DAVIS (CBS) – Nineteen student and alumni are suing the University of California, Davis over a pepper-spraying incident by campus police during an occupy protest last November.
University officials and campus police have come under fire since widely-circulated videos showed riot police dousing pepper spray on a row of students while they were sitting on the ground with their arms linked on November 18th.
The students claim in the lawsuit that the use of pepper-spray on seated students was excessive force that violated both their state and federal constitutional protections, including the First Amendment.
Photo Gallery: Occupy UC Davis
“This was my first demonstration. So many of my friends can barely make ends meet, and then another tuition hike was proposed. We had no idea there would be police in riot gear, or that we would be pepper‐sprayed because we were making our voices heard,” said plaintiff David Buscho in a new release.
The lawsuit charges that UCD officials and the campus police department did not properly train and supervise the officers involved.
Last week, UC Davis faculty members voted against a motion that would have expressed a lack of confidence in the ability of the school’s chancellor, Linda Katehi, to lead the campus.
The students are being represented by the ACLU of Northern California.
(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)