"a law enforcement official who watched the clip called the use of force “fairly standard police procedure.”" - at least the piggy is honest!
"Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist" - Now that is one sadistic police officer!
Investigation, calls for resignation follow spread of Calif. university pepper spray video
By Associated Press, Sunday, November 20, 2:47 AM
SAN FRANCISCO — As video spread of an officer in riot gear blasting pepper spray into the faces of seated protesters at a northern California university, outrage came quickly — followed almost as quickly by defense from police and calls for the chancellor’s resignation.
University of California Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said in a statement Saturday she was forming a task force to investigate the police action and the video images she said were “chilling.”
However, a law enforcement official who watched the clip called the use of force “fairly standard police procedure.”
In the video, an officer dispassionately pepper-sprays a line of several sitting protesters who flinch and cover their faces but remain passive with their arms interlocked as onlookers shriek and scream out for the officer to stop.
As the images were circulated widely on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday, the university’s faculty association called on Katehi to resign, saying in a letter there had been a “gross failure of leadership.”
At a news conference, Katehi said what the video shows is, “sad and really very inappropriate” but defended her leadership and said she had no plans to resign.
“I do not think that I have violated the policies of the institution,” she said. “I have worked personally very hard to make this campus a safe campus for all.”
Katehi remained in a media room for more than two hours after the news conference, eventually walking to an SUV past a group of students nearly three blocks long who, in a coordinated effort, remained completely silent. The Sacramento Bee said.
The protest was held in support of the overall Occupy Wall Street movement and in solidarity with protesters at the University of California, Berkeley who were jabbed by police with batons on Nov. 9.
Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters. [ Now that's one sadistic pig!!!!! ]
“When you start picking up human bodies, you risk hurting them,” Kelly said. “Bodies don’t have handles on them.”
After reviewing the video, Kelly said he observed at least two cases of “active resistance” from protesters. In one instance, a woman pulls her arm back from an officer. In the second instance, a protester curls into a ball. Each of those actions could have warranted more force, including baton strikes and pressure-point techniques.
“What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure,” Kelly said.
Images of police actions have served to galvanize support during the Occupy Wall Street movement, from the clash between protesters and police in Oakland last month that left an Iraq War veteran with serious injuries to more recent skirmishes in New York City, San Diego, Denver and Portland, Ore.
Some of the most notorious instances went viral online, including the use of pepper spray on an 84-year-old activist in Seattle and a group of women in New York. Seattle’s mayor apologized to the activist, and the New York Police Department official shown using pepper spray on the group of women lost 10 vacation days after an internal review.
In the video of the UC Davis protest, the officer, a member of the university police force, displays a bottle before spraying its contents on the seated protesters in a sweeping motion while walking back and forth. Most of the protesters have their heads down, but several were hit directly in the face.
Some members of a crowd gathered at the scene scream and cry out. The crowd then chants, “Shame on You,” as the protesters on the ground are led away. The officers retreat minutes later with helmets on and batons drawn.
Ten people were arrested.
Nine students hit by pepper spray were treated at the scene, two were taken to hospitals and later released, university officials said.
They declined to release the officer’s name.
UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said the decision to use pepper spray was made at the scene.
“The students had encircled the officers,” she said Saturday. “They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”
Many Twitter and Facebook comments supported the students and criticized the response.
“Stomach churning video of police using pepper spray on seated anti-Wall Street protesters in Davis, Calif.,” actress Mia Farrow wrote in a retweet of the video.
Elsewhere in California, several hundred protesters in Oakland tore down a chain-link fence surrounding a city-owned vacant lot and set up a new encampment five days after their main camp near City Hall was torn down.
“They obviously don’t want us at the plaza downtown. We might as well make this space useful,” Chris Skantz, 23, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Occupy Oakland protesters breached the fence and poured into the lot next to the Fox Theater on Telegraph Avenue, police said in a statement.
The protesters passed a line of police surrounding the lot without a struggle, used wire cutters to take down the fence and pulled down “no trespassing” signs the Chronicle reported.
Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said surrounding streets had been closed and officers were protecting surrounding buildings
Watson said there had been no arrests or citations, but the city’s position remains that no camping will be allowed and protesters can’t stay overnight.
Police did not give their immediate plans for the site or say how or when they planned to move on the new camp.
One nearby resident expressed unhappiness about the new site.
“I supported Occupy Oakland,” Sherbeam Wright told the Chronicle. “At this point I don’t know what they stand for anymore.”
Associated Press reporters Nigel Duara in Portland, Ore., and Meghan Barr in New York City contributed.
UC Davis pepper-spraying raises questions about role of police
By Philip Kennicott, Published: November 20
It looks as though he’s spraying weeds in the garden or coating the oven with caustic cleanser. It’s not just the casual, dispassionate manner in which the University of California at Davis police officer pepper-sprays a line of passive students sitting on the ground. It’s the way the can becomes merely a tool, an implement that diminishes the humanity of the students and widens a terrifying gulf between the police and the people whom they are entrusted to protect.
