Pepper spray backlash continues to burn

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Not only has Lt. John Pike, the police officer who liberally doused nonviolent college students with pepper spray in an incendiary show of excessive police force Nov. 18, become a meme -- he's also generated a raging controversy that has top officials at the University of California Davis in the crosshairs. The incident, which has triggered widespread outrage since videos of it went viral on YouTube, occurred after police responded to student protesters attempting to create an Occupy Davis encampment.

Sen. Leland Yee issued a letter to UC president Mark Yudof Nov. 21, calling for an independent investigation into the pepper spray incident rather than a task force handpicked by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi. The Davis chancellor, who has come under intense pressure since the incident as students call for her resignation, previously announced that she would create a committee to look into the matter and report back after 30 days.

"She gave 30 days to report back," noted Adam Keigwin, Yee's chief of staff. "It takes about 30 seconds to realize there's been wrongdoing."

In the letter, Yee expressed concern that "it is important that we do not leave the fox to guard the henhouse." A press statement issued by his office was more direct, noting that Yee "called Katehi’s task force a sham."

Yudof said Sunday that he would convene all 10 UC campus Chancellors to ensure proper law enforcement reactions in future protests.

Watch this clip to the end, and you'll witness an incredible moment following the pepper spray incident, when UC Davis students banned together and chanted at police, "You can go!" After a few moments, the police appeared to listen to them, and retreated.

Video by YouTube user waxpancake

Some 5,000 students gathered at the UC Davis quad this afternoon to protest the now-infamous show of police brutality. Katehi waited in line to speak and then apologized to the students.

According to Yee's press release, "Katehi's salary is $400,000, reflecting a 27 percent hike from her predecessor. Her compensation package also includes a house provided by UC, $9,000 per year in automobile allowance, relocation expenses now and upon exiting the position, a promised faculty position after leaving the Chancellor’s office, a low-interest home loan after serving as Chancellor, and a generous pension and health care package, among other benefits."

Sen. Leland Yee is urging all UC and CSU students and employees who are retaliated against or face disciplinary action as a result of their peaceful protest to contact his offices in San Francisco (415-577-7857) or San Mateo (650-340-8840).

 


Comments

Now -infamous show of police brutality? I disagree.

I do not wish for anyone to be sprayed with pepper spray especially young students who are the future of this country. However the students were practically begging to be sprayed to make a great video that could be put on national news.

The police were reluctant to do anything from the beginning. Many may have children of their own of the same age. Many may have problems of there own such as illnesses family problems etc.

The police were ordered do a job, stop students from blocking a public path.They don't dislike the students, they don't WANT to harm the students, they simple want to do there job and go home to their familys with pay in hand to pay there mortgage.

If the students simple removed themselves from the public path when asked, they know that they would never have had their great video.

The students broke a law, the police were there to uphold it. Its pretty simple

I find it sad that the students see the people that have been protecting their homes and families from time of birth as their enemys.

Posted by Guest Bill on Nov. 23, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

Please explain yourself. How is it, that the protesters breaking the law justified police violence against them. The only time police violence is legally allowed is in self defense, and/or defense of others from attack. There is no other other time when police violence is legal, under the laws of the United States...

The police could have simply handcuffed the protesters, and arrested them instead.

Please explain your idiotic position...

Posted by Eric Brooks on Nov. 23, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

"Bill" is an ass-licking slave to the cult of authoritarianism, where everything is a threat and only the police (or Republican Party) can protect him.

OK?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 24, 2011 @ 7:37 am

hippies to get bored and wonder off.

But what one wonders is, what's your concern with asses and the licking of them?

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 1:27 am

I was appalled at this cold hearted display of police brutality in this video. I find it extremely scary, disconcerting and disturbing, that citizens of this country are threatened and abused by other citizens of this country (namely the police) in the name of upholding the law, where there clearly is no threat. What disturbs me even more is the justification that it is OK to behave in this manner on behalf of the police (as they all have families to go home to). What a lame, cold hearted, dissassociated statement to make. If that is justification, we have no hope as a human race.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 28, 2011 @ 10:30 pm