UC Davis Police Chief On Leave Following Pepper Spraying Incident
Chancellor Calls On DA To Lead Use Of Force Investigation
DAVIS, Calif. -- The University of California-Davis revealed Monday morning that the chief of the campus Police Department has been placed on administrative leave pending a review of officers' use of pepper spray against protesters on Friday.
“As I have gathered more information about the events that took place on our Quad on Friday, it has become clear to me that this is a necessary step toward restoring trust on our campus,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi in a written statement.
“I take full responsibility for the events on Friday and am extremely saddened by what occurred,” Katehi added. “I eagerly await the results of the review, and intend to act quickly to implement reforms that will safeguard the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in nonviolent protest.”
Utterly disgusting. Shameful, piss-poor excuses for law enforcement. All force, no law.ReplyDelete
Finally! I was waiting for someone to post about this. I thought the days of outright brutality, with police response to a peaceful campus protest consisting of massed officers in riot gear, were long over...ReplyDelete
...meanwhile, you can apparently riot and cause mayhem in the streets because you don't like the fallout from covering up sex crimes against children...
I was waiting, too. I'm in the UC system and find the police brutality at UCD and Berkeley appalling. Fellow CMers, you can help. Sign any petitions condemning these actions that come your way. Go to Amazon.com and search for Nathan Brown's New Wishlist, where you can buy a tent for the Assistant Professor who is organizing a camp-in on the quads (he needs 1000). Send the video to your friends. Write a letter to the UC Regents, or to Governor Jerry Brown.ReplyDelete
The whole world is watching. The whole world is watching.ReplyDelete
Have any of you seen the open letter to the chancellor from an untenured English professor?ReplyDelete
More and more I just don't feel like I'm in America anymore. I don't want to make this incident bigger than it is, but where do our rights end, on the sidewalk of a university we attend?ReplyDelete
On the one hand, yes. I am with the students. This is, in fact, disgusting.ReplyDelete
On the other hand, when actions like this block streets (and not just a quad or a building), and they are not pre-approved, I can get REALLY pissed off. That started a few years ago when students who wanted tuition-free education prevented me from getting to the doctor with my child and prevented God knows who else from picking up kids from nursery school, getting medication, getting to job interviews, to important meetings, to events with pre-paid tickets, etc. The protest was not legal and I couldn't believe the city negotiated with them instead of getting their asses the fuck off the road. I wanted to smack the selfish brats. Looking back, I think the city probably handled it well, avoiding escalation. Nobody got hurt, at least not directly at the protest. But at the time, I was very angry.
I think the open letter needs its own CM post - can someone with posting rights please put it up? It's a great letter.ReplyDelete
That was disgusting. We do not treat people like that, much less members of our campus community.ReplyDelete
@adjunctslave: I understand your frustration, but why must a protest be preapproved? Really? Do you think the UC Davis admin would have approved this student protest? Probably not.ReplyDelete
Finally, college students are standing up and speaking out. They've been silent for a long time, and they are the ones inheriting this mess.
When police tactics such as point blank pepper spray become known as "common operating procedure," there isn't a whole hell of a lot separating us from Libya, Egypt, or Syria.
I don't have posting rights but will e-mail the letter to our Real Goddamn Moderator so s/he can post it.ReplyDelete
AND, Adjunct Slave, since you wanted to "smash the selfish brats," I guess I'm glad you didn't have pepper spray in your hand! But these students were on a quad, on a sidewalk they had a perfectly legal right to be on, at a land grant university which theoretically belongs to all Californians. Even so, there is a time when "business as usual" needs to be shut down, even if that means the streets. Nobody's doctor's appointment, event, prescription, meeting, whatever, is more important than how completely f---d up higher education, and the economy as a whole, are in this country.
PS: The biggest group of "selfish brats" to get "free tuition" were those on the WWII GI bill.
@Prickly Prof - I agree, the video is surreal.ReplyDelete
That should be "smack" not "smash" in my reply to AS.ReplyDelete
@F&T - Yes, I am bit ambivalent about the "pre-approved" notion. On the one hand, yes, you need to shake things up now and then. If you only do what you're allowed to do, then a system set up right can prevent all change.ReplyDelete
On the other hand, we do have the rule of law in civilized societies and blocking traffic can be dangerous, not just a nuisance. If the demo is planned, then alternative routes can be planned for things like ambulances. It's the old debate about the duty to and limits of civil disobedience.
Back on this particular situation at UCD, I usually try to give the police the benefit of the doubt when I see videos like this. I try to think, "Okay, what context might they be in - something that I don't see in this 60-second clip - that moves them to do what they do?" Here, however, I'll admit that my imagination fails me.
According to our local PD, pepper spray is the first item on the list of increasing force that they are supposed to use, after non-force methods fail.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure if I agree that in this case the protestors should be forced to move. In other cases where they are blocking the streets, yes they should be forced to move. Their right to protest DOES NOT include the right to break the law. Their right to protest DOES NOT include the right to prevent others from performing their daily lives. When they are blocking the street, or preventing me from going to work, their protest infringes on my rights and is no longer a peaceful and rightful protest.
Nowhere in the Constitution or its amendments does it say that the right to peacefully protest voids all other laws.
I didn't say that protesters blocking the streets should not be arrested -- part of civil disobedience is nonviolently trespassing the law and being willing to be arrested for it. And the point of this is to highlight the banality of everyday evil -- a wake-up call to all the folks whose need to get to work or go to a meeting is more important than the issue being protested. Also, streets are shut down all the time for cultural festivals, block parties, and so on, and nobody shouts that their right to get to work is being violated. But in any case, these were not streets.ReplyDelete
In fact, it was the officers who were violating the campus's own rules about pepper spray, and pepper spray itself is outlawed as a means of warfare in the Geneva Conventions section on chemical warfare. No civilized country throws noxious chemicals into the faces of its citizens at point-blank range for nonviolent protest. Why have Americans come to believe that protesters deserve what they get? This country was founded on protest.
I just bought a tent--and will be buying three more this evening with my family. Have YOU bought a tent today?ReplyDelete
Mrs. C, I love that you bought a tent. I bought a tent. I just saw a video of the UC Davis quads covered with tents and a geodesic dome.ReplyDelete
Everybody in tents!