Campus pepper spray incident probed

December 15, 2011

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

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.”

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Well. where’s the rest of the story? What did the university hacks have to say when questioned about their brutal treatment of their customers, the students? Tables be turned the damn cops would be screaming bloody murder and the ‘stoonts’ would be in jail. Our system is crooked, unfair, illegal and idiotic. Where is the outrage? The damn cops broke the law and should be busting up rocks on some crummy Louisiana chain gang for 10 years, and maybe some administrators who failed to get them trained right.

Really? Watch the video colddog.

What would you do?

Have you ever read the First Amendment to the United States Constitution ?

iI you have , you clearly don’t understand it, or just want to ‘cherry-pick’ the parts you agree with.

Here it is in entirity:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Now, here is the applicable part in this circumstance:

“Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech,,,or the right of the people peacably to assemble… ”

Oh, I know your argument ! It will be, “They ( the protestors ) were disobeying orders…therefore not obeying the law…therefore, not peacable.” The fly in you self-medication is that…if that WERE the case, then that was the time that arrests should have been started. This is clearly NOT what the timeline, provided by your video shows.

Thanks for the evidence.

( P. S. if your ‘full’ video was exculpatory towards the criminal rent-a-cops, don’t you think other right wing echo chamber media outlets would be trumpeting its distribution by now ?

Who did you get it passed to you by ? Newsmax, or some other flack outfit that finds useful idiots ? )

Oh I know all about it, thanks. The part which would work more for their cause is; “and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Do that instead of rioting. It will get results faster without the spicy aftertaste. BTW, the video came linked in a below post.

A fascist by any other name would smell as….

YEAH, they would smell, look, taste, feel and act…like a fascist.

Thanks for the evidence. It is good to know of the fascists within.

The time for the American Robespierres is drawing nigh. Their conceit is their undoing.

Then, the FOUR GREATEST WORDS in the English language will be shouted form the ramparts:


I have read the Bill of Rights many times and no where in it is violent confrontation, permanent habitation of public property, public urination or deification, declared a right under the Constitution.

“Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech,,,or the right of the people peaceably to assemble… ”

Where is the section on permanent encampment on on public or private property? Or the one about violent confrontation with law enforcement? Or the one that covers public vandalism, urination, defecation, destruction of public property?

I respect and support the right to assemble peaceably, speak out in public, and contact the government to address wrongs. But, the OWS protests are far from peaceable or respectful, they are quite the contrary.

That being said, this article is about the Chancellor at UC Davis who was not in control of her campus, was not protecting the public property or ensuring the safety of the students in her trust. She needs to be fired!!!

The video clearly shows no threat to the cops and at the end clearly shows a free exit for the cops, one sees people casually bicycling in the background without any ‘wall’ of protestors. From this video one is not sure of exactly when the spraying was done but I can see how the cops could have become nervous. Why didn’t they LEGALLY arrest those in their way or simply walk through? The cops were heavily armed with clubs, handguns and rifles (or tear gas guns or shotguns, I’m not sure which). Their bosses should have ‘rescued’ them to avoid any display of force.

And the student asking not to be shot is a clear remembrance of Kent State in May, 1970, when the Ohio national guard troops murdered four students, for nothing. That crime goes unpunished along with most other cop crimes.

The video overlay messages are clearly from a frightened conservative with no concern for our constitutional rights. Were these people not on campus? Aren’t they students there, paying good money to be there? If not on campus why were kampus kops involved? And no matter what, the pepper spraying of docile and motionless sitting students is a crime of excessive force. The kids are just kids seeking justice, the cops are supposed to be trained in restraint and proper use of force. I’ll bet they violated that, we might find out if this whole thing does not get buried.

Oh my goodness, those poor cops were trapped. There’s no way that they, in their riot gear and guns could have gotten around those d@mn punks flinging those deadly peace signs around and chanting, those kids looked really dangerous hanging out with thier book bags.

