Police Defend Use Of Force On ‘Occupy UC Davis’

DAVIS (CBS13) – Law enforcement officials defended the tactics used Friday to dismantle an encampment set up by “Occupy Wall Street” sympathizers on the UC Davis quad, a raid that drew accusations of excessive force from students after sitting protesters were subjected to pepper spray at point-blank range.

UC Davis Police officers in riot gear warned “Occupy UC Davis” demonstrators to pack up their tents and leave the field located between the Memorial Union and Shields Library at about 3:00 p.m., and then moved in to take down the protesters’ tents a half hour later.

University officials had warned students several times since Thursday that camping would not be allowed on the quad.

A growing crowd filled the field as officers hauled away tents and a number of protesters linked arms and sat down on the path in the middle of the field, defying orders to leave. Shortly before 4:00 p.m., an officer used a can of pepper spray to coat the sitting demonstrators in the chemical dispersant before officers began taking students into custody one by one.

The watching crowd began shouting chants of “Shame on you” and “Let them go,” while dozens of students recorded the encounter on cell phone cameras.

“I don’t think that was warranted,” one protester told CBS13. “It was non-violent protests, we were sitting, linking arms.”

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said officers used force out of concern for their own safety after they were surrounded by students.

“If you look at the video you are going to see that there were 200 people in that quad,” said Chief Spicuzza. “Hindsight is 20-20 and based on the situation we were sitting in, ultimately that was the decision that was made.”

Authorities are still reviewing video of the incident, Spicuzza added.

Officers left the quad after making 10 arrests, nine of which were UC Davis students. Law enforcement retreated out of the field in a direction that was not obstructed by sitting protesters.

Protesters vowed to remain in the quad and reestablish their camp Friday evening, but as of 10:00 p.m. Friday, no demonstrators or tents were visible in the area.

>> Send photos and videos to CBS13.

  • sam

    Sorry but this police response is total BS!!! That cop held up the pepperspray canister like he was about to perform a stage show and point-blank sprayed them in the face!!!! Why does a college campus need a militarized police force? This is the most ridiculous thing I have EVER seen and EVERYONE responsible needs to be FIRED and CHARGED with assault!!!

    • Marc Sac

      Wow we’re really opposite, I thought the police should have been wearing sombrero’s and Hawian shirts and then spraying the hippy kids. They don’t need that body armor for spoiled hippy kids, have some fun with it.

      • Vanessa

        You are an IDIOT. You have obviously never experienced any type of budget cut in your life. They are standing up for what they believe in, which should be instilled in all individuals.

    • Jonus

      He was posing for the camera. He was hoping to get abig Hollywood contract. He wants his own movie as he is now a star do you not get it. I do.

  • Taxpayer

    “Concern for their own safety”? I’m sorry, but the offending officer looks about as concerned as a fox in a henhouse. The cavalier manner in which he happily raises the canister before spraying it into the faces of the unarmed students conveys not even the slightest hint of concern. He was enjoying it. He should be fired and charged with assault, and Spicuzza needs to resign immediately. This is a complete abuse of power.

  • Marc Sac

    Welcome to the real world hippy. Blame your parents for protecting you from the truths in life. The world isn’t filled with snuggles and rainbows after all. Keep up the good work pepper spray!

    • blake

      Marc / Alan – If you like oppression and brutality so much, then the Third Reichw as definately your Utopia. Just say Sieg Heil and stop posting. We get your views.

    • Vanessa

      Once again, you are an IDIOT. You have no idea what students go through to achieve their dreams.

      • Alan Santos

        These students are garbage! The police must take out the trash!

    • WisenCynical

      What a prick you are.. You must be Ball Sac’s militant loco brother.

  • Stacey

    Lt. John Pike doesn’t deserve a good night’s sleep for the rest of his life. This is textbook police brutality. Several of these students were hospitalized and one was throwing up blood 45 minutes after the fact. Please write and call to demand his and Chancellor Katehi’s resignation. This is an inexcusable use of force on seated students who posed no threat to any officers.

    • Sam Graham

      Marc, youre a troll. Agree with the protesters or not, but using pepper spray just because some kids wont get off a walkway on the quad is ridiculous. As if the police couldnt walk around them… that makes me laugh. One too many doughnuts blocking up those arteries? Please.