The video, which shows the officer using the spray against Occupy protesters Friday, went viral over the weekend. On Sunday, the university placed two police officers on administrative leave while a task force investigates. The clip probably will be the defining imagery of the Occupy movement, rivaling in symbolic power, if not in actual violence, images from the Kent State shootings more than 40 years ago.
Although another controversial image, showing an elderly woman hit with pepper spray near an Occupy protest in Seattle, made this nonlethal form of crowd control an iconic part of the new protest movement, the UC-Davis video goes even further in crystallizing an important question: What does the social contract say about nonviolent protest, and what is the role of police in a democratic society?
Pepper spray, which in many countries is defined as a weapon and is often illegal for civilians to possess, can cause tissue damage, respiratory attacks and, in rare cases, death. It is considered far superior during crowd control to more violent forms of self-defense. But, like Tasers, which can also cause severe injury and death, there is increasing concern than it is being used by law enforcement without discretion or proper understanding of its dangers. The UC-Davis video will only amplify those concerns.
The police officer emerges from the margins of the scene, walks in front of a line of students on the ground with arms interlaced, and brandishes the can briefly in a gesture that feels both bored and theatrical, like someone on a low-budget television commercial displaying a miracle product or a magician holding the flowers he is about make disappear. He then proceeds to spray a thick stream of orange liquid into their faces. The crowd surrounding the students erupts in cries of “shame, shame,” questioning the police about whom they are protecting.
The spraying is slow and deliberate, one face after another, down the line. It is the multiple victims that makes it so chilling, recalling the mechanization of violence during the 20th century. Pepper spray, of course, isn’t meant to be lethal, and it was deployed during an effort to enforce university policy rather than a state-sanctioned campaign of violence. But the apparent absence of empathy from the police officer, applying a toxic chemical to humans as if they were garden pests, is shocking. Even more so because it is a university police officer.
University police generally operate under a more benignly paternalistic understanding of the law than other police. They are there to ensure the safety of the students, to help with the messier details of the in loco parentis function of the university.
A half-century ago, many parents told their children to ask a cop for help in case of trouble. With police forces now defining their role as more military than civilian, viewing citizens with suspicion and often treating them with hostility, that has changed. Saying the wrong thing to a cop, asking for a warrant before a search, throwing a snowball at an unmarked cop car, legally taking a picture of an official building, questioning a Capitol police officer about why a public area has been closed can lead to threats of arrest, or worse. But on university campuses, the police are often seen as they generally once were: your friend.
The UC-Davis police force has defended the use of pepper spray. An independent police expert quoted by the Associated Press calls pepper spray a “compliance technique,” in language eerily reminiscent of the George W. Bush administration’s euphemisms for torture.
Even if it is determined that the police followed proper procedures, the video might have lasting power for outrage, tapping into growing concerns not that police are abusing standard policies, but that our policies might need to be revised. Indeed, the disjunction between how the UC-Davis police read this video (they see an officer doing his job) and how many others read this video (they see a man in a uniform causing great and unnecessary pain to unresisting students) indicates that we have reached a kind of intellectual impasse about what kind of police we want and what limits should be placed on their power.
The UC-Davis video might open up a broader conversation about the proper role of the police, especially during an era in which it appears that protest against the established order may be more frequent and widespread. This new era of protest, if it continues to develop, will play out on the Internet, with rapidly uploaded videos providing not just evidence of what happens, but evidence from numerous perspectives, as each encounter is recorded by dozens of onlookers and participants.
UC-Davis has announced an investigation into the officer’s action and whether it was merited and legal. It is a familiar pattern — the video is uploaded, it spreads, outrage develops and then the institution issues a seemingly reluctant and reactive plea for caution. We don’t know the context. We don’t know what really happened.
That kind of caution grew out of an age of skepticism in response to the manipulation of photographs by unscrupulous agents, including totalitarian governments. It was an appropriate skepticism, engendering a valuable resistance to the extraordinary power of images to seem transparently truthful.
The times may be changing. Video can be as easily manipulated as photography, but multiple videos from multiple perspectives, arriving within hours or minutes after an event, require a different kind of skepticism. The repeated claims by officials that our eyes are lying begin to seem more and more incredible.
Yes she is sorry, but don't expect UC Davis chancellor to fire the sadistic cops, or even tell us their names!
UC Davis chancellor apologizes for pepper-spray incident
By Maria L. La Ganga and Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
November 21, 2011, 9:10 p.m.
Reporting from Davis, Calif., and Los Angeles—
As outrage mounted over police use of pepper spray on nonviolent student demonstrators at UC Davis, the campus' embattled chancellor apologized for the incident and placed the university's police chief on administrative leave.
During a tense speech Monday before more than 1,000 students and faculty members on the normally quiet Central Valley campus' main quad, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi tried to quell criticism over the incident, as well as how university officials handled the aftermath.
