Archive for Monday, November 21, 2011

University places officers on leave after pepper spraying of protesters

November 21, 2011


— A California university placed two of its police officers on administrative leave Sunday because of their involvement in the pepper spraying of passively sitting protesters, while the school’s chancellor accelerated a task force’s investigation into the incident amid calls for her resignation.

The president of the 10-campus University of California system also weighed in on the growing fallout from Friday’s incident at UC Davis, saying that he is “appalled” at images of students being doused with pepper spray and plans a far-reaching, urgent assessment of law enforcement procedures on all campuses.

“I implore students who wish to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful and lawful fashion. I expect campus authorities to honor that right,” UC President Mark G. Yudof said. All 10 chancellors would convene soon for a discussion “about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest,” he said.

Officials at UC Davis refused to identify the two officers who were place on administrative leave but one was a veteran of many years on the force and other “fairly new” to the department, the school’s Police Chief Annette Spicuzza told The Associated Press. She would not elaborate further because of the pending probe.

Videos posted online of the incident clearly show one riot-gear clad officer dousing the line of protesters with spray as they sit in a line with their arms intertwined. Spicuzza told the AP that the second officer was identified during an intense review of several videos.

“We really wanted to be diligent in our research, and during our viewing of multiple videos we discovered the second officer,” Spicuzza said. “This is the right thing to do.”

Both officers were trained in the use of pepper spray as department policy dictates, and both had been sprayed with it themselves during training, the chief noted.

Meanwhile, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said she has been inundated with reaction from alumni, students and faculty.

“I spoke with students this weekend and I feel their outrage,” Katehi said in a statement Sunday.

Katehi also set a 30-day deadline for her school’s task force investigating the incident to issue its report. The task force, comprised of students, staff and faculty, will be chosen this week. She earlier had set a 90-day timetable.

She also plans to meet with demonstrators today at their general assembly, said her spokeswoman, Claudia Morain.


JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it is freightening that this would happen in the US. This isn't the middle east. Police state tactics are not acceptable despite what bush and Cheney allowed in Iraq and Afganistan. These were peaceful protestors not thugs. We should all be appalled.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it is freightening that this would happen in the US. This isn't the middle east. Police state tactics are not acceptable despite what bush and Cheney allowed in Iraq and Afganistan. These were peaceful protestors not thugs. We should all be appalled.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 6 months ago

I think it is freightening that this would happen in the US. This isn't the middle east. Police state tactics are not acceptable despite what bush and Cheney allowed in Iraq and Afganistan. These were peaceful protestors not thugs. We should all be appalled.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 6 months ago

I only posted this once. I don't know why it showed up three times. Odd.

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone understand why any police response is needed for a nonviolent peaceful protest?

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

That's an easy one, the police felt threatened by the peacefulness.

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

LOL! That's exactly what they said in Selma, Alabama back in 1965! Do ya know what else they said? "Don't block the sidewalk!"

(f-bomb alert)

Good thing nobody listened.

"While some people think that dissent is unpatriotic, I would argue that dissent is the highest form of patriotism." -Zinn

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"because these people need to move on to their miserable lives."

What you really mean is that they should move on to miserable lives-- you know, just like yours.

Armored_One 6 years, 6 months ago

Here's a bright idea... Don't block the sidewalk.

And police respond simply to try and prevent an escalation of the situation. There are plenty that feel that the Occupy 'movement' is compolsed of more malcontents filled with jealousy than anything else.

First it's comments tossed back and forth. Then a heated argument. The instant one punch is thrown, the whole thing will descend into chaos. Too many major cities have had large sections of it damaged or flat out destroyed by mobs consumed by mob mentality. Watch what happens in nearly every single hockey championship city.

99 out of 90 times - yes, the 90 is intentional - the officers in power elect to send a small number of officers, usually to avoid provoking the people they are sent to monitor. One misstep and the odds for any single officer becomes anything from 3-1 to 25-1, none of which are good odds, even for someone with a firearm.

Me, personally... I would have sprayed their pants. Pepper spray is much more difficult to remove from clothing, plus it will still give the same effect, but instead of the burning sensation being around the face and upper chest, it would be centered somewhere much more ahem sensative. It would be much more productive, in my estimation, at least.