      • Daniel

        You stupid idiot. Have you not seen the full 10 minute video where the students surrounded the police? What were they supposed to do, let themselves be held?

      • RobK1967

        Name calling is the sign of a weak mind Daniel, as is your excusing the behavior of the thug cops. You can desire to live in a police state if you wish to, I would rather not live that way

      • will

        RobK1967, telling what you are is NOT name calling! Truth does hurt sometimes!

      • RobK1967

        Thank you for uninformed opinion, I appreciate being insulted by your ilk. It is quite a badge of honor :)

    • Barry

      Marc: are you one of the UC Davis cops? Out yourself or get off this rant list before someone pepper sprays your ass!

    • Sam Graham

      Lol. Cowards hide behind screens to deliver bold statements. Its hard to take you seriously.

    • Marc Sac

      Yep and my trigger finger is worn out, hard to type. I told my commander that we should spay deordoant instead. He insisted on pepper spray so sorry to the rest of UC Davis students, I tried.

      • NoLove4Swine

        Swine-troll. Mr. Oink of the internet.

      • Jonus

        You probably needed the deodarant because you sure do smell. Violence incites violence so now the brass try to sugar coat the stupidity. Will not work heads will roll. You cops have way to big heads.

    • BM

      Worked as intended? Did you watch the video? This only made the cause of the students even stronger. They forced the police out!

    • Sparky

      Mark maybe we should all take a look at Davis PD’s general orders regarding the use of pepper spray. I haven’t seen the order but I doubt that it would authorize the use of pepper spray on non violent citizens who aren’t presenting a threat to the officers or others.

  • Stacey

    Strong words from a guy that doesn’t know how to use correct punctuation. You probably didn’t even watch any of the available videos that were uploaded by bystanders and probably would prefer if the First Amendment were repealed. The many videos in evidence from this incident are Exhibits A-Z in the case against Lt John Pike, Police Chief Annette M. Spicuzza, and Chancellor Linda Katehi. Only a moron would pretend otherwise. Even Chancellor Katehi admits in her open statement regarding today’s events that the students were protesting peacefully. Seated students, locked in arms, posed no threat to these officers. I agree with “Taxpayer” that Lt. John Pike appeared cavalier while assaulting these students and should be removed from his post, as well as Police Chief Spicuzza who authorized the action. This was an overt abuse of authority and those responsible need to be held accountable.

    • Marc Sac

      Whats the correct typing of a baby crying? “whaaay” or “wyaaah”? Stacey, nothing’s gonna happen to the Police Officers, live with it and move on. Your punctuation skills should land you a decent job.

      • BM

        Marc Sac, the only crying here is done by the students who were sprayed in the face by pepper spray out of a paintball gun. This was caught on video and there have already been cases that prove this to be obsessive force. The officers should definitely be removed. Officers serve to protect the public (or at least so they say – they are paid by the mayor or other official and in general only follow those orders no matter what it means to the public).

      • Jonus

        Now are you saying the police officers are God. Because the excessive force is obvious and luckily was caught on camera. The police made it into a riot sitution with there pepper spray.

      • WisenCynical

        Her punctuation is bad.. but you have outdone her having taken on the d*ckhead role, How low can you go?

  • Sam Graham
  • ProtestorsRaBigJoke

    You protestors are a joke. What are you protesting? The right to make a profit? The middle class is being squeezed out by Obama and not Corporations. Stop listening to your Liberal Professors and wake up. You have more opportunity in this country then anywhere else in the world. The 99% of us that do not agree with you have no idea what you want? Organize peacefully and follow the law like the Tea Partiers did.

    • Jonus

      Sounds like a true GOP politician alot of talk but no action. The Tea party is more wothless than the dog doo on my shoe. Radical stupid idiots.

      • CharlieSheenRocks-ProtestorsSuck

        Get a life and a job. You are a bum and are the reason you are broke. I am a Conservative and guess what… I made more money this year then ever before in my life. My job is not related to anything a bad economy drives. The work force keeps getting dumber and lazier and is making it easier for me to succeed. Keep whining and proesting and I will keep “Winning”. Thanks for making it easier for my children too. Oh yea, that is “Bi Whinning”.

