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UC Davis Officers Suspended Over Pepper Spray Incident

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A protester at UC Davis is rinsed off after being pepper sprayed by riot police on the school's campus, November 18, 2011.  (CBS)

A protester at UC Davis is rinsed off after being pepper sprayed by riot police on the school’s campus, November 18, 2011. (CBS)

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DAVIS (KCBS) – Two UC Davis police officers have been placed on administrative leave following their use of pepper spray in Friday’s arrest of 10 protesters on campus.

“I spoke with students this weekend, and I feel their outrage,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi. “I have also heard from an overwhelming number of students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the country. 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. I feel very sorry for the harm our students were subjected to and I vow to work tirelessly to make the campus a more welcoming and safe place.”

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Katehi has also accelerated the timetable for a task force to investigate the events surrounding the arrests. She has set a deadline of 30 days for the task force to issue its report. Katehi said the task force, which will include representatives of faculty, students and staff, will be chosen this week and convene immediately.

She said the university will also be holding a series of meetings and forums with students, faculty and staff to listen to their concerns and hear their ideas for restoring civil discourse to the campus.

Videos of Friday’s incident showed the two officers using pepper spray on peacefully seated students.

10 protesters were arrested Friday in connection with an overnight encampment of about 25 tents on the campus Quad. They were cited and released on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

11 protesters were treated on site for the effects of the pepper spray, including two who were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were treated and released.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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