Do you thing this attempt at propaganda helps the cops case? If those cops couldn’t get around those kids peacefully then they are the wimpiest cops that I’ve ever seen. They could have simply walked around or between them. Those cops wanted trouble, they were looking for it.

a tazer would have been more fun, with all those people locked arm in arm…

Love to give you a run with a tazer…

Volunteer to have pepper spray put into your unprotected face at two feet, Braveheart. !

or are you just a voyeur that likes to watch torture?

I’ll take odds on the latter !

Let’s ask Ted, ” Who would Jesus pepper spray ? “.

One knows who to blame for a riot by looking at those that come dressed for the occasion.


linked video

Yes truth does hurt, especially to those wearing rose colored glasses

Civil disobedience and lawful protest do not give an unruly mob the right to cause mahem…

Unruly? The kids were demonstrating, I saw no bottles being thrown, no damaging of public property. Is using your voice to express your opinion now against the law? Welcome to America, a home to fascism, now shut your mouth, do as your govt says and get to work. That was a lawful protest.

A prime example of how you can not trust the news media to report accurately – rather than simply report the facts, they manipulate perceptions by editing out, not what isn’t news, but instead what doesn’t support the viewpoint to which they are committed.

The whole story is available for all to see (for those who look, anyway) only in the new media.

This is why the new media is ascending and the old media is in decline.

“Truth” Hurts: Okay, that was 15 plus minutes I won’t be getting back; the person who added the commentary to the video is certainly entitled to his opinion (which is what is commentary was, opinion) but the “facts” that the video clearly show is that is was the police who where in riot gear, not the protestors, it was the police that were armed, not the protestors, it was the police that made the first “aggressive” action (by removing the tents and arresting the first group of protestors) and not once in any frame of the video did I see a hostile action directed towards the police. To equate a group of young college students forming a circle around the police as some sort of “threat” is a desperate attempt to justify the actions of the pepper spraying. There was no justification for the pepper spray “attack”; if the police wanted to leave the area and were surrounded by students, they could have very easily picked a place in the “wall” of students and asked them to part for them with the warning that if they did not, they could be arrested. The police did not appear to make that effort; in the last few moments before the pepper spray was used, another group of officers came up from outside the ring of students, and the officer who started the pepper spraying was able to walk through or over (not sure since the video was either edited or the camera simply did not show the moment it happened) the sitting group of the students who were the ones who were pepper sprayed. You and others want to make up some sort of “conflict” that the police had to respond to by using the pepper spray; in watching the video (and I do mean watching the video, not the very opinionated commentary that came up on screen), there was no justification for the use of the pepper spray, period.

Enforcing the law is somehow “aggressive”? How about a duty..? Yes Police are “armed” and yes they do come to a riot in riot gear because they are there to enforce the law and then go home to their families without injuries. What you dont seem to grasp is that these “protesters” are all criminals. Yes criminals, they were told several times via loudspeaker that they were breaking the law! Ignorance is no excuse! If a lawful order to dispurse is given, it is time to go folks, not hang out and taunt those enforcing the law. There was TOTAL JUSTIFICATION for the use of pepper spray. What other option was there that would be effective and not injure the criminals or the Police?