"I am here to apologize," an emotional Katehi said after struggling through the crowd to a small stage where some of the students who'd been pepper-sprayed had just described their ordeal. "I feel horrible for what happened."
The chancellor's appearance drew dueling boos and cries of "Let her speak!"
The Friday incident, captured in videos that quickly went viral on the Internet, has triggered nationwide controversy about the forceful response by university police to student protesters. The Occupy Wall Street movement in recent weeks has spilled onto college campuses, combining with student anger over rising tuition and cuts to higher education to produce protests and sit-ins.
Katehi announced Monday that she had put campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave, an effort to restore peace to the 32,000-student public university. Two officers involved in the spraying, in which students were hit in the face as they sat quietly with arms linked, were put on paid leave over the weekend.
Katehi has said that she ordered protesters' tents removed but had not authorized police to use the chemical spray in the manner shown on the videos. Campus spokesman Andy Fell on Monday declined to comment on who gave that order, saying it would be looked at by investigators.
As she spoke Monday, Katehi, a Greek-born electrical engineer who became chancellor at UC Davis in August 2009, ignored calls from the crowd for her resignation. But her actions and those of the police are sure to be scrutinized in the weeks ahead; UC leaders, state politicians, the American Civil Liberties Union and national education organizations have decried the incident.
"Our university has to be better than it is, and it needs all of the community to come together to do that. We need to work together," Katehi said.
Assistant English professor Nathan Brown, who launched an online petition drive to unseat Katehi, had spotted her in the crowd as he addressed the protesters. Speaking directly to the chancellor, he called her response to Friday's police actions "transparent" efforts to evade criticism.
"There's no place on our campus for administrators who order the use of force against peaceful protesters," Brown said.
But not everyone was calling for Katehi's ouster, and the anger on campus was mixed with sadness Monday. It was an unusual moment in the spotlight for UC Davis, which has been shedding its caricature as an "aggie" school and touting its well-regarded programs in medicine, law, literature, engineering and the environment as well as agriculture and veterinary medicine.
Julie Sze, associate professor of American Studies, brought her sign-waving 8-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son to Monday's protest. Sze said people on campus were horrified by the police action but that there was no consensus on whether Katehi should resign.
"People feel like she has to show us something," Sze said. "I don't know if there's anything she can say to address the level of concern and high drama."
The UC Davis Academic Senate, the powerful faculty organization that governs many issues, will be conduct its own investigation into the pepper-spray incident, according to its chairwoman, Linda Bisson, a professor of viticulture and oenology.
A faculty investigation is needed, in addition to one being conducted by UC Davis administrators, because "there is a strong feeling that there would be a lack of credibility regardless of what the chancellor's report said — and because of her role in the events," Bisson said.
The faculty leader contended that Katehi was too slow to get accurate information about the incident and then to take disciplinary action against the police. A minority of UC Davis faculty may want the chancellor to resign, Bisson said, but most want her to stay in her post but be held accountable in some way.
The Yolo County district attorney's and sheriff's offices also have said they will review the police response.
Among the most dramatic moments of Monday's rally came as students who had been arrested or sprayed described their pain and fear. They blamed police for the violent turn in what they said began as a peaceful show of support for the Occupy movement, with 25 tents and a cooking area. Police initially said they had acted only after a crowd of protesters had encircled the officers.
David Buscho, a 22-year-old mechanical engineering student, said he and other protesters were just "sitting down in a circle singing." Then he heard someone yell "pepper spray!" He kissed his girlfriend and closed his eyes.
"At that point, I entered a world of pain," Buscho said. "I wanted to breathe, but I couldn't. My face was covered with pepper spray.... My hands were covered with pepper spray. I was afraid. I was paralyzed with fear, and that's the truth. "
"Not a single student was violent — ever," he said. Police arrested 10 protesters at the campus Friday, and 11 were treated for the pepper spray, including two who were taken to a hospital and then released.
Later Monday, protesters had again erected more than two dozen tents on the campus quad, and authorities seemed uncertain how to react. Fell said he did not know what would happen to the latest encampment.
Katehi's appearance came as scrutiny of her leadership increased, as well as of the police response to protests elsewhere in the UC system and across the country. The university, especially its Berkeley campus, was central to the student protest movement of the 1960s, and rallies addressing rising tuition have occurred frequently in recent years.
UC President Mark G. Yudof, who said over the weekend that he was appalled by the police actions, convened a telephone conference of all 10 UC chancellors Monday, urging them to review police tactics and ensure students' freedom of expression. "We cannot let this happen again," Yudof said of the Davis incident, according to a statement.
Michael Risher, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California, said his organization also will seek public records in what might be a precursor to a lawsuit. Risher said previous court decisions have held that the use of pepper spray against seated, nonviolent demonstrators violates constitutional rights.
Daniel Hurley, an official at the American Assn. of State Colleges and Universities, said Monday that many schools nationwide see the pepper-spray incident at UC Davis as a "terrible overreaction on the part of campus police."
