This is what America has sunk to.
No, let me amend that. America has always treated its minorities this way when they get "out of line". The police have been defending their own privilege using overly violent means for years.
This is something different. This was a cold, calculating, pointless assault on these protesters. There was no move to arrest or detain, and certainly none of the violent resistance that pepper spray is supposed to be used to deter. This doesn't fit any sane rules of engagement for police, and yet the officer didn't even do this furtively, afraid of being caught. He calmly walked up and used a burning, blinding chemical weapon on these kids' faces.
What's worse is that they aren't even defending their own privilege. Cops aren't wealthy. They aren't powerful...not really. They sure as hell aren't part of the 1% of wealthy Americans that are at the center of this, nor will any of them ever be part of that group. Their own pensions are being raided to pay for the bailouts; their own children are facing a lifetime of un- and underemployment. Their own family members are out of work, and may never find work again. They're defending the privilege of a tiny mob that they will never, ever belong to: a mob that created the intolerable future that America now faces.
Yet here we are, with a police officer betraying everything his badge and his country stands for, in order to protect people who neither acknowledge nor appreciate it. People who are, frankly, being utter douchebags about the whole thing.
Edit: One of the protester chants sums it up pretty well. They shout, repeatedly: "Who do you serve? Who do you protect?"
Good question. In fact, it's the only question that matters.