Blinded people, although only temporarily, don't disperse nearly as fast as those with burning crotches. Revenge of the Nerds taught us that lesson.

Katara 6 years, 6 months ago

There was no escalation of the situation which is why the officers' actions were not justified.

The protesters were sitting on the sidewalk. That is all. You could easily walk right around them.

It simply did not warrant use of force.

Armored_One 6 years, 6 months ago

Nobody should have to 'walk around them', as you put it. This same mentality has been used to block traffic, swamp the subway system in New York, so on and so forth.

At what point is there a limit? Is there no limit? Is arson acceptable? Murder? Assault?

Yes, those sound outlandish, but those same tactics were used in Egypt. They were used to 'protest' the Rodney King verdict. They were the excuse for Guns-n-Roses fans to torch most of a business district of a Canadian city.

No one questions the use of spike strips, but at 100 mph and at least one tire suddenly shreds, the car flipping and endangering other motorists, or even just the car thief is somehow overlooked.

The use of K-9 units to subdue fleeing suspects is not deemed inappropriate, and I am pretty damned sure no one with even a scrap of sanity would prefer to be bitten by a German Shepherd and jerked 10-30 feet to being pepper sprayed. The concept of the victim being recompensated for his injuries isn't even brought up as a snide comment.

No one objects to tear gas being used to end potentially violent situations that aren't violent at that moment, for that matter.

Pepper spray issued to police officers for tactical deployment and use is barely stronger than what you can buy in a pawn shop. If it is so dangerous and cruel, then let's remove it from everyone. Removing it only from police officers removes one of the very few non lethal tactics they have.

Would you prefer arm bars and headlocks?

Armored_One 6 years, 6 months ago

As I expected. No honest dialogue over the topic, only knee jerk reactions and shock value commentary.

May as well debate this topic witht he members of GWAR. At least they admit the shock and awe is all in good humor, and should never be taken seriously.

parrothead8 6 years, 6 months ago

It's kind of amazing that you're justifying the use of force to remove a peaceful protest. You're essentially defending a militarized police state. Clearly, you don't believe in the Constitution.

And if you, personally, would have chosen to spray them as well, you'd be the one on administrative leave right now.

Katara 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I am still amazed that you don't actually read the articles you post.

FTA: "He also said city police make regular foot patrols through the park and interactions with protesters have been friendly so far."

2 incidents of men unable to control their anger certainly defines Occupy Maine. You know, just like how some racist signs completely define the Tera Party movement.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

The far right, rather than address the issues, prefer to demonize the protest and degrade the persons, even cheering the brutality against peaceful protest. Shame. Cries "get a job" are ironic since many protesters want the economy to be balanced so many can just get a job. Laws and policy are blocking people's right to protest and assembly, and favor the wealthy road to wealth and block the working families road to protect their rights. Millions of working men and women, in war and peace have sacrificed for our rights, they didn't die so mortgage mills could commit fraud and not have to go to jail.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

So you think there is no constitutional issue here? So you think pepper spraying down the throats of peaceful protest is the way to go. I think the congress and the senate is so corrupt the laws and policies of the government are unfair to the average citizen and bends us over back ward for the rich. Is that what generations have sacrificed and died for?

Millions of homes and jobs lost to crooks, hand in hand with elected officials and you think people who sit down on a sidewalk should be the ones brutalized. Do you really think protesters do not have rights? Only special people have rights, but not them? Tax cuts for the wealthiest haven't create jobs they created fat portfolios and deficits. You think it was necessary to hold their heads back and spray it down their throats, that is what they did to the ones that didn't collapse. Not even a quiver of disgust for not following even the procedures the police wrote themselves. You have no respect for law or understanding what people must do to protect their rights. Park regulations does not trump right of assembly. Where should they assemble, at your favorite bar and have the right to cheer for one team or another?

Crazy_Larry 6 years, 6 months ago

Update: UC Davis police chief is now on leave after pepper spraying.

And in other news, Fairleigh Dickinson University study reveals Fox News viewers are less informed on major news stories than people who don't watch or read the news at all.

(Note, this is not an Onion News article, this is for real).

Commenting has been disabled for this item.