Cop Versus Squirrel: Students Object To Police Officer Pepper Spraying Squirrel

We have discussed cases of the use of tasers or pepper spray as first responses by police when alternatives seem obvious. This video shows a confrontation between an officer and a squirrel where the officer pepper sprays the squirrel over the objections of onlookers.

It is not clear what danger was presented by the squirrel but I expect that it is fully recovered. It would seem a fairly common occurrence for students to encounter squirrels outside of buildings.

This is really not about the squirrel is it?

48 thoughts on “Cop Versus Squirrel: Students Object To Police Officer Pepper Spraying Squirrel

  1. Um, squirrels tend to run away when a human walks up on them. The fact that this one didn’t seems to mean it was acting strangely and might have been ill in some way. Maybe rabies…who knows. For safety’s sake, a pepper spray to get it to move along seems more humane than say, stomping on its skull. However, I grew up in the country where squirrels are destructive rats with fuzzy tails and will overrun your property if you don’t thin the herd once in a while. Sorry, but this doesn’t seem like a big deal.

  2. wedge,

    Squirrels aren’t as timid as most people think. Especially when nesting. They’ll charge, whip their tails and sometimes “bark” at any intruder they think is too close to the nest. Snakes, hawks, humans, they don’t care. And that is exactly what it looks like that squirrel is doing: charging and tail whipping. Here’s one tail whipping and barking . . .

    Here’s one taking on a bull snake too close to the nest . . .

    If they aren’t nesting, squirrels will usually run away. Fall foraging can make them act that way too if you’re too near a food hide.

    I grew up in the country too. I hunted way more than one squirrel before I gave up hunting. I’ve had to shoot a rabid dog and a rabid raccoon before as well. Their behavior wasn’t territorial. It was simply aggressive. There was no display. They were trying to bite you and there was no mistaking it.

    That being said? It may have been sick. But it’s highly unlikely it was rabid. Raccoons, opossum, skunks, cats, dogs, woodchucks and groundhogs are about the smallest animals rabies is a problem with in this country and only woodchucks and groundhogs are even close to squirrel size. The rest are larger.

    Spring, early summer on a wooded college campus?

    My money is on nesting.

  3. “How do you know this [running off the squirrel] wasn’t tried first, before the video begins?”
    ~+~
    Does it matter? What risk could this squirrel present to anybody? Maybe the vorpal bunny in the clip obtained from Medieval England is a grave concern but a squirrel? It ain’t no threat.

    The officer should have thought how this might look to the public first.

  4. I wanted friends growing up but the kids wanted to torment squirrels with rubber bands and paperclips. I was I think 13 years old refusing to go along with them. They probably grew up to be pepper spraying cops. It is plain to see that cops are trained to be desensitized having cold hearts.

  5. @ feyd i dont know what video you’re watching but the guy in that video was driving down the street with music blasting. the cops was in the process of carrying out the arrest of a armed suspect and even the man taking the video said he was asking for trouble. the cop said it a couple times over the bull horn and asked him to turn down his music … he put the dog in the car with the window left open. sorry i love all animals but snakes. and even i have to admit THE DOG IS DEAD BECAUSE OF ITS OWNER. the cop tried twice to grab the dogs chain and the dog lunged at him. and while you’re posting about that. why didnt you post the fact that the guy who owned the dog. refused to turn down his music and already has 2 lawsuits going against the cops. this lawsuit he is going to lose as he deserves to.. now on the pepper sprayed squirrel. was he in a terrorist watch list? is his criminal record about 20 pages long? was he resisiting arrest? if not then no the squirrel did not deserved to be pepper sprayed

  6. A startled squirrel ran up my leg once. Then I was startled. But a quick twerk and the squirrel was airborne.

    Robin: Nevertheless the post event police report was untruthful, which was my point.

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