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Occupy UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident

An incident that occurred at UC Davis in November of 2011.

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A Quick Tip by devora

  • Nov 22, 2011
  • by
Seriously, pepperhosing a group of peaceful protesters? I don't see how the other cops could stand around watching another cop spray down students like he was watering plants. I hope that chancellor Linda Katehi and all of those involved in this unfortunate incident resign. I never thought that this would happen in the United States, much less in Davis of all places.
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November 23, 2011
The protesters were repeatedly asked to leave b/c they were impeding the school's business. They were repeatedly warned that they would be peppered, and there's video even of the protesters consenting to being sprayed. What more could police do?
November 23, 2011
I think that the police should have just arrested them for trespassing, or whatever that is considered. They should save the pepper spraying for people who are acting out or attacking them.
November 23, 2011
Well, there's where we differ. These people had their arms locked together tightly, and the cops would've risked serious injury to the "protesters" had they tried to pry them apart. Do some serious reading on what went down, and I think you may just find that the police and the school demonstrated tremendous restraint, even to the point of warning the "protesters" three times that they would be sprayed if they did not disperse from the property. Also, just for the record, pepper spray is NOT recommended for people who are acting out or attacking them precisely because it's difficult to aim at a body in motion; cops would've them been damned for inadvertantly spraying people who were not participating, and there's no doubt that a lawsuit would've resulted that would only cost the school and the taxpayers more than what inevitably unfolded. No one was telling them that they couldn't protest; they were simply politely asking the protesters to stop interrupting the school's business by blocking entrance to people who wanted to have nothing to do with the "protesters." Look, no one is clearly happy that these idiots were sprayed, but the reality of the situation left the police -- especially since they were ordered to do so -- no other justifiably effective alternative. Rest assured, all of the "protesters" were arrested afterward, just as they should've been after being asked to leave the property.
November 23, 2011
Interesting points, Ed, and thanks for the extra info.  I think you might appreciate this article.  A friend just sent it to me and it contains commentary from several perspectives.
November 24, 2011
So now even more truth comes out from the "protesters": the police were actually trying to leave them alone until the "protesters" blocked off the cops and wouldn't allow them to leave the area. This only further corroborates why the police were called there in the first place, which was stated that the "protesters" were agitating regular folks who were trying to make use of the school but found that they were being openly harassed by the "protesters."  You give up your civil rights WHEN you impede another person's civil rights AND you impede on any institutions to lawfully do business.  You suffer the consequences of your own ignorance when you're no longer interested in a silent "protest" and instead become the agitator, which clearly these people were.


I certainly hope no one is still siding with these "protesters" on this matter.  Every one of them deserves whatever jail time, fine, or other punishment, up to and including being peppered as the police were ordered to do and still gave these folks three warnings about what would happen if they didn't either disperse OR move out of the way so that people could lawfully conduct their business.  They didn't.  They acted like thugs, and they were judiciously treated as such.
November 23, 2011
This happens in the U.S.?!?!?! I'd be very afraid in the vicinity of those cops! Imagine when they'd use their guns! Oh no, you don't have to commit a deadly crime for them to fire at you. Scary!!! What is this world coming to?
November 23, 2011
I know, I'm shocked as well. I hope the cops who were doing the spraying are terminated.
November 23, 2011
I know...this was actually disturbing. However, I'd like to see what occurred before what was shown on the vid, I have a feeling that something had happened before. But the pepper spray still seemed a little uncalled for. Where do they get this bunch of untrained cops?!
November 23, 2011
Here it is from four different angles:

They were threatened with pepper spray and asked to leave but didn't, so they were hosed down in pepper spray.  I think proper protocol would've been to just arrest them.  Ya know, like in other protests, especially in ones that were far more raucous than this.
November 23, 2011
Thanks!! But believe me, this is fairly mild compared to what goes on in the Philippines when there're protests....
November 23, 2011
Oh, I believe you! I have a lot of friends from the Philippines and they've told me tons of stories of violence when there AREN'T even protests.
November 24, 2011
Yeah, all I see are a bunch of dirtbags who ultimately got what they deserved. None of this footage shows the behavior of the thugs that led up to this confrontation. Look closely, and you'll see that the protesters completely surrounded the police. Notice that the cops were only actively spraying the folks who blocked the natural passageway that is a PUBLIC sidewalk. This is why the police were called IN THE FIRST PLACE, to open up the passage to the institution. No one told these losers that they couldn't protest; they were simply asked to move their protest off to the side so that the school could conduct business normally. They didn't. Like I said, they got what they deserved.
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Quick Tip by . November 23, 2011
Shameful. Truly shameful. They should fire the cops involved.
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devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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On November 18, 2011, Chancellor Katehi ordered Occupy movement protesters on the UC Davis campus to remove their tents from the quad. When a group of protestors engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience refused to move, campus police officers pepper sprayed them. Eleven protesters received medical treatment; two were hospitalized. Nathan Brown, assistant professor at UC Davis, said, "One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood."  The police have not responded to these claims.

According to police and university officials, the 35 or so officers present felt surrounded. One of the officers who used pepper spray was identified as Lieutenant John Pike. Ten arrests were made. A demonstrator said that the police were encircled by the demonstrators. "A collective decision was made on the fly to just sit in a circle arms linked legs crossed, with police officers and "prisoners" in the middle because we didn't want them arresting only 3 of us. It wasn't fair that 50 of us were there, and only a few arrested who hadn't volunteered to be arrested. There was still one walkway open that the police were going to use to walk the arrestees out. I saw some friends of mine sit down there, and they were my friends, so I joined them. We linked arms, legs crossed."
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