Police Officer Douses Protesters at UC Davis With Pepper Spray [VIDEO]


The above video was posted to YouTube yesterday evening, and it shows UCD Police Lt. John Pike pepper spraying a line of peaceful protesters at UC Davis. BoingBoing describes the officer's casual nature "as if he's dousing a row of bugs with insecticide," and Gawker agreed, saying Pike's behavior was that of "a gardener using pesticide." We disagree; if you used that much insecticide, you'd poison your yard.

According to The Davis Enterprise, the showdown occurred after UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi had a letter delivered to the protesters demanding that their tents be removed. 10 People were arrested when they didn't comply with the demands, and as police moved forward, a line of students sat on the sidewalk. What happened next can be seen in the video. The Davis Enterprise reports the aftermath:


UCD paramedics later treated with saline the eyes of 11 protesters; two were taken to Sutter Davis Hospital. Nearby, one young woman sat on her knees, crying with her eyes shut and pink streaks of Pepto-Bismol and water running down her cheeks.

Kristin Koster, a post-doctoral lecturer, used a scarf dipped in another home remedy, Maalox and water, to help Dominic Gutierrez, who was barely able to open his eyes.

He was sprayed, he said, when he tried to shield others with his jacket.

As a result of these events, Nathan Brown, an assistant professor in the Department of English posted an open letter calling for Chancellor Katehi's resignation. You can read it here, but here's an excerpt:

Your words express concern for the safety of our students. Your actions express no concern whatsoever for the safety of our students. I deduce from this discrepancy that you are not, in fact, concerned about the safety of our students. Your actions directly threaten the safety of our students. And I want you to know that this is clear. It is clear to anyone who reads your campus emails concerning our "Principles of Community" and who also takes the time to inform themselves about your actions. You should bear in mind that when you send emails to the UC Davis community, you address a body of faculty and students who are well trained to see through rhetoric that evinces care for students while implicitly threatening them. I see through your rhetoric very clearly. You also write to a campus community that knows how to speak truth to power. That is what I am doing.

I call for your resignation because you are unfit to do your job. You are unfit to ensure the safety of students at UC Davis. In fact: you are the primary threat to the safety of students at UC Davis. As such, I call upon you to resign immediately.

No word yet on whether the police officers will be reprimanded, but it seems unlikely: UCD Police Chief Annette Spicuzza says she is "very proud" of them.

Police remove Occupy UC Davis camp, arrest 10 [Davis Enterprise]
Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi [via TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com]
h/t Gawker and BoingBoing

[@nickgreene][ngreene@villagevoice.com]


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18 comments
IMPACT1
IMPACT1

ELLI PEARSON One of the "actual protesters"  [purposely] blocking the Police Path, and [not listening] to the [ "orders of the police and the dean" ].

ELLI PEARSON: Well, we were protesting together, and the riot cops came at us, and we linked arms and sat down peacefully to protest their presence on our campus. And at one point, they were— [we had encircled them, and they were trying to leave,] and they were trying to clear a path. [And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us.] But we were on the ground, you know, heads down. And all I could see was people telling me to cover my head, protect myself, and put my head down. And the next thing I know, I was pepper-sprayed.So, the truth 'eventually' comes out.......the media IS BIASED and THE TRUTH NEVER LIES... just what "I Thought"...Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/n...

CHAIMDOV
CHAIMDOV

these are nazi like tactics. Aa a police chaplain I ask that as a country we demonstrate against this brutal behavior. some students could die. enough is enough. reminds me of Kent State. rabbi dr. bernhard rosenberg 732 572 2766 as a university teacher I SHOUT PROTECT OUR YOUNG. THIS IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THIS IS NOT EGYPT OR SYRIA.

Jack Pardee
Jack Pardee

Lt. John Pike contact info:

Lieutenant John PikeRecords Unit ManagerPhone: 530-752-3989Cell: 530-979-0184japikeiii@ucdavis.eduAddress: 4005 Cowell Blvd, Apt 616. Davis, CA 95618-6017Skype: japike3

IMPACT1
IMPACT1

Ahem...Weren't some people "asked" to remove their tents...?  Did anyone read the passage below.  Or is everyone here and in the video just ignoring that too?    "the showdown occurred after UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi had a letter delivered to the protesters demanding that their tents be removed. 10 People were arrested when they didn't comply with the demands, and as police moved forward, a line of students sat on the sidewalk." 

Ya think if they just complied with what they were told to do, and these students in the video didn't try to "block" the police from passing....perhaps the police would not have to pepper spray them.... in essence the police did so to let the protesters know they meant business?  Obviously they thought the police and the Chancellor were just 'kidding around' with them.

These idiots taunt the police, aggravate the situation until (daddy (the police) put their foot down) and pepper spray is what they get....Then it Shame on the Police?? Huh??