    • Vanessa

      Maybe they are protesting about tuition fees being raised, not every year, but EVERY semester. College students can barely afford to live anymore. Davis students have two students to a room for the most part. You are probably the definition of the kid that had the rich parents and had everything paid for! All students know what they want and that is an ‘affordable education.’

      For the record, it’s THAN not THEN. and your last question doesn’t make sense.

    • Blake

      No not for the right to mak a profit. How about the right for TAXPAYER funded universities to STOP trying to make more and more of a profit every year? They were also protesting a police brutality incident at UC Davis where faculty as well as students were struck with batons, had their hair pulled and etc.,?

      Did I mention one of the protesters is a Pullitzer Prize winning author? That’s a big deal btw.
      How about the fact one of them was a Poet Laurette of the United States?

      These aren’t just rowdy students. It’s students AND faculty standing together AGAINST tuition increases and police brutality. And they were brutalized.


    • robk1967

      Awwwww, how cute, we have a Kochsucker on the board

      • blake

        You completely misunderstood the reason for the outrage. IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT THEY WERE PROTESTING! Whether it’s civil rights, tuition increases or the freaking lunch menu! The fact is that the police assaulted these kids by using excessive force. Pepperspray was NOT necessary, and wasn’t even being CLOSE to necessary. It also makes it worse that police sprayed pepperspray down these student’s throats, and some of them were coughing up blood 45 minutes!

        What did they do to deserve ALL this?

        They sat down and wouldn’t move.

        “All it takes for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.”

      • blake

        Sorry rock, I meant to sent that to the guy who had the nerve to support the police in a case of abuse.

  • David Knopfler

    Is this what the face of “yes we can” and “the audacity of hope” looks like Mr President?

  • Hereticmonk

    Have you seen the little piggies
    Crawling in the dirt
    And for all the little piggies
    Life is getting worse
    Always having dirt to play around in.

    Have you seen the bigger piggies
    In their starched white shirts
    You will find the bigger piggies
    Stirring up the dirt
    Always have clean shirts to play around in.

    In their sties with all their backing
    They don’t care what goes on around
    In their eyes there’s something lacking
    What they need’s a damn good whacking.

    Everywhere there’s lots of piggies
    Living piggy lives
    You can see them out for dinner
    With their piggy wives
    Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

  • Robert Zomer

    Petition for resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Katehi


  • Hank A.

    Maybe the authorities are getting a little tired of these “occupy” protests and are raising the level of their response. Protestors should remember that in the future. That said, I would agree that the use of the pepper spray here was too much.

    • BM

      Protestors should remember that in the future? If anything this is more cause TO PROTEST

    • RobK1967

      Then the authorities you speak of should get into a new line of work if they can not handle the duties of their job legally

  • BM

    Police say they were worried for their safety??? Really now? Let’s look at the facts of this video: (1) After pepper spraying, police are shown dragging a student down the sidewalk — all police had an exit and could have easily used it with no harm to themselves (2) One of the cops in the video actually smiles about the situation after the pepper spray had been issued — he looks REAL concerned. (3) The “scared” police are dressed in riot gear compared to a crowd of people with no protection. (4) The officer who shot the pepper spray raised his paint ball gun in the air to the crowd in an obvious show of ‘this is what happens when you don’t listen to authorities’ (5) The crowd surrounded the police minutes after the pepper spraying concerned. That’s when the police were actually notably scared. And they should be! This was an abusive act, their faces are now known, their names are now known, and the people will not forget!

  • Chris

    The fact is that the “Occupiers” are criminals and nothing more. The cops could have used much greater force if they had wanted and it would have been justified under the law. If you don’t want to get pepper sprayed, then don’t hang out with losers!

    • BM

      Look up the Law Chris instead of listening to what you want to hear. The courts have already deemed such use of spray paint an excessive use of force in violation of the 4th Amendment. The only crooks here are the politicians who continuously waste taxpayer money for their own benefit and not the benefit of the taxpayers and the cops who have used excessive force on peaceful people. Try fighting for something you believe in and tell me if you feel it would be alright for someone to pepper spray you for believing it.