Public colleges "have a remarkably proud tradition in this country of being venues of free speech and peaceful demonstrations," Hurley said.
The controversy came just weeks after Katehi garnered positive publicity by announcing a long-term plan to add 5,000 students, including many from out of state, to the campus, which is physically the largest in the UC system. That idea ran counter to the widespread pessimism at other UC campuses about cuts in state funding.
Katehi earned a doctorate in electrical engineering at UCLA. She became UC Davis' chancellor after serving as provost at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The UC Davis campus does not have a history of disruptive protests. "We have a reputation of very peaceful and very thoughtful student activists," Bisson said. "Not a mob mentality at all."
UC Davis pepper-spraying cop finds his way into artistic masterpieces
November 21, 2011 | 5:15 pm
Lt. John Pike, the policeman at UC Davis who was shown Friday pepper spraying peaceful protesters, has become an unlikely rallying figure for the Occupy movement. Outrage at his actions has galvanized activists and led to a shakeup at the university's police department.
In the days since the incident, an art-themed Internet meme has developed involving Pike. As reported by the Washington Post, Wired and other publications, various artists have digitally incorporated images of Pike wielding a pepper-spray can into a series of famous paintings, including Picasso's "Guernica," Manet's "Le déjeuner sur l'herbe" and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
You can view some of the humorous images on the site Pepper Spraying Cop on Tumblr. One image incorporates the cop into Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory," with the pepper spray surrealistically ricocheting into the cop's face. Another image, shown above, shows the cop spraying Jesus in Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper."
The meme is part of a larger online trend in which images of Pike have been digitally added to famous photographs and movie stills.
On Monday, hundreds of people gathered at UC Davis to protest Friday's incident. The controversy has resulted in two campus police officers and UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza being placed on leave.
For more images of sadistic UC Davis pig Lt. John Pike pepper spraying innocent people check out this web site:
Pepper Spray’s Fallout, From Crowd Control to Mocking Images
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Published: November 22, 2011
Some women carry it in their purses in a pink, lipstick-shaped container. Hikers use it to deter bears. People in most states can buy a small canister of it on a quick-release key ring on Amazon.com for $7.07.
As pepper spray has become ubiquitous in this country over the last two decades, it has not raised many eyebrows. But now, after images of the campus police at the University of California, Davis, spraying the Kool-Aid-colored orange compound on docile protesters on Friday, pepper spray is a topic of national debate.
It has become the crowd-control measure of choice lately by police departments from New York to Denver to Portland, Ore., as they counter protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
To some, pepper spray is a mild, temporary irritant and its use has been justified as cities and universities have sought to regain control of their streets, parks and campuses. After the video at Davis went viral, Megyn Kelly on Fox News dismissed pepper spray as “a food product, essentially.”
To the American Civil Liberties Union, its use as a crowd-control device, particularly when those crowds are nonthreatening, is an excessive and unconstitutional use of force and violates the right to peaceably assemble.
Some of the Davis students are threatening civil suits against the university on these grounds. The chancellor has called the use of pepper spray “unacceptable” and has put the officers on administrative leave.
“The courts have made it very clear that these type of devices can’t be used indiscriminately and should be used only when the target poses a physical threat to someone,” said Michael Risher, staff attorney for the A.C.L.U. of Northern California.
To Kamran Loghman, who helped develop pepper spray into a weapons-grade material with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1980s, the incident at Davis violated his original intent.
“I have never seen such an inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents,” Mr. Loghman said in an interview.
Mr. Loghman, who also helped develop guidelines for police departments using the spray, said that use-of-force manuals generally advise that pepper spray is appropriate only if a person is physically threatening a police officer or another person.
In New York, for example, a police commander who sprayed several women in an Occupy demonstration last month faced disciplinary proceedings. The New York Police Department says pepper spray should be used chiefly for self-defense or to control suspects who are resisting arrest.
To many watching from the sidelines, pepper spray remains an obscure agent, even as the video of its spraying at Davis has become the defining image of an otherwise amorphous Occupy movement.
Pepper spray — its formal name is oleoresin capsicum, or O.C. spray — finds its power in an inflammatory agent that occurs naturally in more than 300 varieties of peppers, including cayenne, and that vary by their degree of hotness. (Black pepper is not part of the capsicum family.) When sprayed in someone’s face, it causes an intense burning sensation of the eyes, resulting in temporary blindness, and restricts breathing, induces coughing and leaves the person at least temporarily incapacitated.
Pepper’s use as a deterrent dates to the ancient cultures in China and India, which sometimes used it in war, sometimes for torture. Because it was effective, cheap and widely cultivated, pepper persisted as a weapon through the ages, mostly for self-defense. Some Japanese women kept it tucked into their kimonos in case a man made aggressive advances.
It is now used the world over in its spray form, under numerous brand names, mostly to foil criminal suspects but also for self-protection against both humans and animals.