Try "Shame"  "Shame"  "Shame" on the occupiers/protesters for being idiots and not able/albeit.... willing  to follow directions by authorities...... 

People like Eugene need to stop making excuses for bad student behavior and not following the direction of Authority.

Tictac931
Tictac931

What about the right to peaceably assemble? Regardless of what demands the protestors were met with, they were not breaking the law. And if you are insinuating that these people deserved to be pepper sprayed for sitting on a sidewalk, I hope that you are persuaded and talked to by someone nicer than me. Because if I were your friend, and you told me that, I'd suggest we go buy a bottle of pepper spray and see if you felt differently after  I doused you in half as much as those protestors endured.

Qisoma
Qisoma

Um...it's an open quad. The students weren't "blocking" anything but the sidewalk.

mirele
mirele

And people could walk around them on the grass. Which I hear students do anyway, even when there is nobody sitting on the sidewalk.

AngryatUCDavis
AngryatUCDavis

Cop who pepper-sprayed the students: UC Davis Campus Police Lieutenant John PikeWork phone - 530 752 3989Work email - japikeiii@ucdavis.eduHome address - 4005 Cowell Blvd, Apt 616Davis, CA 95618-6017

anthony grey
anthony grey

UC Davis Campus Police Lieutenant John Pike

Work phone - 530 752 3989

Work email - japikeiii@ucdavis.edu

Home address - 4005 Cowell Blvd, Apt 616Davis, CA 95618-6017

Asdf
Asdf

After watching the video and reading this news. I am highly upset on how this university treats its students like their nothing but a bunch of little bugs. This is very inhumane.

Franklin
Franklin

in the name of public safety lets douse people's eyes with pepper spray

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Evicting protesters is Unconstitutional and endangers thebasic rights of EVERY last American.  Isthis the country we were raised in, were men and women are beaten, gassed,pepper-sprayed and arrested for their disapproval of the government?  We have to be careful to protect ourConstitutional Rights!  Raise awarenessand do your part with these free posters I designed for the movement on myartist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

Richard
Richard

What that policeman did could in no way be interpreted as being in self-defense. I think he almost certainly broke the law...

California Penal Code Section 12403.7g) Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except inself-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable byimprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three yearsor in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceedone thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment

PaulHalsall
PaulHalsall

The cop is

Lieutenant John Pike530-752-3989japikeiii@ucdavis.edu

samthor
samthor

Chancellor Linda Katehi has overall responsibility for the leadership, management, and administration of the campus of UC Davis. Make sure you email and call her to express your opinion. in the mean time get the word out about using Maalox to counteract peper spray. 

Remember Kent State  ?
Remember Kent State ?

These officers felt EMPOWERED by having the other officers with them. Would Lt. John Pike have peppered sprayed those same students had he been by himself? Absolutely not!These officers should be held criminally accountable for these actions against a peaceful demonstration. Also, they should be held accountable to the students to whom that did these acts against.Everytime that an afficer conducts themselves in such a way, the students should use their energy to find out and post the officer's name, home address and cell phone number. Do you believe that these officers would do these acts if they knew that this personal information would be made available to those that they committed these acts against?The officers feel this power because they feel that they are not alone in doing it, and that they have backup. Start posting their personal information, and see just how powerful that they feel.  Start with UC Davis police Lt. John Pile who pepper sprayed these students.I'm sure that there are some computer whiz kids that have the ability to find out this info. Lt. Pike obviously felt empowered......... to pepper spray PEACEFUL demonstrators.The university Chancellor should resign... Chancellor.. Do you want peaceful demonstrations or riots on your campus? Use some damn common sense and look at what your order lead to?Chancellor........ Do you even remember a little episode called KENT STATE ???????You have ordered violence against peaceful demonstrators. You owe these students an apology and to order the release and dropping of charges against these students.Remember that some of these same students held back their potential for violence, and YOU and officer Lt. John Pike escalated the situation to one of violence...Maybe these same students need to order their own pepper spray online..........How many students are there on campus, compared to the number of officers in your department?  

Eugene Field
Eugene Field

I have just watched the video of the campus police brutality against a very small group of quietly protesting students.  I am absolutely appalled at this action.  Obviously the campus administration approves of this kind of behavior or it would have never happened.  It is beyond belief that this kind of action would be condoned.

I have been a high school biology teacher for many years and have had quite a number of students attend UC Davis.  I have attended many functions on the campus from performances at the Mondavi Center to open houses where I  have taken student to visit the campus to Earth Day.  I have always been impressed with everything about the university until this incident.  That campus policeman used extremely poor judgement in his actions toward a very small group of totally peaceful students.   What kind of training do these officers get?  What was he thinking?

Every member of the university administration should consider resigning and finding people who have respect for the thousands of students that attend one of the world’s finest institutions of higher learning.  At the least the officer who committed the despicable act should be removed from his job.  

Eugene A. FieldPatterson CA

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