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UC Davis Pepper Spray: What Admin/PD Were Thinking

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

At last night's forum with students and school staff, Vice Chancellor  John Meyer told a crowd of more than a thousand he and the police decided to take down the tents because they had seen what happened on other schools when encampments were allowed to exist.

MEYER: "If an encampment really takes hold, it see for that to be removed and what we were seeing in Oakland and what really scared us in Berkeley."

Meyer blames the officers on scene for the actual spraying. 

Meyer:  "We didn't think it was going to end as it ended, that it was really, to sort of, if there was conflict, that we were sort of pulling back and not have it go where it went.  Once these actions began, however, I have to tell you, that, as the Chancellor referred,  there was great discretion given to officers both for their safety on the scene and to make decisions in the field."

Police chief Annette Spicuzza and the two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

Chancellor Linda Katehi apologized profusely to the crowd at Freeborn Hall.

KATEHI: ""I want to truly apologize to the entire community for the appalling use of pepper spray.  It betrayed our values and did not reflect well on this university." 

A majority of the crowd cheered her remarks.  Two students did present her with an online petition with 80,000 signatures calling for her resignation.  The students were unable to say how many of those who signed were UCD students.

UC System President, Mark Yudolf announced former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has been asked to conduct a special investigation.  A joint legislative hearing at the State Capitol is set for December 14.

All charges against students in the protests are being dropped and the two students who required hospitalization will have their medical costs picked up by the university.   


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