Gallery: Pepper Spray Cop Squirts the Internet in the Eye
Clever Photoshop artists have turned the image of a police officer pepper-spraying Occupy Wall Street protesters into a fast-spreading internet meme.
Soon after Lt. John Pike was videotaped and photographed pepper-spraying protesters Friday on the University of California at Davis campus, the video of the confrontation went viral and a photo of the incident went up on reddit.
That photo, by Louise Macabitas, sparked a slew of Photoshop spoofs showing Lt. Pike pepper-spraying everyone from Keyboard Cat to god. The artworks incorporate the officer into historical works of art like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and already-established internet memes like “Look at All the Fucks I Give.” And not too long after the images began circulating, Tumblrs to collect them were born.
“The imagery of the pepper-spraying cop somehow managed to top the chilling photo of pepper-sprayed 84-year-old Dorli Rainey from last week,” said Brady Hall, the 34-year-old filmmaker behind the Pepper Spraying Cop Tumblr, in an e-mail to wired.com. “And unlike that photo, ‘pepper spraying cop’ was just brimming with opportunity for humor.”