Police Pepper Spray and Arrest Students at UC Davis

More use of excessive force and violence against nonviolent students. I recommend watching the entire video. It begins with a sadistic cop pepper spraying a group of students who are sitting on the ground, but it ends with the police retreating and the students cheering and chanting, “Whose quad? Our quad!”

UPDATE: 20 November 2011 | 12:50 AM

The officer in the video who pepper sprayed the students has been identified as Lieutenant John Pike.

The police are now saying that they felt trapped because the students had formed a circle around them. You can see this in the video. It’s a very wide circle…of unarmed students…sitting on the ground…threatening no one.

If the students were sitting on the ground (and they were), arms linked, one might say, “Couldn’t the police have simply stepped over the students if they felt threatened or trapped and wanted to leave the quad?” The answer would be, “Yes.” In fact, you can see that Lt. Pike did step over the students 6-seconds into the video so that he would be able to face them and pepper spray them directly in their eyes. The other cops who are standing around certainly don’t look like they were fearful of the students, either. At one point, an officer actually smiles at one of the cameras being pointed at him. Maybe their definition of fear is different than mine. I thought I was looking at a video of men wearing riot gear facing down unarmed, nonviolent students. Maybe I need to have my eyes checked.

Lt. John Pike should be removed from the force and brought up on charges. He’s a disgrace. Further, all other officers at the scene should also be formally reprimanded. If a police officer sees a crime being committed, even if by another officer, and does nothing, he doesn’t deserve to be a cop. It’s that simple, really.

And, finally, UC Davis Chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi, should resign immediately. She ordered the police into the quad and, based on their past treatment of protesting students, either knew, or should have known, what would happen. If she knew, she’s a danger to the students of her university. If she didn’t know, she’s incompetent and a danger to the students of her university. Either way, she needs to go. Now.

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