The St. Louis Police Department tweeted out a photo of an officer holding two spray bottles. The caption: “Officers confiscate bottles with unknown chemicals used to against police tonight in downtown #stl.”
Except one of the bottles was clearly labeled “apple cider”—meaning apple-cider vinegar. The common household item is helpful for balancing the body’s pH levels, can be used to trap flies and, according to Google, is helpful in neutralizing the effects of pepper spray.
You know, the very well-known chemical substance used by police, like the St. Louis Police Department, to bring protesters to heel.
In the cop’s other hand is a bottle that appears to hold a white substance, one that could very well be milk—another grocery staple that’s helpful in treating Mace attacks.
The department was out in full force this past weekend as thousands took to the streets to protest the acquittal of Jason Stockley, a former member of the SLPD who had shot and killed an unarmed motorist, Anthony Lamar Smith, in 2011.
Let’s consider the possibilities.
There’s the cops’ version of events: that these spray bottles were used “against” them. Yes, it is possible that a spray bottle labeled “apple cider” may, in fact, not be apple cider. It may be some mysterious chemical cocktail ingeniously mislabeled “apple cider” to be sprayed upon police. Police who are wearing riot gear, which includes face masks. Because what do protesters love more than rioting? Engaging in battle with armed police by Windexing the hell out of them.
OR it could be that protesters, anticipating the use of pepper spray to control them (as it had been used the day before), decided to prepare and protect themselves by carrying simple home remedies like apple-cider vinegar and milk. Instead of carrying glass bottles or gallon jugs, putting the substances in spray bottles allows demonstrators to douse bandannas with the calming fluids or apply them directly.
It may just be that the citizens of St. Louis want to protect themselves against an overly aggressive Police Department, the kind that would trample a solitary elderly white woman for “interfering” with them.
But of course, that would make too much sense.