UC Davis Police Chief On Leave After Pepper Spray Incident; Students Rally

DAVIS (CBS SF) — The chief of police at University of California, Davis has been placed on administrative leave because of the furor over the pepper spraying of peaceful protesters by campus officers.  Meanwhile, hundreds of students rallied on the UC Davis campus Monday in protest against the pepper-spraying.

The university said in a news release early Monday that it was necessary to place police Chief Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave to restore trust and calm tensions over Friday’s pepper spray episode.

It was announced earlier that two police officers who were videotaped deploying pepper spray against seated protesters were also placed on administrative leave.

Ten protesters were arrested Friday for an illegal campus encampment. The protesters were cited and released on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said in a statement about the campus police chief move, “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.”

Katehi said, “I take full responsibility for the events on Friday and am extremely saddened by what occurred. 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.”

Katehi has also called on the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office to investigate the police department’s use of force.

On Sunday, two campus police officers who were videotaped deploying pepper spray against protesters were also placed on administrative leave.

Protesters have called for Katehi’s resignation, but she has resisted.

Navid Shaghaghi, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science at UC Berkeley, said an anonymous donor provided a van to shuttle about 15 Occupy Cal protesters to UC Davis for Monday’s noon rally.

In addition, Shaghaghi said, Occupy Cal protesters plan to have a “sleepout” at Sproul Plaza Monday night to show solidarity with UC Davis students.  He said he’s not sure how many will participate but that so far, 375 people have indicated on a Facebook page that they will be there.

Shaghaghi said Occupy Cal protesters will decide at a general assembly Monday whether to make another attempt to set up tents on the steps of Sproul Hall.

Occupy Cal members set up tents there last Tuesday night, but campus police removed them early Thursday.

Shaghaghi said Occupy Cal members plan to sleep out on the Sproul steps even if there’s a vote against setting up another encampment.

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

  • Dan Katzman

    The real test will be if the officer is charged with multiple counts of felony assault along with any brass who ordered the assault. This use of dangerous chemicals (one protestor was vomiting blood for hours afterward after having pepper spray forced down his throat) on non-violent protestors is a direct assault on America’s constitutional rights.

    • larry davis

      The police did the right thing. They wouldn’t listen and were aggressive. They earned their spraying.

    • dave

      IM sorry i didnt see anyone getting pepper spray as you say FORCED down there throat !!!. Thats what happens when you break the law !!!!!!

    • Dave

      Yea next time dont use pepper spray, use water cannons and batons on the idiots !!!!!!!!

  • patty cakes

    UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike must be terminated immediately. Police Chief Annette Spicuzza should be given a one-month suspension without pay.

  • JD

    They had EVERY right to use pepper spray. These students were their ILLEGALLY, and would not leave. They also locked arms (resisting arrest) so that they couldn’t be arrested.

    The students should get added jail time for the resisting arrest.

    Funny how many news stories label this “peaceful protestors” yet leave out the fact they are criminals due to the fact they are there camped illegally and resisting arrest.

    • Kevin

      How can students gathering on their own campus during school hours be illegal? The camp was illegal, the gathering was not. They are not criminals. They were not resisting arrest by locking arms and sitting down. The cops weren’t even trying to arrest them until that point. You’re so far off on what happened it makes me wonder if you even know what’s going on.

      Oh, and interestingly enough, if you look at the police crime report for Nov. 18th it lists the students arrested but it does not say what for, like it does with every other incident on their reports. What are the students being charged with??

    • Adrienne Nelson

      Finally an intelligent comment on all of this. Thank you!!

    • notjenna

      “Funny how many news stories label this “peaceful protestors” yet leave out the fact they are criminals due to the fact they are there camped illegally and resisting arrest.”

      Whoa! I guess I missed the mobile courtroom where these kids were tried and convicted of *any* crimes. Did they maybe have a judge and jury in the back seat of the police cruiser blocking the sidewalk that the kids were blocking? Help me out here.

      So in one fell swoop, you seem to have summarily discarded the First Amendment right to protest and peaceably assemble and the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

      Is this the kind of America you want? Torture and detention arbitrarily administered by a uniformed thug? It’s what you’re getting and you seem to like it.

