When I called it torture, I meant it. Imagine being sprayed with a concentrated dose of something more than ten times hotter than a habanero pepper, or nearly 1000 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper.
We were never warned that we were going to be pepper-sprayed.
Lt. Pike walked up to my friend, and I am told that he said, “Move or we’re going to shoot you.”
Then he went back and talked to a few of his police officer friends. A couple of other officers started to remove people who were sitting there, blocking exit. Pike could have easily removed us, just picked us up and removed us. We were just sitting there, nonviolent civil disobedience.
But Pike turned around and I am told that he said to the other officers, “Don’t worry about it, I’m going to spray these kids down.”
He lifts the can, spins it around in a circle to show it off to everybody.
Then he sprays us three times.
As if one time of being sprayed at point blank wasn’t enough.
I was on the end of the line getting direct spray. When the second pass came, I got up crawling. I crawled away and vomited on a tree. I was yelling. It burned. Within a few minutes I was dry heaving, I couldn’t breathe. Then, over the course of the next hour, I was dry heaving and vomiting.