Campus pepper spray incident probed
December 15, 2011
Legislatures grilled University of California officials at a joint legislative hearing Wednesday set to examine the behavior of UC Davis campus cops who pepper-sprayed sitting students and batted them with batons during a November protest that resulted in nationwide attention. [CapitolAlert]
The panel of lawmakers listened to university officials’ explanations of the one-sided violence on the part of weapon-waving, heavily armored, and helmeted police, much of which was recorded by countless cameras and broadcast virally around the globe.
One of those who appeared before the panel is UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who gave the orders to campus law enforcement officials prior to the incident. She apologized for the incident and added that more student protests are likely to occur if the budget cuts continue.
“Was there a meeting to discuss how to appropriately disperse protestors in the event it was necessary, and who participated in that planning?” asked Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in a statement advancing the hearing. “Was the use of force discussed? Were any explicit instructions given? The answers to these questions are crucial to determine responsibility and accountability.”