No Pepper Spray on Nonviolent Protesters 

revised 6/4/06

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Police Video Shows Pepper Spray Torture


A shocking police video shows deputies swabbing liquid pepper spray directly in the eye of nonviolent protester Jennifer Schneider, whose arms were locked to those of adjacent protesters. The forest activists were conducting a sit-in in the Eureka, California office of then Congressman Frank Riggs. When the video was broadcast nationwide and overseas by the national TV networks, there was almost universal outrage and criticism of the police tactics in this case. Editorials in the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury-News, the Jasper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune, and a press release by Amnesty International all condemned it as torture.

More scenes from the shocking police videos which brought international outrage and condemnation on the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. 

Terri Slanetz (left)  is pepper sprayed directly in her left eye from only 2-3 inches away, violating label warnings and risking permanent injury to her eyes.

Deputies pepper sprayed Mike McCurdy (above) and Noel Tendick directly in the eyes at close range while they were locked together through the tracks of a Pacific Lumber bulldozer on an old-growth redwood logging site. The activists endured the torture and did not unlock. Deputies then safely cut them loose with a portable grinder, as they could have done without using pepper spray, and as they had done hundreds of times in previous years.


Plaintiff Terri Compost and lawyers Bob Bloom, Ben Rosenfeld, Dennis Cunningham and Tony Serra emerge victorious from the San Francisco Federal Courthouse after learning the jury's verdict on April 28, 2005. AP photo by Eric Risberg 2005, copied here under Fair Use.

Some of the Pepper Spray Eight plaintiffs and attorneys at their April 29, 2005 press conference
(Click photo for a large, high resolution version)

Plaintiffs and lawyers give a victory salute in front of the S.F. Federal Courthouse during their Friday, April 29, 2005 press conference announcing the unanimous jury verdict in their favor. Kneeling are plaintiffs Jennifer "Banka" Schneider, Noel Hewitt Tendick and Terri "Compost" Slanetz. Standing are plaintiff Maya Portugal, lead attorney Dennis Cunningham, plaintiff Spring Lundberg, attorneys Gordon Kaupp and Bill Simpich, and plaintiff Sam Neuwirth. Not pictured are plaintiffs Lisa Sanderson-Fox and Mike McCurdy, and attorneys Tony Serra, Ben Rosenfeld and Bob Bloom. Photo by Nicholas Wilson.

The Pepper Spray 8 plaintiffs outside the courthouse just before the case went to the jury in the September 2004 trial: (l to r) Maya Portugal, Noel Tendick, Spring Lundberg, Terri Slanetz, Mike McCurdy, Lisa Sanderson-Fox, Jennifer "Banka" Schneider, Sam Neuwirth. Photo by Nicholas Wilson, 9/20/04

The Pepper Spray Eight
Top Row (l to r): Maya Portugal, Jennifer Schneider, Spring Lundberg, Noel Tendick;
Bottom Row: Lisa Sanderson-Fox, Mike McCurdy, Sam Neuwirth, Terri Slanetz
Photos by Nicholas Wilson, 9/20/04


The plaintiffs and their legal team outside the San Francisco Federal Courthouse just after the case went to the jury in the September 2004 second trial. Front row (in lockdown positions): Lisa Sanderson-Fox, lawyers Bill Simpich and Dennis Cunningham, Spring Lundberg and Noel Tendick. Back row: Maya Portugal, lawyer Gordon Kaupp, Sam Neuwirth, lawyers Tony Serra and Bob Bloom, Banka Schneider, Mike McCurdy. Not pictured: Terri Slanetz, lawyer Ben Rosenfeld. Photo by Nicholas Wilson, 9/21/04.

  Lawyer J. Tony Serra. Photo by Nicholas Wilson

Left: Lead Counsel Dennis Cunningham speaks at the Judi Bari Day Rally at Oakland City Hall 5/24/04
Right: Plaintiffs' lawyer J. Tony Serra at the courthouse during the September 2004 second trial. 
Photos by Nicholas Wilson

Graphic from Fire In The Eyes video cover by Earth Films 

Click here for a page with larger, higher resolution versions of some of these photos for print reproduction. 
For higher resolution versions of these and other photos please contact photographer Nicholas Wilson through 

See also our page of courtroom graphics by K. Rudin

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