But the public rarely witnesses such scenes, and that was one of the reasons that the video from Davis was so powerful. It captured many elements — seated protesters being doused with a bright orange spray by campus officers, whose body language appeared surprisingly casual.
“What makes this so oddly interesting is that those officers don’t look like the Chicago police in 1968,” said Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University. They are so casual, he said, “it’s as if they were called because someone was sunbathing naked on the quad.”
All of these elements, Mr. Thompson said, added up to a riveting image. “All of these contradictions are jammed into that little video, where we have this casual disenfranchising of rights, but it is a new era, where pepper spray is used as opposed to batons and guns.”
That nonaggressive posture by the police, he said, has fueled some of the widespread online reaction to the video, in which thousands of Internet users recast an image of one of the officers, inserting it digitally into famous paintings. Suddenly, on Web pages, blogs and Twitter messages, the officer, identified as Lt. John Pike, appeared to be standing in the field in Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World,” spraying Christina as she sprawled on the grass. He cropped up, too, in the harsh angles of Picasso’s “Guernica,” and in scenes from movies. There he was zapping Julie Andrews on a mountaintop in “The Sound of Music.”
It also prompted several satiric reviews on Amazon of pepper-spray products.
“It really is the Cadillac of citizen repression technology,” one reviewer wrote. “This is space age domination technology,” wrote another. “Works on citizens. AND ALIENS!!”
But inevitably, the image of Lieutenant Pike was inserted into more sobering images from real life, like the famous photograph of the Vietnamese girl running naked down the road after planes dropped napalm on her village. He also stood in the 1970 picture of a woman at Kent State, her arms raised in horror over the body of a student shot to death by National Guardsmen.
Those jarring images, Mr. Thompson said, were a reminder that “this is a new generation of subduing people, and while the decision to use it may not be right,” he added, “we are in the age of pepper spray, not the age of real bullets.”
UC Davis' pepper spray fuels national debate, growing protests
By Lisa M. Krieger and Sean Webby
Posted: 11/23/2011 07:32:14 PM PST
Call it the douse of pepper spray seen 'round the world.
The UC Davis police officer caught on camera shooting a bright red stream of highly concentrated, gaseous chili pepper onto a docile group of student protesters has inflamed a fiery national debate over just how harmful pepper spray can be.
Instead of dispersing the tension at the usually placid Northern California campus near Sacramento, Lt. John Pike's pepper spray canister has fueled the controversy into a growing encampment and spurred plans for a general strike Monday with sympathizers streaming in from across the state. There is now a geodesic dome and nearly 100 tents, donated from as far away as Egypt -- with more on the way.
"We've doubled in size, and we can double in size again," said Geoffrey Wildanger, 23, of Los Altos, who was one of the students sprayed Friday in what has become a touchstone moment for the Occupy movement.
And, suddenly, pepper spray is the focus of a national conversation, fomented by Fox News, MSNBC and Photoshopped images of Pike dousing the Declaration of Independence.
To one side it's a chemical weapon, but to the other it's as harmless as the sauce poured on chicken wings.
Wildanger said he still felt the burning four days later when he stepped into a hot shower.
"My eyes burned. The steam seemed to activate it," he said.
Another protester vomited blood, he said. Others felt burning on their hands for a day, and two were treated at the hospital.
Pepper spray is widespread in California, legal for purchase by anyone, and is easily found on the Internet. Mountain View Surplus sells a canister, called The Jogger, for $11.99.
For the fashion conscious, a stylish pink canister, with a "Fight Breast Cancer" logo, costs $9.99.
"But it should be used for people as a defense," said Chris Gordon, sales associate at Mountain View Surplus.
"That's the opposite of what I saw; it was used against the people. It was reminiscent of a police state. People don't consider that could happen here."
There's another difference: The civilian sizes are small, only 2.5 ounces -- holding just a fraction of the spray that the UC Davis police canister unleashed.
Known as oleoresin capsicum, or OC, pepper spray is made from the same naturally occurring chemical that makes chili peppers hot, but at concentrations much higher.
UC San Francisco researchers have discovered that the startling "hot" sensation is caused when the chemical binds directly to proteins in pain- and heat-sensing neurons.
Its defenders say it is a temporary irritant that can prevent far greater harm. In an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, attorney Megyn Kelly called it "a food product, essentially."
UC Davis College Republicans said they have video showing the police were surrounded by a hostile crowd and the use of pepper spray was justified.
Its effects can include temporary blindness, coughing and skin irritation.
The most serious problems occur when pepper spray is inhaled because capsicum inflames the airways, causing swelling and restriction -- a real threat to anyone with respiratory problems.
"Even from a distance, 20 to 30 feet away, it got in my eyes and brought me immediately to my knees," said former UC Berkeley student George Ciccariello-Maher, now a professor at Drexel, who was sprayed during a 2001 rally in Canada.
"The immediate reaction is to force your eyes shut," he said. "And my nostrils poured mucus all over my face."
There is near universal agreement on this: Pepper spray is a tool to preserve peace, not break up peaceful protests.
