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. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    I do not personally classify professional use of pepper spray "as brutality" OR "excessive force". Yet another right wing basher that can't seem to get a clue. THE POLICE ALREADY KNOW THE POSSIBILITIES OF BEING CHARGED WITH EXCESSIVE FORCE BEFORE THEY ARE SENT OUT TO CLEAR OUT PROTESTERS OUT OF A NIEGHBORHOOD AND GIVE IT BACK TO THE TAXPAYERS THAT HAVE THE GIVEN RIGHTS TO WALK THE SAME STREETS. AND IF YOU BELIEVE THAT OBSTRUCTING FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FROM OTHERS, IS ALL RIGHT, SO YOU CAN DISPLAY YOUR PERSONAL COMMUNIST AGENDA (WHEN YOU ARE ASKED TO LEAVE), YOU NEED TO BE IN JAIL RIGHT ALONG SIDE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Here goes another Tea Partying fool taking up for the right-wing thugs who call themselves "police" and their brutal tactics! This jerk is either trying to be funny or exhibiting his stupidity here!!!

      November 20, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Like.

      November 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bigwilliestyles

    @ Kathy: I'll take that A! Sorry, I have to step away for a few; have to take Mom to her fun place (church). @ Barnaby: thanks.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Keep honoring me with sarcasm.
    I love it.
    Hello, Jeff Frank.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

      Hello Joey – There's people out there that I "know" I had direct involvement with the police, working as an active unpaid auxillary police officer. No. I think I have more than nothing to say about it. I appologize if it came down the wrong way on you or any of our other friends.

      November 20, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Kathy

    @ bigwilliestyles, LOl her fun place, cute one willie. Wonder if she goes just for the 'shot' of wine at the end. 🙂

    November 20, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Beam Me Up Scotty

    Saw the video. Apply painful pepper spray to kids faces in cold blood. The guy will be fired. We ask a lot of our cops, this one did not measure up... even if he was "just following orders".
    Those who think demonstrations are some how unAmerican... you'd not be very popular in 1776.
    Hope we're having a 1776 now.

    November 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. leeintulsa

    The prob here in tulsa, i think, is they didn't let them wash it off as they sat in custody.. Some reacted worse over the long term, like with anything.. Sitting cuffed to a bench for even a short time with pepper spray rubbed into your eyes.. Pretty harsh for passive resistance, if ya ask me..

    And occupy tulsa is cute compared to the other ones. Occupation varies. Sometimes 4, sometimes 30. No trouble, no violence or property damage, just signs. They locked arms and wouldn't leave.

    There was no sanitation problems, no safety hazard.. Our occupation is very different, our police reaction, not so much. They didn't have the shields or helmets. Guess they *did* know there was no threat of violence...

    November 20, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. leeintulsa

    LOL. I forgot. The cop talking to the news: everyone that got arrested wanted to get arrested. I have no doubt that that is true. But it seems to make pepper spray even more unnecessary..

    November 20, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  8. LOL

    They warned them for like 3 minutes and told them what would happen, they're not allowed to disobey the law and block public walkways. I don't think was 'brutality'. They man handled a dude but they weren't beating anyone. Maybe they SHOULD HAVE MOVED.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I'm getting a little sick and tired of this Tea Partying idiot usurping and using my name to post his right-wing nonsense here on this web page. To set the record straight, I'm the true Joey here and I fully support the OWS Movement as things in Washington sorely need to change and soon too!!!

    November 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank ( R - OHIO ) "Яight Wing Иutcase"

    The Undisputed Debt King Takes The Balance On The Nation’s Credit Card To Unprecedented Heights

    THE NATIONAL DEBT HAS HIT THE $15 TRILLION MARK

    November 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    @Kathy:

    "Having said that, your bravery to go fight in Sat-a-n’s war is obscenely grotesque."

    You started your post by saying the draft had ended. You are well aware that most people had no choice but to go...and then you label someone as grotesque for having gone?

    I am certain that is *not* what you meant; if it is, it will only confirm the misguided thoughts of some of today's youth.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    @observation:
    You amuse me.
    Greatly.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    I have tried several times to go to the skeleton closet.com, only to be told I can but the domain name.
    Indicative of...?

    November 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Be advised...

    ...that the person above posting under many names, including "be advised" is actually Philip, and "Kathy" is his pupil, Mary/Jazz, starting another round of "attack other posters." Let's welcome them back.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Well thought out comments, to be sure.
    It's always a pleasure to read these comments, even if some people do not agree with mine; it just goes to show what a diverse nation we do have.

    @bigwilliestyles, know that our thinking is very similar on things; we may disagree on some things, but those points are minor compared to the whole picture.

    November 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
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