“Enforcing the law is somehow {aggressive}?” Um, yeah, it can be. Point in case, this video. The order to dismantle the tent city was a “legal” order, no problem there; the manner is which that order is carried out can certainly be questioned, to wit: was there any “excessive” force used by the police force who responded? ” …. and yes they do come to a riot in riot gear … ” It wasn’t a “riot” until they showed up in riot gear. If the only “tool” you have at your disposal is a hammer, funny how every problem looks like a “nail”. “What you don(‘)t seem to grasp is that these “protesters” are all criminals.” Holy shit, I cannot believe you typed that, let alone believe it. No, the students (and possibly some who were there who weren’t students) were not “criminaling” they were protesting, so don’t bother with your cute quote marks around “protesters”, period. As to them all being criminals, refusing to comply with an order to disperse isn’t necessarily an arrest-able offense; if an officer wants to arrest someone for refusing to disperse, they usually place plastic cuffs on them and then hoist them up and gather them up for transport. Pepper spraying a group of people because they will not disperse is plain wrong, poor police procedure and quite possibly a violation of law. There was NO justification for the pepper spraying period. As to another option that would not cause injury to protesters or police; like I just wrote, you offer individually to each person the option of them leaving on their own, if they choose to remain and have been told that they will be arrested, you then arrest them, not attack them. The officer starts with one individual, cuffs them and has another officer take them away, then moves on to the next person. If anyone attempts to intervene, they are arrested for interfering with a police officer as well as refusing to move. The situation was not threatening to the officers in any possible way; like I mentioned before, they were the only ones armed, no one made threatening moves towards them, they weren’t “rushed”, no one laid a hand on any of them, all they had to do was to indicate where they wanted to go (which path they were going to take) and move in that direction, letting the protesters know that if they continued to impede their path, they would be arrested. I find it somewhat amusing that men wearing helmets and shields, gloves and boots, carrying firearms, batons, paintball guns (?)(yeah, a few of them in the video did have paintball guns) find themselves threatened by a large group of young people that made no threatening moves towards them, but “taunted” them. Sheesh.

If someone, say a cop told me to jump into a vat of boiling water I wouldn’t do it. Do we have to do what a cop tells us to do simply because he is a cop? I will never blindly do what someone tells me to do unless it is justified or unless a gun or in this case pepper spray is held to my head. I’m not as brave as these kids are, they refused to blindly allow their rights to be violated and I respect them for that, they have more guts than I do. Those cops could have gotten around those kids, they weren’t posing a danger to anyone. I argue against even those in this thread that I agree with that say that the cops were surrounded, as if there was not break around them and as if they couldn’t have simply walked through or over those kids sitting down. If the cops had attempted to leave and they kids started grabbing them or throwing things at them then that would be one thing but that didn’t happen. Those cops were itching for a fight, they wanted conflict.

Prosecute that idiot for assault. I’m allergic to that stuff and if he had sprayed me, my throat would have closed up immediately and I would have suffocated. That stuff is no joke and not to be used for fun. What a FREAKING IDIOT,JERK, POWER FREAK, PIECE OF CRAP, HE IS.

No worries for you, cause you would have left the area immediatly when told by the Police that you were part of an unlawful assembly and subject to Arrest, Right?

Is there something sacred in doing what the cops say? They can be wrong, illegal and crooked, just like others. Obeying the cops without thought is NOT what our democracy is all about. The cops do NOT have the authority to boss us around. They are here to keep the peace, and sometimes that calls for sensitivity and wisdom. Throwing their weight around and gassing innocent and peaceful students is frightful and I hope the cops here and their leaders do serious time.

A week or so ago the inventor of this gas was interviewed and he was horrified by the uses it was put to these days, especially in Davis. He saw the films and is fully aware of the training that is supposed to accompany pepper gas-he said that had been clearly violated. He said this gas is supposed to be used only militarily or when extreme civilian violence is imminent0-NEITHER of those situations was remotely in existence here. Only a foolish dupe of the cops would excuse this criminal behavior.

Well it is sacred, because if you dont you will probally end up in jail or with a face full of chili pepper.! The place to protest is in the courts and with our democratic system. Any other method only hurts the individual protester and their cause as a whole.

Bull! So are you saying that when the Tea Bags were having those rallies to protest against Obama that they should have been pepper sprayed or else they should have taken their cause through the courts?

First, it is the tea party, not a deviant sexual act slur.

Second, the tea party protests are by mainly middle class people of all political parties and have a very focused message.

Third, the comparison between these two is absurd.

