The two campus police involved in the pepper spraying of seated students at UC Davis have been put on administrative leave today while the school’s chancellor is fighting to keep her job.
Speaking about the incident Chancellor Linda Katehi said she will not listen to faculty calls for her resignation while promising to initiate an immediate task force of staff, faculty and students to investigate the incident. In a statement Katehi said:
“I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident.”
“However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again.”
In the meantime Baltimore police lieutenant Charles J. Kelly called the pepper spray procedure “fairly standard police procedure” while noting that he believes two cases of “active resistance” could be witnessed in the incident which was caught on video.
According to the officer those “active resistance” events included a female who was pulling her arm away from an officer and a protester who curled into a ball.
Responding to the events that occurred the school’s police chief says the spraying was an act of self-defense:
“The students had encircled the officers,” she said. “They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”
Here’s a video of the incident, you can judge for yourself if the students posed any threat to the officers:[iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/WmJmmnMkuEM" width="560" height="315"]
Apparently curling into a ball with a bunch of students on a sidewalk is an act of defiance. Notice that as the officer stepped over a student they stayed curled in their ball and didn’t touch him in any way. In fact all violence that broke out occurred after the officers overstepped their power by pepper spraying a peaceful group of protests.
If the school is smart they will fire the two officers involved in the incident and immediately relieve the school’s police chief for her ridiculous justification of the event. What actions do you believe should be taken against the officers? I smell lawsuits in the near future.