  • VoiceOfReason

    You are correct JD! Leave when you’re told – or get peppered! What a bunch of cry babies!!!!!

  • Milan Moravec

    UCPD report and take direction from Chancellor: Condem Chancellors no university of California police.

  • A. Lane

    To those who agree that the police were justified in pepper spraying these students hope you get retribution for your words. Too bad you haven’t been pepper sprayed to know firsthand what these students went through. And, no, there was no justification for the police officers’ actions. You’re no better than the police officers as well.

    • Kevin

      Stay away from their campus quad in the middle of the day? Get real. They paid for that quad.

  • Justin Goble

    there is to side to every story and theres more to this story about the pepper spray than whats being told . theres the protester side of the story and the cops side of the story and than there the truth and only thoses involved know the truth. so dont be so quick to pass judgement .

  • Dee Tran

    Chief did not do that but his men , so he is responsible for whatever happened . Two cops who sprayed pepper spraying on protesters must be brought to the court as criminal charge . DO NOT LET THEM HOME TO DO NOTHING AND GET PAID FROM THE TAX PAYERS WITH FULL BENEFIT AND HEALTH CARE .

  • Dave

    Are you for real ? There lucky thats ALL they got ! When you try to be above the law thats what happens !. They were wrong and now crying about what happened to them. I hope the Chief sues the school and the same stupid kids tuition goes up !

    • Kevin

      Their tuition IS going up. That’s why they were protesting. Meanwhile, their chancellor gets a nice, fat raise that puts her salary above even Obama’s. If that sounds fair to you then you’re off your rocker.

  • john

    Take Lt. John Pike and bath him in a bath of pepper spray and when he begs for his life hit him a few more times until he understands what his nazi bald headed mustached bodiy full of steroids did to these kids and begs for forgivness and throw him in the trash where he belongs.

  • Kevin

    Hundreds of students protested? Uh, more like thousands. The Chronicle lists the number at 5,000 and if you look at the photographs that’s probably about right.

    Anyway, my support goes out to the UCD students and staff! Stay strong, guys.

  • mike

    These students get “butthurt” too easily and there was no reason to put the Chief on leave, or for the Davis Chancellor to resign. Maybe, it was the individual officer that decided to use the spray, in an effort to subdue and make arrests without having to use more physical methods and the higher ups never gave any direct orders. I don’t really know.

    What i do know is that it is almost the end of the fall quarter at Davis, almost the end of the semester at Berkeley and these students need to get their priorities straight. Finals should be more important than trying to stroke their own egos or exercising the freedom they are taking for granted.

  • mhta

    Criticism is progress! I support all the student efforts and I m glad that they
    did not buried in Ipod, Ipad or facebook.

  • Donkey Hotay

    The U$A CRACKS DOWN upon political dissent … same as Syria and Egypt !!

  • dbarco

    I don’t see the huge problem that you all are making about this. People are
    signalling that they will not comply with the cops and then link arms to keep from being moved. In my day you went limp and the cops had to carry you away one by one and the point was made. This total refusal to move at any point is unacceptable for a variety of reasons. I think that once warned that
    pepper spray will be used, the people who don’t want to suffer all the bad
    effects should be allowed to leave. The remainder will then suffer the consequences. That is one of lifes lessons that we continuesly fail to teach our kids, EVERY ACT HAS CONSEQUENCES, GOOD OR BAD!!

  • bill burns

    The coloreds and gays are ruining this country. Tom cruise said it was so.

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/11/22/protesters-rebuild-encampment-at-uc-davis/ Protesters Rebuild Encampment At UC Davis « CBS San Francisco

    […] encampment was again erected late Monday after the campus police chief was put on administrative leave and the chancellor was shouted down at a demonstration while trying to apologize for Friday’s […]

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2011/12/14/lawmakers-grill-uc-officials-over-protest-clashes/ Lawmakers Grill UC Officials Over Protest Clashes « CBS San Francisco

    […] Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi reasserted that she played no direct role in officers pepper-spraying students on Nov. 18. Katehi accepted responsibility for what happened but said would feel uncomfortable […]

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