“There have been 5,425 arrests at Occupy Wall Street protests in 94 cities as of December 12, according to a collection of news reports conducted by St. Pete for Peace, an Occupy-affiliated group from St. Petersburg, Fla.”

“First, it is the tea party, not a deviant sexual act slur.”

It’s all about how you choose to interpret it. Surfers have been calling boogie boarders tea baggers long before your tea bags came around. I don’t think of your baggers as boogie boarders or having any sex let alone deviant sex. So it’s your mind is in the gutter not mine.

“the tea party protests are by mainly middle class people of all political parties and have a very focused message.”

“of all political parties”,,that’s a good one, you are funny. Your baggers are mostly middle class but they don’t represent the middle class, they represent the upper class and poor things they don’t even know it. “Focused message” yes, you’re right on that one. They focused on doing away with president, brown people and creating a life style like those living in caves or where ever it is they dwell, like those militia people in Montana that can their own food and are afraid/paranoid of the ‘revenuers’ or as Cindy would say the ‘the gument’.. I’ll bet that the head honchos at Lowes financially back the tea bags/pawns. Oh yes, they are focused.

“There have been 5,425 arrests at Occupy Wall Street protests in 94 cities as of December 12,”

I wish that you would have included how many people were arrested marching along side Martian Luther King for civil rights. I wonder how many protesters were arrested for demonstrating against the Vietnam War. I understand that the Occupiers bother you because you don’t understand them, it’s over your head, you don’t get it and you never will.

Third, the comparison between these two is absurd.

yeah, but has history shown that this kind of “protesting” has been effective for anything? I think not. Riots dont accomplish anything good, only the opposite.

Riot!!? I didn’t see a riot. Protesting has been effective in the exact examples that I listed above. If it weren’t for demonstrating I’m sure that the Vietnam war would have went on longer. Can you honestly say that civil disobedience and demonstration has never been effective, why did MLK march, was it for exercise or because he liked being doused and sliced up by high pressure water hoses.

I’d heard about this but this was my first time seeing it (Los Angeles Times). Now I understand what my very conservative mother was so upset about. Astonishing.

She should be held accountable for not only this one incident but for letting these protests happen on campus and get out of hand in the first place. Her primary job(which I am sure she is way over paid for) is to run a safe university and for maintaining the well being of the kids who attend the college to get an education. She needs to be fired…

IMHO, the OWS protests national wide were intentionally allowed to get out of hand in order to make political points. Freedom of speech and assembly does not include violent confrontation with the public or law enforcement, extended occupation of public spaces, vandalism or damage to public and private property or public deification or urination. Civil disobedience has historically been non violent unless taken to another level by the participants. How long were these protesters allowed to occupy and disrupt this campus, as well as many other sites? When does law enforcement need to step up and regain control of the situation?

Sidebar: The woman in So Cal who pepper sprayed up to twenty other shoppers in public over some sale items, is not being charged at this time…

OT: I was thinking about that one (the pepper spray shopper) trying to figure out why they didn’t press charges. There might be more to this then we know. Perhaps she actually felt in fear for her life. I was a concert,,,of all things a Huey Lewis show at the fair way back in the old days. A few friends and I were in the front row. When they started letting people come up to the front my friends and I were stampeded, it was like a pen of wild bison were released. One of the security guys saw me and said ‘you can’t breath can you’, then he picked me up and put me on the stage. It was really scary, I thought that I was going to die. People were stepping on me and pushing me around. So perhaps this shopper was actually a victim. Maybe she was under the stampede. Of course this is all just a guess, I don’t know for sure but I can’t figure why else they wouldn’t have pressed charges against her.

When I saw this happening on the news, I was enraged that those protestors were sprayed so casually while they remained seated and motionless. Linda Katehi should have no authority to call for something like this. She needs to be fired and charged accordingly for each person injured in this intentional and calculated attack. Her apology should stand as evidence of the wrongful act. Did she not know the entire scene would be videoed and put on the Internet in a hot minute?

This has got to stop.

