to homeless shelters, cuts to all these things because he does not want to continue the tax on millionaires," said one demonstrator. "He actually wants to give them a tax cut."

Two protesters were arrested and given summonses.

A vigil was also held Tuesday night at Lincoln Center, as the Granny Peace Brigade protested the Koch brothers’ involvement in the center and their funding of several Republican issues.

Earlier Tuesday, Jesse Jackson joined the demonstrators in Zuccotti Park, where they have camped for a month, and called the protest an extension of Martin Luther King Jr.’s last act in which he “occupied” the National Mall in Washington, DC.

“Too few have too much subsidized by the government. Too many have little neglected by the government, so priorities have to change,” said Jackson.

Organizers said the NYPD tried to disassemble their medical tent overnight but stopped when Jackson showed up.

"I think we're in a bad place in the world right now and the distribution of resources is such that's it unsustainable and if we don't take action soon, there really won't be an America left for much longer," said one protester.

The ongoing protests remained on the minds of officials, even though Zuccotti Park is not owned by the city.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn voiced support for the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters during a business breakfast in Midtown on Tuesday while simultaneously unveiling a new jobs plan that aims to stimulate the local economy.

"I'm here to tell you we are not going to let that dream die and we are not going to let the middle class disappear from our city,” said Quinn.

Despite defending the protesters, Quinn had yet to visit their encampment at Zuccotti Park, though she said it could be on her schedule in the future.

City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said parks are places for public expression, as long as protesters follow the rules.

"It's a challenge I think to the property owners, but you know, as Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg has said, democracy is a delicate act," said Benepe. "You want to try to balance the needs of people who want to express their opinions with the needs of people who live in the neighborhood."

Over the weekend, Occupy Wall Street protestors staged a demonstration at Washington Square Park, which is run by the city. Some protestors were arrested when they violated its midnight curfew.

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