University of California Davis' chancellor Saturday called police use of pepper spray on Occupy protesters "chilling" and established a task force to look into the incident.
The startling video broadcast by CNN Sacramento affiliate KOVR showed an officer, in a sweeping motion, spraying seated protesters point blank Friday before other officers moved in. Eleven people were treated on site for effects of the spray. Two of them were sent to the hospital, university officials said.
"Yesterday was not a day that would make anyone on our campus proud; indeed the events of the day need to guide us forward as we try to make our campus a better place of inquiry, debate, and even dissent," Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in a statement.
UC Davis spokeswoman Claudia Morain told CNN that 25 tents were in place Friday afternoon - despite fliers explaining the campus prohibits overnight camping.
After written and verbal warnings, officers reminded the protesters they would be subject to arrest if they did not move their tents, Morain said.
A group of protesters sat on a path with their arms interlocked as police moved in to remove the tents.
At one point, protesters encircled the officers and blocked them from leaving, the spokeswoman said. Cut off from backup, the officers determined the situation was not safe and asked people several times to make room, Morain said. One officer used pepper spray when a couple of protesters and some of the 200 bystanders moved in, she added.FULL STORY