Written by David Cumti
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Topics: Police, Washington

Friday, 21 January 2005

image for Pepper Spray Ineffective on Cajun, Mexican, Indian Protesters

Police in Washington, DC are scrambling to find more potent crowd control methods after an incident at the presidential inaugural parade proved pepper spray to be useless on certain ethnic groups.

After a peaceful demonstration turned more violent, crowd control officers attempted to repel an onslaught of individuals breaching the barricades along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route. Officers attempted to subdue the protesters with pepper spray, which had little effect, but reportedly made them "hungrier."

"The pepper spray did nothing to deter those who were jumping the barricades," Officer Steve Montressa said. "In fact, some of them looked liked they actually enjoyed it."

Several of the protesters scoffed at the officers' futile attempts.

"Pepper spray? That was as mild as baby food," Juan Gonzalez said. "I could barely taste it. I'm more used to Jalapenos."

Gonzalez used the incident to season his beef tacos, while several Indian protesters similarly took advantage to marinate the lamb and mutton chops they packed for lunch. Despite what they described as a "soaking", the protesters joked that the improvised sauce "must have been made in New York City."

Washington police are researching different ethnic cuisines, in an attempt to identify exactly who will or will not be affected by mace or pepper spray. Precinct commanders are polling asking their officers to relay any data they might have on Washington's recent "Restaurant Week", where several restaurants offered discounts on multi-course meals.

"It's important that we branch out from our usual diet of Krispy Kreme and Starbucks," District Chief Wally Banks said. "But we do have to remain vigilant-you wouldn't believe how much they spit in our food."

If the research leads to the retirement of pepper spray as non-lethal weapon, law enforcement officials say they may return to more conventional tools, such as billy clubs and flashlights. Gun-butting, or striking a protester with the stock of a weapon, may once again come back into popularity. Others suggest the use of multiple weapons, such as blunt objects in conjunction with the Patriot Act.

In other local news, federal employees have returned to work after the holiday season and inaugural festivities, doing exactly what they were doing while at home-sleeping.

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