rock 'n' roll can be a viciousgame, especially when pepper-spraying cops are involved.
Take the case of White Cowbell Oklahoma, a local outfit who were going through their paces recently at their licensed rehearsal space just outside Kensington Market. All of a sudden, they began choking and were inexplicably overcome by a burning sensation in their eyes and throats.
All seven of them made a run for the door, where they found two of T.O.'s not-so-finest hopping back into their cruiser, looking strangely anxious to get away.
Turns out the cops had been banging on the door to get the band's attention after someone in the neighbourhood called to complain about the noise. They left their bootprints as proof. But when no one opened up, they decided to let loose with a little pepper spray through a hole in the door where a knob used to be.
"How did they know one of us didn't have a child in there?" says Graeme McIntyre, one of the band members, who's all-too-familiar with bear repellent from his days planting trees out west. "It was almost like they'd never used it before and just wanted to see what'd happen."
The cops responsible for the spraying incident were joking and yucking about the entire affair, says one band members who made his way down to 52 Division to launch a formal complaint.
Sergeant Andrew Norrie, the cop who took the complaint that night, says the matter has been turned over to the public complaints bureau for a full investigation. He says there are rules about the use of pepper spray.
"We take all complaints seriously," Norrie says.