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

    @ JIF: you may describe it any way you like, but all of the elements of a fascist police state are currently present, right here, right now, including the repression of peaceful protest, which is to fascism what a fingerprint is to the FBI; an unmistakable characteristic. Combine that with the wedding of the corporate, military and political elite, protect it with 'security forces' and you have a POLICE STATE...

    November 20, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. bigwilliestyles

    The argument that one should just 'move if the police tell you' is as much a component of corrupt governing as bribery. It flies in the face of the 4th and 5th amendments, because the police cannot say "you're a law breaker by fiat", you must be doing something wrong.

    November 20, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. bigwilliestyles

    And several components of the 1st amendment

    November 20, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. http://www.truthinlabeling.org

    @big willie. Well said. But it's actually corporate fascism...even worse than the old style fascism that was simply backed by elected officials or installed puppet regimes. Big corporate bucks can pay for a lot of abuse, especially when the military is used to protect corporate interests world-wide RATHER than protecting US from "terrorists" or even protecting US from each other.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I have my outlook, and others have their outlooks.
    I do not see everything about security as being negative.
    I do not see anarchy as a desirable goal.
    If another citizen sees the USA as a police state, it must serve his purposes to do so.
    Let him think of the USA as a police state, and let me continue to think of the USA as a country that offers every citizen the opportunity to succeed greatly or to fail greatly.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. http://www.truthinlabeling.org

    @Joey...opinions are like ass holes, even you have one. Your ideas are backed by zip-squat. Mine are backed by facts such as we spend more on mind-altering drugz than we do on national defense. (and facts like men who raype just boys are in fact guilty of statutory raype and should thusly be charged. We charge str8 men who raype underaged girls with statutory raype. Equal rights for gay men who lust for underaged boys and raype them. Just because they are old gay perverts doesn't mean that they are above the law nor does it mean that they deserve to be protected from statutory raype charges by even our own gay-minded Supreme Court)

    November 20, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. bigwilliestyles

    A police state is the evolution of corporate fascism. Eventually, even the most gullible citizen has to see the consolidation of all wealth/power in the hands of a few...

    November 20, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. bigwilliestyles

    ...Protests begin, grow and become self-sustaining. The use of the security forces to protect the ill-gotten gains of the obscenely rich is where we are now...

    November 20, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. http://www.truthinlabeling.org

    "No! A government rarely represents the people! Love of country is often confused in simple minds with love of ones government."-Cicero

    November 20, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ bigwilliestyles:
    What amount of wealth would I have to have for you to consider me "obscenely rich?"

    November 20, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lieutenant Dan

    Shut up, son. Yer talking out yer ass again.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. bigwilliestyles

    ...The protesters have already been bombarded by attempts to separate them from their humanity; they have been called animals ("they are urinating and defecating in the streets"), hippies, associated with communism, socialism and anarchy, even though not a one has embraced any of these labels, losers, liars, welfare swindlers...

    November 20, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kathy

    Ok, help me out guys, what am I saying that won't let me post. give me words that I need to seperate the letters in. I was talking about the I raq war and the US gov

    November 20, 2011 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. http://www.truthinlabeling.org

    "When a nation becomes corrupt [and obese, stupid] and prefers the rule of MEN over the rule of LAW, it has entered upon destruction, notably it's own. That is history. We have entered the age of despots, as other nations also entered. Man never learns from History of Nations."-Scaevola

    November 20, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. bigwilliestyles

    ...All to make it easier for the uninitiated to accept the beatings, gassings, jailings and eventual murder of peaceful protesters trying to exercise their first amendment rights.

    November 20, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
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