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. bigwilliestyles

    @ Banasy" I watched the video. The officer that sprayed the kids on the ground raised the can of mace high into the air, then walked back and forth spraying in a sweeping motion about a foot away (maybe a foot and a half) from the faces of the protesters...

    November 19, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gung hoe

    @bobcat seen it this mournin on fox. The looks of it the cops was wrong no need of force everyone was just sitting there

    November 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bigwilliestyles

    ...I saw nothing that would indicate that law enforcement was under any threat. It appears that the crowd may have reflexedly surged forward AFTER the officer raised the mace can, probably to see what he was going to do with it, rather than as a threat to the police workers.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    So, were the police in error?

    November 19, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat)

    @gung hoe
    Then let me offer my humble apologies. Stone those pigs. lol
    Why don't the written reports ever match the videos ?

    November 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    I see our posts criss-crossed; I just saw your second post.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    @ bobcat ya was deffinetley overkill!!

    November 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bigwilliestyles

    ...Also appears that the video shot that was released by the Corporate Media was kept intentionally tight, so as to make claims of threats to the officers hard to discern. The police brutality, however, was clear to everyone.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Where did you see the video?

    November 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gung hoe

    @the bobsy twins banasy and bobcat ya was overkill when that co started they were all sitting and they coverd their heads as good as possible

    November 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bigwilliestyles

    What people don't understand about fascism, the coupling of the military, industrial, and political elite is this: making war, selling weapons, control of the political process, and the press, are by-products of fascism "in place and secure". What we are seeing now is the peoples REACTION to fascism, not a demonstration to prevent it...

    November 19, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bigwilliestyles

    @ Banasy: its on your BB.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. bigwilliestyles

    @ Banasy: I don't know what model your Blackberry is, but I can scroll down to the bottom of the article page and click on the video link. Don't do it too many times or video will become unavailable. USE SPARINGLY.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Thanks, I'll try.

    November 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. michaelfury

    November 19, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
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