That's why many were outraged by Pike's seemingly casual posture, photographed by psychobiology student Louise Macabitas.
That photograph has been parodied on the Internet, with a pepper-spraying Pike Photoshopped into more than 1,000 images by famous painters -- from Wyeth to Picasso and da Vinci. Even Julie Andrews, atop a mountain in "The Sound of Music," got zapped.
A half-dozen law enforcement officials interviewed for this story agreed that the use of pepper spray at UC Davis did not appear to be appropriate or reasonable. All agreed that the incident would not likely have happened at their agencies.
"Our policy is that we do not use pepper spray or Tasers or batons against passively resisting people," said Peter Rode, Santa Clara County assistant sheriff.
"It's a public safety issue. If they are blocking an intersection, then of course you have to move them."
San Jose police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said he has only used pepper spray once in his 13-year career -- to break up a fight between two women who were kicking in stiletto heels.
"On some people -- sometimes intoxicated or angry -- it can tick them off even more," he said.
Judge clears release of part of UC pepper-spray reportIn California corrupt cops have some God given right to be protected them from the public they abused????
"The Federated University Police Officers Assn. had sought an injunction preventing the UC report from being released, contending that some content violates privacy and other state laws designed to protect the personnel files of peace officers accused of wrongdoing"
Judge clears release of part of UC pepper-spray report
By Lee Romney, Los Angeles Times
March 17, 2012
Reporting from Oakland— An Alameda County Superior Court judge Friday cleared the way for the release of portions of an investigative report about the pepper-spraying of UC Davis student protesters in November. But the judge barred for now the release of other sections that deal with the conduct of specific officers.
The Federated University Police Officers Assn. had sought an injunction preventing the UC report from being released, contending that some content violates privacy and other state laws designed to protect the personnel files of peace officers accused of wrongdoing.
The report has been keenly awaited by students and faculty at UC Davis, but it remains unclear when they will see any of it.
Judge Evelio Grillo blocked release of certain sections contested by the union and set another court hearing for March 28 to deal with those. He also ordered the union and UC attorneys pressing for the full release of the material to try to come to agreement on three sections that the officers' attorneys had not yet reviewed.
UC system spokeswoman Dianne Klein said the university must wait for the judge's final written order Monday specifying which portions can be made public. Former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, who chaired the UC Davis investigative task force, will decide when the report will be released and whether the university will do so in a public forum on the Davis campus, which was his intent before the injunction.
Adding to the uncertainty about the release date, several media organizations, including The Times, have filed Public Records Act requests to obtain the portions of the report no longer under seal, some of which may wind up as public evidence in the court file after the judge rules on Monday.
UC General Counsel Charles Robinson said he would confer with Reynoso before deciding whether to release it "piecemeal."
"We are making some progress toward our overall objective of trying to get the entire report released," Robinson said outside the Oakland courtroom. He added, "One could imagine a circumstance where releasing just a part of the report could be misleading or not provide sufficient context."
Attorneys for the campus police union also expressed muted optimism Friday. "We believe we accomplished our goal today," said John Bakhit. "All the sections we asked to be held back were held back. We're happy — but it's temporary."
The November protest took place as part of the Occupy movement, and images of UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike casually spraying seated protesters in the face went viral. Afterward, UC Davis placed three officers on administrative leave and began an internal affairs investigation.
Separately, the university convened the task force headed by Reynoso to make recommendations regarding police procedures in light of the event. Kroll Associates, a security consulting firm headed by former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, was retained to collect information on the incident and make policy recommendations.
Grillo combed through both reports and permitted release only of those sections that police attorneys do not wish to conceal — nearly the entire Reynoso report, which mainly deals with broader policy issues, and certain sections of the Kroll report that deal with administrative actions.
While officers' names would not typically be confidential, the union is seeking to withhold them because they say Pike has received threats.
Only officers who witnessed the incident were interviewed for the Kroll report, and they were offered immunity from any discipline. The subjects of internal affairs investigations were not interviewed. But the police union argued that because they were compelled to talk to Kroll investigators and spoke about officers who were under investigation, that material should be withheld.
The judge voiced concern with only one portion of the Kroll report — Section 6 — in which the authors make "statements about individual officers' conduct and whether that conduct was right or wrong."
Grillo had issued a tentative ruling late Thursday that took issue with a number of the union's legal arguments and said he was inclined to deny the injunction for both reports. The reports draw on a lot of material already in the public domain, such as videos, photos and news articles, he noted.
Yet at Friday's hearing, he stressed that he was open to persuasion and said he would attempt to resolve remaining disputes at the next hearing. Grillo's tentative ruling had ordered all sections of the report released by April 2 unless the union appealed. On Friday, he pushed that date back to April 16.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California has joined UC officials in seeking the report. Lawyers for the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times also filed briefs in the case seeking access to the full report.
Los Angeles Times staff writer Larry Gordon contributed to this report.
