Nov 19 2011
11:10 pm

Scene from University of California, Davis:

Response to the atrocity...

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

Inflicting pain to force compliance is torture.

Americans deserve better.

Rachel's picture

I hope these "public

I hope these "public servants" will be severely dealt with. Maybe they should be punished by having to sit while somebody pepper sprays them.

bizgrrl's picture

Outrageous!Here's a Time


Here's a Time news feed with a video of the altercation.

Interesting how one police officer early in the video did not feel the need to wear his helmet and face mask.

One police officer was having to pull another back as they retreated, as if the other was going to be aggressive. I suppose the students should feel lucky no officer elected to use a gun.

What's with the storm trooper tactics? With all the problems and crime in this country, someone in power thinks it necessary to spend so much time and money eliminating dissent.

bizgrrl's picture

Assistant Professor Nathan

Assistant Professor Nathan Brown, UC Davis, is brave to write this letter. I'm guessing he has no tenure and could be fired any minute.

R. Neal's picture

That cop should be arrested

That cop should be arrested for assault.

reform4's picture

The difference between the US and many other pro-Dem Movements

..overseas is that, in many cases, what made the movement successful and those in power fail is that the police wouldn't side with those in power, and sided with the citizens/students.

I haven't been on the ground with any large Occupy movements (NY, CA, etc). I suspect it's like the one here- very focused on cooperating with the police and being as friendly to them as possibly while still maintaining the protest... but, at some point, there has to be an active movement to win their hearts and minds. It's THEIR pensions on the line, too.

If the uniformed officers don't think they're next, they're delusional. I remember when teachers were sacred cows and cutting a teacher's pay or union rights was considered political suicide. The police and firefighters are the last to go (and there was already talk in our last local election about privatizing the firefighters out of their jobs).

cafkia's picture

That video is one of he most

That video is one of he most disturbing and disgusting things I have ever seen. Imagine a security guard in in privately held firm abusing the owner(s) of the company with wild abandon. Those officers are deluded, seriously deluded.

R. Neal's picture

Lobbyist scum trying to make

Lobbyist scum trying to make a buck off OWS "opposition research," "targeted social media monitoring," "coalition planning," and "advertising and creative placement strategy." Cost: $850,000.

EricLykins's picture

"Be the [organized competitor

"Be the [organized competitor who is very nimble and capable of working the media, coordinating third party support and engaging office holders to do their bidding] you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

R. Neal's picture

The president of the UC

The president of the UC system has stepped in and ordered two campus police officers on administrative leave and "plans an assessment of law enforcement procedures on all 10 campuses."

AP report...

So somebody's finally doing something, unlike the UC-Davis chancellor and the police chief who actually defended the police action.

The chancellor had set a 90 day deadline for an investigation, but has now "accelerated" it to 30 days.

My investigation took about 30 seconds of reviewing the video, which speaks for itself. There is no justification for what occurred. Period. The results of my investigation concluded that the cops standing around watching should have arrested the guy for assault.

When that didn't happen, the UC-Davis police chief should have fired him on the spot and suspended the rest of them who stood around not doing anything to stop him.

When that didn't happen, the UC-Davis chancellor should have fired the police chief and the cop.

Because none of that happened, the UC-Davis president and board of trustees or whatever they have out there should accept the chancellor's resignation, fire the cop, and replace the UC-Davis police chief.

And the FBI should arrest the cop with the pepper spray for multiple federal civil rights violations.

Andy Axel's picture

Katehi on Good Morning

Katehi on Good Morning America:

"It was a difficult situation for the campus to really strive to make sure the students are safe. The biggest, most critical issue is the safety of the students who are using the campus, the facilities, who really want to learn in this environment."

Emphasis mine. The difficult situation she's referring to is dismantling a small encampment on the grounds of the university, which she had ordered taken down. The result was Chubby McCampuscop delivering a military-grade dose of capsaicin at point-blank range, thereby making a mockery of the 4th and 8th amendments and creating a crisis of conscience for UC Davis (note: this is not a mere PR problem, which is how Katehi is wrongly treating it).

I don't know why tents have been deemed such a health & safety hazard, nor do I see how their presence signals a group of students who are unwilling to learn.

On the contrary, those students have become instructors.

ETA: As I've come public with my sympathies for OWS on my Facebook page, it has astounded me to learn which of my acquaintances have seen fit to nurture and come public with their inner Spiro Agnews. One had the temerity to claim that this was an example of police compassion, as the police in other parts of the world would have summarily executed these people, rather than summarily torturing them. Another claims that Occupy has nothing in common with our Founding Fathers -- who, I observe, were a group of men who had just led a revolution to disconnect the colonial tether to the British Empire.

OK, then.

cafkia's picture

I am in full throated

I am in full throated agreement with you on this issue with the exception that I think the Chancellor should be fired rather than allowing her to resign. The safety of the students is, or at least should be, paramount and she has gone on record defending the primary threat and insult to the student's safety on that day. There should be no hint of any taxpayer funded fiscal "parachute" for the Chancellor or the offending officer. The training officer, the on scene tactician, and the Chief of Police should all be "allowed" to resign.

I sincerely hope that our own police are watching this and learning. The punishment of alleged offenders is NOT a proper or intended function of any municipal police organization. Apprehend the alleged offenders, interrupt their alleged illegal behavior, discourage threats to specific citizens or society at large, are all valid functions but guilt and punishment are for the courts to decide. When it works that way, it allows the citizenry and the police to be one big US rather than the "us" and "them" we so frequently see. At UC Davis, the police clearly saw the protesters as "them" and at least the one officer believed that he had a mandate to punish them. Yes, he should be fired, arrested, charged and tried.

Not all of our problems in this nation are fiscal. The officer in that video is representative of one of our largest social problems. If he is found guilty, he should then be made and example of why to avoid being that representative.

gonzone's picture

Guess who came dressed for a

Guess who came dressed for a riot? (the cops thugs)

Time for the thugs to try out the new toys! (if you build it, they will use it)

Just a bunch of dirty stinking hippies, right? (Gingrich says "Get a job, but take a bath first!")

And now the Egyptian military in Cairo says "We're just doing the same as the Americans with these demonstrators." (as they attack)

What a wonderful world.

EricLykins's picture

"Casually Pepper Spray

"Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop"

Culture Map Houston asks:

Is it too soon to invite divisive humor into the situation, or does it relieve stress from the tension-filled news spiral we've landed ourselves in? Do we cope better with upsetting images if we can put them into a manageable pop-culture paradigm?

Know Your Meme

R. Neal's picture

I don't know if it's too

I don't know if it's too soon, but those are pretty damn funny. Guy's getting the pop culture treatment he deserves.

EricLykins's picture

so is Megan Kelly

so is Megan Kelly

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