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Pepper spray cop back on duty

Pepper Spray

A Texas police officer who used pepper spray on motorcycle riders as they passed him is back on duty after an internal investigation left any punishment to the discretion of his superior officers.

There is no word on whether his superiors have reprimanded him.

In March, the above YouTube video showing Officer W. Figueroa pepper spraying riders went viral.

Apparently calls to 911 said that up to 30 riders were racing, stopping, filming themselves and weaving among vehicles on Highway 287.

It was also reported that a car had stopped to block traffic so the riders could pass and that people were standing in the back of a pickup truck, photographing the group.

So the officer pulled over the pick-up truck and when riders did not give him enough room as is required by Texas law, he pulled out a canister and sprayed as riders passed close by.

There were no reports of riders being affected or the incident causing any crashes.

It followed other videos and reports of American police behaving violently towards riders including a Minnesota police officer accidentally shooting a rider he had pulled over and an Oregon officer ramming a rider and then kicking him in the chest.

The Minnesota officer was placed on administrative leave and the Oregon officer was sued for $181,170 in damages.

Watch the accidental shooting video below.

In the next video, an American rider is rammed by an unmarked police car after a five-minute pursuit and then kicked in the chest to get on the ground, even though he was starting to crouch down.

While these videos are distressing, they are a lesson that riders should be concerned about the aggressive nature of some American police and vulnerability of a rider. Check out this website for a list of police shootings.

(Also see this US police chase video.)COMMENT: No one would defend the actions of the riders who were riding dangerously and endangering the lives of other road users and themselves.

However, riders do not deserve to be rammed, kicked, shot and pepper-sprayed.

The actions of the police in drawing a weapon are no less dangerous to other road users.

Police high-speed pursuits and drawn-gun approaches should be banned as they are in many countries.