Pepper-spraying of Calif. students 'not reasonable'Source
Review: Pepper-spraying of Calif. students 'not reasonable'
By Michael Winter, USA TODAY
The pepper-spraying of University of California-Davis students in November during a campus police operation to remove an Occupy encampment was "not reasonable use of force" and should have been prevented, a task force has concluded.
The 190-page report was especially harsh on UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehidid and her leadership, but it did not recommend any disciplinary actions against administrators or police. However, the task force urged systemwide changes in policing at the 10 campuses of the University of California.
The methodical spraying by a UC-Davis police lieutenant Nov. 18 was captured on video and went viral through social media and YouTube. Two protesters were taken to the hospital and nine others were treated.
Pepper-spray was "not reasonable use of force," the report concluded, noting that officers had not been trained to use the larger canisters deployed and that there were alternatives. The review said the use of pepper spray "should have and could have been prevented."
The report found that university officials believed that most protesters were not students and that they were concerned about violence by "non-affiliates," or what used to be called outside agitators.The task force, headed by former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso, determined that "these concerns were not supported by any evidence obtained" by Kroll Consulting, a firm specializing in police procedures hired to interview officers and review policies and procedures.
The report faulted UC-Davis administrators and the campus police for weak or confusing leadership and communications, as well as poor understanding of the law and legal rights.
The report also found a "considerable lack of leadership" and "many breaches of protocol" in the way police handled the eviction of demonstrators from the Quad.
Officers "apparently felt that they were surrounded by a hostile mob" and that pepper spray was necessary to get them and those arrested out safely. But the report found officers could removed students non-violently.
The report had harsh words for the campus police.
"The command and leadership structure of the (campus police) is very dysfunctional. Lieutenants refused to follow directives of the chief," it said.
Campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza was put on leave after the confrontation.
The Sacramento Bee has an extensive report.
UC Davis pepper spray incident 'should and could have been prevented'Source
Report: UC Davis pepper spray incident 'should and could have been prevented'
By Sam Stanton
The 190-page pepper spray report is now on the UC-Davis website, www.ucdavis.edu, and comes to a stark conclusion:
"The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented."
The report by the Cruz Reynoso task force found that UC Davis officials were highly concerned by other Occupy protests and the possibility that students could be endangered by protests from outside.
The first tents went up Nov. 17 on the UCD quad, but by then university officials had already determined that camping on the Quad is not legal but could be troublesome to stop.
The biggest concern was from harm that could come to students from outsiders drawn to campus by the protests, with UCD administrators "repeatedly" voicing that concern, the report states.
"As our report will indicate these concerns were not supported by any evidence obtained by Kroll."
The report found that UCD officials were being told that most of the protesters were "non-affiliates," people from outside campus who were not students. Campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, now on leave from her post, estimated 80 percent of the Quad campers were not students, an assertion challenged by student affairs staffers and others, the report found.
The chief's assertion "has not been substantiated," the report found.
Even if it had been true, the report, concludes, "this concern would not justify ordering the immediate dismantling of the encampment."
Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi told investigators for the report that she envisioned "a limited operation in which police would demand that the tents be taken down but would use no other force," the report found.
But other top-level officials did not get that message because the chancellor "did not effectively communicate this" during deliberations on what to do.
Spicuzza, the police chief, initially tried to convince officers not to wear riot gear or use batons or pepper spray, but she was unsuccessful, the report states.
"There is also evidence that she wanted her officers to withdraw if they encountered resistance," the report found, but because investigators could not interview her they did not come up with additional details.
No one in the campus leadership took responsibility for ensuring they understood the way the police operation was to be handled, the report found.
It also found evidence of disagreement over when the operation should be done. Katehi wanted the tents removed during the day, and police moved in for a 3 p.m. deadline.
But one dispatcher said Spicuza had said "we should go in at night."
"No member of the leadership team recalls such concerns...," the report found.
There also was confusion over whether officers had a basic legal right to remove the tents, and even on the day of the incident were questioning whether removing the tents during the day was legal because the prohibition was against "overnight camping."
The report found that key decisions were made without enough explanation, that they "were often understood to mean different things to different people."
"These poorly understood decisions were then communicated to the Police Department as 'executive orders,'" the report found.
The report also found a "considerable lack of leadership" and "many breaches of protocol" in the way police handled the incident.
With a 3 p.m. deadline for the students to leave, the police "entered the Quad at 3:15 p.m. in a skirmish line."
Over the next 15 or 20 minutes, police gave at least six orders for protesters to disperse, then began moving to take down the tents and make arrests at 3:35 p.m.
At about 3:47 p.m., as police waited for transportation to remove the arrestees, "the crowd surrounded the police and arrestees" and some time before 4 p.m. the pepper spray was used.
But the report found police did not follow state or national guidelines in such an event, and that Lt. John Pike, seen on video spraying students, and another officer involved in the planning had failed to arrange for transportation.
