November 19th, 2011
06:58 PM ET

California university to investigate police use of pepper spray

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.

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Filed under: California • Crime • Occupy Wall Street
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. Mmmmm

    Oh pleeze, in the tape I saw the popo-perps were spraying unarmed individuals on the ground already in a submissive position...I hate it when police brutality downplays the obvious behind some cheesy azzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz spokeperson!

    November 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mmmmm

    only in cRaZy california, I betcha if the occupiers were turtle eggs we woulldnt even have this problem...

    November 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    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.?
    Look at the bright side. That's more humane than a 9mm put to your head and the trigger pulled! 😉

    November 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    wow @ jeff, are you angry today or what? and nothing new about exccessive use by law enforcement. happens every day its unsettling but it still happens!

    November 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chrissy

    use of force i meant to say

    November 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mmmmm

    excuse me??? these poor students, our little young adults and next working generation were on their knees...a position of prayer...

    November 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    I'm not angry chrissy. I do not classify professional use of pepper spray "as brutality" OR "excessive force".

    November 19, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre, Milwauke, WI

      That's because you are a total fruit-loop!

      November 20, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mmmmm

    ...until its sprayed in your face, jeff...

    November 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sailingwindward

    If Occupy protesters want to embarrass and humiliate the US government further, you need to get as many signatures as possible, and send a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations (Ban Ki-moon) asking for UN peacekeepers to prevent the corrupted and oppressive government of the US from beating, maiming and arresting protesters, suppressing the media and stop jailing political prisoners.

    This would be a far bigger blow to the US than anything else. The rest of the world needs to know how serious the situation is here, and that the US government is no different, than Syria, Iran, China or any other oppressive government that is trying to silence the voice and will of the people.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat)

    Excuse me, but the report does mention that the protesters encircled the officers leaving them no escape.
    I'm sorry, but I also would feel this is a threat to my safety and take measures to extract myself from that situation.
    And another thing, the protesters knew they were breaking the law and were told they faced arrest if they did not move. Still they continued to push the issue.
    You bleeding hearts can say say what you want, but in this case, the officers were right.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Uhmm this incident was video by CNN. there was no threatening crowd...but let us placate the moment...a crowd is closing in on you soooo you aim your weapon away from standing-advancing-agitated-crowd to attack stationary people on their knees?

      November 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)

    I have not seen the video, so I cannot comment on that that segment. Did the video also show the encirlement of the officers ? If so, how was that situation handled ?

    November 19, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre, Milwauke, WI

      There is NO video showing the encirlement of the officers, that was made up to justify pepper-spraying the students who were sitting with arms locked, posing NO threat to anyone!

      You: ANYTHING FOR LAW & ORDER CRETINS are a blight on humanity...

      November 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    I am getting mighty tired of people using the term bleeding hearts as if it were something nasty. The truth is, a bleeding heart is a person that has empathy for the plight of another or a group of humans.
    If that is so gd awful to people, tough. I'd rather be a bleeding heart than a cold, unfeeling jerkwad any day.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Shaved

    So in other words the cops were incrcled by protesters?good people are tired of being bullied by law enforcement.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. **cosmicvox*

    In 1969 we had to watch out for flying billy clubs, mace, tear gas, dogs, water cannons and real bullets. You can't challenge authority to this extent and expect nothing to happen to you. Pepper Spray, phooey. Wear Goggles.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre, Milwauke, WI

      Sitting down is real threatening to these egomanical PIGS... Remember Kent State!

      November 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. pmk1953

    The powers that be thought OWS wouldn't last this long. Now they're going to try to break the movement. Hi, Banasy.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
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