It was kinda sick watching that cop spray those people, he looked as if he was enjoying it. I would love for once to see another cop walk up and stop these pigs when they are doing things like this, break the code of silence and do what they are supposed to. They are supposed to protect us not harm us.

Well, that what living in a police state is all about, isn’t it? Since police rarely, if ever, break ranks, or the “code of silence,” that doesn’t leave much hope than any of them are going to act in your favor. They are going to do what the state tells them to do. Period.

As for the tiny minority of cops who will resist this tyrannical trend, may I offer my sincere thanks in advance.

Just curious? How would you have handled the situation?

Let them stay there, they weren’t hurting anyone. They were students, they don’t want to fail, they’d eventually leave. But lets say that they did have to move them, did you see the video? The cop spraying them isn’t just spraying them he’s pouring this stuff on them and he looks like he’s enjoying it. I didn’t know pepper spray could spray out that heavily, it was crazy, he could have drowned them in it (slight exaggeration but you get my point). Actually if they were causing harm and had to moved (which they weren’t) then they could have done what they usually do, one cop grab one arm and another cop grab another arm, pick them up and put them in the patty wagon.

Yes, I just watched this video.:

These people were the cause of there own demise. This was no peaceful protest. These people were warned four times, three times too many, of the consequences of breaking state law. They are criminals remaining at a rout or unlawful assembly. All of them should have been arrested. The ones that did not follow the lawful order to disperse (all of them it seems) got what was coming to them. I wish they all get prosecuted. We have laws in this land, and procedures in place to protest. These students think they are above the law and can rout and riot all they want without consequence. NOT!

Indeed, this was not a case of a bunch of kids sitting around and a cop coming up an dousing them with pepper spray for his or her enjoyment.

The protesters had surrounded the police and were preventing *the police* from leaving peacefully.

What a BS artist !

Get pepper sprayed yourself, then come back, BS artist.

What cyber JUNK !

Conservative flak !

Fool !

They weren’t preventing the cops from leaving. They never grabbed a cop, they never threw anything at them. The cops could have walked over them or around them, there wasn’t a solid chain blocking the cops. It was a peaceful demonstration.

I’ve watched the video and I recognize that it only provides a view from one perspective, however I did not see a path available to go around these people. They appear to have surrounded the police. Additionally, blocking someone’s path, especially when their intent is to leave can be legally construed as one form of assault.

I don’t view stepping over the protesters as an acceptable alternative. Stepping over someone exposes one to significant harm if the person over whom you are stepping is armed with even an ink pen.

I am no fan of giving police-state powers to anyone and am fully aware of and concerned about SWAT and other police abuses but when an antagonistic party wants to leave a volatile situation, you should let them leave!

BTW, I appreciate your rational, reasonable comments versus the invective name calling we see coming from others.

“BTW, I appreciate your rational, reasonable comments versus the invective name calling we see coming from others.’

Ohhh, give me time (JK).

Well, I disagree, I can see that these kids are blocking a pathway, there’s a group of people standing on each side but there are places to walk around them, the cops could have just turned around and walked the other way. IF, and I say a strong ‘IF’ the cops couldn’t have gotten by them then two cops could have taken each arm of the protesters, arrested and carried them off. I feel that arrest is safer than pepper spray (not to say that I feel that even arresting was necessary).

In this video, from 1:12 – 1:16, you can clearly see that the cops are surrounded.

In this video, At 10:06 – 10:30, the “human mic” tells the officers that the crowd that they will march towards their “friends who have been unjustly arrested”. The students then surround the officers.

At 11:26, you can hear the human mic get everyone to scream “If you let them go, we will let you leave”. A clear threat to the officers, akin to a group of thugs surrounding you and saying “give us your cash, and we will let leave”.

Many people say the officers clearly could have stepped over the students… but they were in the center of a circle, WITH THE ARRESTED. How were they going to remove the arrested? By carrying them over the seated students?