Investigation into UC-Davis Police Officer's Use of Pepper Spray


POSTED: Monday, November 21, 2011 - 7:36am

UPDATED: Monday, November 21, 2011 - 4:40pm

DAVIS, CA - The University of California - Davis is making national headlines after video of a pepper spray incident surfaced on the internet.

The video, which shows an officer pepper-spraying a line of sitting protesters at the University of California - Davis has sparked a university investigation. 
The incident happened Friday at a campus protest to show support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The university seems to be distancing itself from the officers involved.

"This was a decision made from within that group, from, by the officer who was in charge" said UC David Police Chief Annette Spicuzza.  

Spicuzza said that the use of pepper spray against a row of students who sat protesting peacefully Friday was the decision of one officer.
She said that officer and another, who she said also used force, are on paid administrative leave.  She is not naming the officers.

When asked how she feels about what happened, and if she agrees with the use of pepper spray, Spicuzza said, "Well, I see pepper spray as a tool for officers to use, and like any other tool that we carry and utilize, you hope and pray that it's used correctly and within policy and that the after effects are not terrible."

There was no comment from Chancellor Linda Katehi, who declined a request for an interview, one day after hundreds of students demanded her resignation.

Chief Spicuzza initially defended the officers actions.  When she was asked what changed she said, "You know, it's not so much as I'm not defending it. I think it's the right thing to do right now. We've gotten more information."

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all you have to do is do what the police say and you don't get sprayed

In my opinion the 2 officers who pepper spayed the students should not be Police Officers. The Chancellor and the Chief of Police of the University should be ashamed of how these 2 Policemen behaved. We condemn abhorrent police actions in other country's but allow them here. Chief Spicuzza sounds more like a politician than a Peace Officer.

Are we FINALLY going to see some semblance of accountability from the Police Brutality which as plagued our streets these past few weeks? I don’t think a paid leave will cut it- where are the formal charges? Evicting protesters is Unconstitutional and endangers the basic rights of EVERY last American. Is this 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 our Constitut

What bothers me the most, is that the officer did this with his shield up. It is a basic safety procedure to lower your shield when threatened. The officer, who did this, did so knowing he was not in harm’s way. It is a terrible incident but worse a cowardly act.

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