November 21st, 2011
08:24 AM ET

California campus police chief on leave after pepper-spraying

The police chief at the University of California at Davis has been placed on administrative leave while officials investigate officers' use of pepper spray against protesters, the university said in a statement Monday.

"As I have gathered more information about the events that took place on our Quad on Friday, it has become clear to me that this is a necessary step toward restoring trust on our campus," UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said in the statement.

On Sunday the university said it had placed two police officers on administrative leave after video of them pepper-spraying non-violent protesters at point-blank range sparked outrage at school officials.

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Filed under: California • Occupy Wall Street • U.S.
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. George Patton

    Also, if the socialists and terrorists kill anyone, it is because they deserve it. If the right wing thugs kill anyone, it is because they are right wing thugs.

    November 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jd

    Funny all the people here acting like the protestors are so innocent. They were there ILLEGALLY and wouldn't leave. They got what they deserved, and were even warned ahead of time, so its their own doing.

    Apparently even CNN thinks its ok for criminals to have rights. Just shows what a classless news channel CNN is.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      I don't know which protestors you are describing, The 11 that were pepper sprayed were students at the UC Davis campus and were engaged in peaceful protest which is encouraged by the president of all UC facilities. What the the officers were called to do was see that some tents that off campus OWS were using were taken down. I did not see any tents in the spraying incident.

      November 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jd

    And another things, these protestors, ARE the ONE percent, not the 99 percent.

    November 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    jd, they were on their own campus, protesting tuition hikes.
    If the people who go to school there don't have the right to be on their own campus, who does?
    Did you even bother to read the article, or were you just so caught up in your hatred of OWS that you just jumped in?

    November 21, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    jd, they were sitting on the ground, obeying orders from these two "officers", when they full on sprayed them in the face for no reason.
    The "officers" were abusising their authority.
    These kids were attacked without provocation.
    You have no clue.

    November 21, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ro

      Any one remember Kent State? As soon as I saw this on TV Kent State was the first thing I thought of.

      November 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. usapanda

    Thank you for your email regarding the recent incident where UC Davis students were doused with pepper spray by campus police. As I am sure you will understand, I have received innumerable message about this and, although I would like to respond personally to each one, that is simply impossible given the volume. I am, therefore, sending this same response to all, but I want you to know that I am reading all the messages I have received.

    Please know that I share your utter dismay over this shocking incident. In response, I have issued the following statement:

    I am appalled by images of University of California students being doused with pepper spray and jabbed with police batons on our campuses.

    I intend to do everything in my power as President of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest.

    Chancellors at the UC Davis and UC Berkeley campuses already have initiated reviews of incidents that occurred on their campuses. I applaud this rapid response and eagerly await the results.

    The University of California, however, is a single university with 10 campuses, and the incidents in recent days cry out for a systemwide response.

    Therefore I will be taking immediate steps to set that response in motion.

    I intend to convene all 10 Chancellors, either in person or by telephone, to engage in a full and unfettered discussion about how to ensure proportional law enforcement response to non-violent protest.

    To that end, I will be asking the Chancellors to forward to me at once all relevant protocols and policies already in place on their individual campuses, as well as those that apply to the engagement of non-campus police agencies through mutual aid agreements.

    Further, I already have taken steps to assemble experts and stake-holders to conduct a thorough, far-reaching and urgent assessment of campus police procedures involving use of force, including post-incident review processes.

    My intention is not to micromanage our campus police forces. The sworn officers who serve on our campuses are professionals dedicated to the protection of the UC community.

    Nor do I wish to micromanage the chancellors. They are the leaders of our campuses and they have my full trust and confidence.

    Nonetheless, the recent incidents make clear the time has come to take strong action to recommit to the ideal of peaceful protest.

    As I have said before, free speech is part of the DNA of this university, and non-violent protest has long been central to our history. It is a value we must protect with vigilance. I implore students who wish to demonstrate to do so in a peaceful and lawful fashion. I expect campus authorities to honor that right.

    UC Davis Chancellor, Linda Katehi, has also issued a statement and I attach for your information a copy of her statement, as well as two media releases regarding the placing of the officers involved and the police chief on administrative leave. She has my full support in this matter and I am confident that she and her administration will work to preserve the health and safety of the campus community, and to conduct a fair review of this unfortunate event. I am sharing your message with her so that she, too, will be aware of your concerns.

    With best wishes, I am,

    Sincerely yours,

    Mark G. Yudof

    President

    November 21, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. john barry

    The police need to purchase a better pepper spray. Looking carefully as he sprayed them they showed no reaction. I kinda think this was staged for the media.

    November 22, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. s kel

    john you right slugs talk so much crap you are probably used to smelling foul things, starting with the most foul smelling of all...the GOP.

    November 22, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. larck

    You would trade stocks, and make a fortune doing so. Come check out our free demonstration coming up and let us show you what we have to offer you and how trading gold is where the gold rush is. Gold trading academy.

    November 22, 2011 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. bigwilliestyles

    @ usapanda: was that a personal reply to you that you posted here for us to see, or did Yudof post this himself? Either way, it is evidence that people's voices, when in union, will be heard and respected.

    November 22, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. Andreas Moser

    I prefer Dr Pepper.

    November 22, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
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