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. Hey, at least the “officer” made it home safely at the end of his shift. That’s always their excuse for everything they do, isn’t it? “Us vs. them mentality”? Yes, the cops created it and they perpetuate it through incidents like these. For me, they have lost the public relations war forever.

  2. In fact, when I was in college, the squirrels on our campus were so dangerous someone captured one and gave it a pierced ear.

    Vicious killers.

  3. The location of the event is immaterial to the squirrel being a legitimate threat or not. Personally, I’ve never been nor have I ever met anyone intimidated by a squirrel. Have you? People with sciurophobia don’t count.

    Also, learn to differentiate between straw men and a joke used to make a point about squirrels not being known for being aggressive or a substantive threat. A straw man is a material misrepresentation of anothers position to attack it. Did I say either of you said the squirrel was armed? No. It was joke deployed as reductio ad absurdum.

    Do you have sciurophobia?

    If not, please come up with a rational scenario where macing a squirrel is in furtherance of public safety – not including the almost completely non-existent chance of rabies.

    Was it stealing textbooks? Sitting in on lectures it hadn’t paid for?

    What exactly could a squirrel do to merit a chemical attack by what is nominally a peace officer?

  4. “Was there any rational basis for needing to run it off in the first place? Probably not.”

    How would you know? It’s a school. There’s a big crowd of students who seem awfully distracted by the whole thing. Did the students get distracted by the cop confronting a squirrel or did the cop respond to the students being distracted by the squirrel? Or something else? I don’t know and I’m confident you don’t either.

    “Now if the squirrel was packing heat or a knife? That’d be a different story. They aren’t a species known for either their aggressiveness nor for being a particular threat to humans physically. And the whole not having thumbs thing might interfere with their becoming a substantive threat via employing weapons. I’m thinking if it came down to a fight for survival, there isn’t a poster here who couldn’t take a squirrel in unarmed combat.”

    Those poor straw men never had a chance against you.

  5. nick,

    If I wanted to start a fight, I wouldn’t pussyfoot around. Calm down and realize that everything isn’t about you. Find your happy space.

  6. And stop looking for a fight w/ vague insults. I’m being reasonable and have some expertise. All you are offering is snark.

  7. Again, possible rabies..nothing to f@ck w/, can we agree on that?

  8. Kraaken, Really. Videotape evidence was my specialty. This is merely a snapshot. I know the intent of this post was to illicit ridicule. And, as I stated in my comment, the truth may be the cop was just be a jerk, or “wimp or “sadistic jackass.” But this 30 second clip does not convince me. If it convinces you, then if I ever had just 30 seconds of video showing a personal injury plaintiff bending over twice as refutation that he was injured in an accident, I would want you to be foreperson of that jury.

  9. It’s. A. Squirrel.

    Not a tiger. Was there any rational basis for needing to run it off in the first place? Probably not.

    Now if the squirrel was packing heat or a knife? That’d be a different story. They aren’t a species known for either their aggressiveness nor for being a particular threat to humans physically. And the whole not having thumbs thing might interfere with their becoming a substantive threat via employing weapons.

    I’m thinking if it came down to a fight for survival, there isn’t a poster here who couldn’t take a squirrel in unarmed combat.

  10. “If the squirrel had to be chased off wouldn’t just walking over to it make it run away, or was it so fearsome he had to jump up the Force Continuum to address the threat the squirrel presented?”

    How do you know this wasn’t tried first, before the video begins?

  11. I’m with Nick on this one. I’ll withhold judgment until further context. Who knows what the cop or others did to first try to scare away the squirrel before the video begins? From what I see, the squirrel didn’t run away after being pepper sprayed but instead advanced toward the cop. That’s 100% completely out of the ordinary in my experience with every squirrel I’ve ever encountered who is threatened. There’s even a voice at the very beginning of the recording (sounds like a teacher) saying “for it to be coming toward us, it’s not right” which suggests to me that this squirrel was acting all “squirrelly.” Squirrels are one of the more frequent carriers of rabies. I sure wouldn’t want to be bit by one. Besides, pepper spray is not lethal and shouldn’t do anything other than cause the squirrel to run away, so it’s not like the cop tried to kill him or placed anyone in danger.

  12. Darren,

    Look at the huge sharp nasty teeth! Good God man! Look at the bones!

    Rabbits aren’t the only dangerous rodents . . . .

  13. Nick Spinelli: “…and a 30 second clip w/o context makes definitive conclusions quite difficult.”

    Nick, Really? Context? Come on.

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