Officials also failed to warn Davis Police, "the closest quick-reaction force" if there was a problem, of what was about to occur on campus.
That, the report found, was a "significant oversight."
The report also addresses one of the key unanswered questions: why did Pike resort to using pepper spray?
Officers indicated that "they apparently felt that they were surrounded by a hostile mob" and that the use of the pepper spray was necessary to get themselves and their arrestees out of the Quad.
But the report found that there may have been alternatives to using the pepper spray.
For instance, "Officer F.," who is not named because of a court fight that redacted most officer names, was able to walk through the crowd and place suspects into a police car.
"Officer P was able to step over a line of seated protesters and walk through the crowd to met with Davis PD who arrived to provide mutual aid," the report found.
"Lt. Pike's actions and body language include stepping over seated protesters to get to their faces, a move that would not generally be undertaken with a hostile crowd," the report found.
It added that Pike was able to return 20 minutes after the pepper spraying without riot gear on and that he and another officer asked protesters to remove some tents.
"The tents were removed without incident," the report found.
The report also found that officers had not been trained in the use of the larger pepper spray canisters that were deployed and that its use was "not reasonable use of force."
"The command and leadership structure of the (campus police) is very dysfunctional," the report adds. "Lieutenants refused to follow directives of the chief."
This conclusion stemmed in part from "heated exchanges" Spicuzza and her underlings had about how to proceed with the operation and her eventual "concession that her officers will do things their own way and there is nothing she can do about it."
The report finds fault with many administrators from Katehi on down for failing to specify what actions should be taken, leaving orders that it was "not to be like Berkeley," where an earlier demonstration had turned ugly.
But is especially harsh about the failure of police leadership to insist that the operation be undertaken at 3 a.m., as they wanted, instead of Katehi's preference for 3 p.m. that Friday. A nighttime operation might have drawn fewer protesters, but Spicuzza failed to object to the afternoon timing, the report found.
The report also addresses the notion that video of the incident shows police were facing a hostile crowd chanting "If you let them go, we will let you leave." That chant was being made, the report found, but was being shouted down by "the majority of the crowd almost as quickly as they started."
"Nor did they appear to reflect an actual intent by the crowd to prevent police from leaving with their prisoners," it found. Pike and another officer "were able to move through the crowd freely" and stepped over seated protesters three times "just minutes before Lt. Pike sprayed those same protesters."
The report does not recommend disciplinary action, but has a number of recommendations about how to improve communication and the police force, and how to better respect the freedom of speech and unique aspects of life on a university campus.
The Kroll report, the investigative effort the task force relied on, also is detailed and highly critical at times.
It found that the use of pepper spray "was flawed and unnecessary," but also blamed "the systemic and repeated failures" of UCD administrators that "put the officers in the unfortunate situation in which they found themselves."
California to pay $1M to settle UC Davis pepper-spray lawsuitSource
Cal to pay $1M to settle pepper-spray suit
Sept. 26, 2012 11:54 AM
SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of California has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by demonstrators who were pepper-sprayed during an Occupy protest at UC Davis last fall, according to a preliminary settlement filed Wednesday.
The Nov. 18, 2011, incident prompted national outrage, angry campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after online videos shot by witnesses went viral.
Images of a police officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The demonstrators had been protesting steep tuition hikes and police brutality.
Under the proposed settlement, UC would pay $30,000 to each of 21 plaintiffs named in the complaint and an additional $250,000 for their attorneys to split.
Katehi, who has publicly apologized for the incident, would be required to issue a formal written apology to each of the plaintiffs, who are current students or recent alumni
UC and plaintiffs represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed the preliminary settlement in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. The agreement, which was approved by the UC Board of Regents in mid-September, is subject to the approval of a federal judge, and parties have the right to appeal.
The settlement also calls for UC to set aside $100,000 to pay other individuals who can prove they were arrested or pepper-sprayed. The university would give the ACLU up to $20,000 for its work reviewing free speech and protest policies at UC Davis.
"It was felt that the proposed settlement was in the best interest of the university," said UC spokesman Steve Montiel.
UC officials believe the cost of going to trial would be more expensive than the cost of settling the lawsuit, Montiel said.
Plaintiff Fatima Sbeih, who recently graduated with an international studies degree, said she suffered panic attacks and nightmares after she was pepper-sprayed on the UC Davis Quad.
"I want to make sure that nothing like this happens again," Sbeih said in a statement. "The university still needs to work to rebuild students' trust and this settlement is a step in the right direction."
A task force report released in April blamed the incident on poor communication and planning throughout the campus chain of command, from the chancellor to the pepper-spraying officers, and concluded the situation could have been prevented.
"The settlement should be a wake-up call for other universities and police departments," said Michael Risher, staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. "If the First Amendment means anything, it's that you should be able to demonstrate without being afraid of police violence."
Last week, Yolo County prosecutors said the UC Davis officers who fired the pepper-spray won't face criminal charges because there is not enough evidence to prove the use of force was illegal.