      • BM

        Apologies: Pepper spray, not spray paint

    • Steve

      What are you talking about Chris? Justified by law? Do you even read a contract when you sign it? What law are you versed in?
      And when is the last time you could tell “fact” from fiction?

      Too bad you weren’t born in North Korea you would have risen to the top very easily. A real company man, as they say, still trying to get daddy’s approval.

      • Jonus

        Actually Chris needs Mommas approval.

    • Jonus

      I will make sure that I never hang around you as you are for sure a big loser tough guy!!

    • Sparky

      You couldn’t be more wrong Chris. The students have a legal and constitutional right to peaceful assembly and protest and as far as protests go this one could not have been more peacful, non intrusive and non threatening. Also it’s highly unlikely that Davis PD general orders would authorize the use of pepper spray on non violent citizens who aren’t posing a threat to the officers or to others. The students are protesting out of control and escalating tuition fees that affects everyone including you. If fees aren;t brought under control we all loose.

    • RobK1967

      The fact is you do not have a clue what you are talking about, you are just another wannabee right wing thug

  • BM

    The video above was edited and doesn’t show anything regarding how easily the “scared” police could have easily exited or how the officer started straying and how the student assembly responded: Here’s a real video: Journalism needs full disclosure. Sad the full video isn’t posted here. http://boingboing.net/2011/11/18/police-pepper-spraying-arrest.html

  • AL

    This time it’s not just kids protesting, there are Vets, older working people, people with jobs that are doing this for their grand kids.
    This time the powers that be may push too far.
    It doesn’t look to me like the protestors are going away and every day they put up with this police power they are gaining more support.

  • sassafrass

    This is so crazy occupppiers have been camped out in the park down town for some time, why pick on the kids at the college, the quad is a good place to have a camp out, spraying these peacefully sitting kids was child abuse big time, they were not blocking traffic, they were not putting anyone in danger, abuse of police should really be protested, I was furious when I saw them pick on a few kids to spray, the kids were not doing anything but sitting there i was afriaid a couple of the kids might really get sick from such excessive spray, while other kids did not get sprayed, boy we have discrimination here, if ya spray one ya should spray them all, best not to spray any of them at all.

    • Stephanie

      We aren’t kids.

  • http://desertdogmeh.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/fearing-for-his-life/ Fearing For His Life « Desert Dogmeh

    […] you would like to learn more about this heroic act, you can view the article here. Share this:StumbleUponTwitterFacebookEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  • http://thisweekinblackness.com/blog/2011/11/19/ows-uc-davis-protect-serve/ [#OWS] Protect and Serve [VIDEO] » This Week in Blackness

    […] ran across this gem defending this– UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza said officers used force out of […]

  • doodle

    The protesters chose to defy a lawful order. That was the result of their choice. If you chose to break the law, you should be prepared to deal with the result of your action. We don’t get to pick and choose which laws should be enforced. If someone killed or raped someone should they not be arrested? Just because you are sitting peacefully, does not mean you are not breaking the law. Just because the person being arrested thinks the law is trivial, doesn’t mean they don’t have to abide by it.

    • Vanessa

      So then since you are a vet, do you approve of the vet that was beaten so bad in Oakland that he had to be put in the hospital?

      They are students that pay every semester to be on that campus! It was a Friday they should have been allowed there regardless. They were not camping at this point. If they were in tents, that would have been a different story. Why didn’t the cops pepper spray the entire crowd of students and just the one sitting there? Everyone in the video was yelling at the cops, not just the people sitting. What makes them any different?

      • Ha ah

        He was hit because he didn’t obey orders and stop, and do what the officer told him to do. I’m goign to assume that he is a vet with very little military experience, or time. Do I approve of anyone, vet or not getting hurt? Stupid question. I see the validity of the use of force when necessary. I do not see the purpose of senseless force without purpose. I do believe in cautionary use of force as a tool for self preservation, as well. I do not believe in questioning the use of force of soldiers or cops if I did not see it from start to end and cannot have any idea what really happened.
        Does that answer your question?

    • Jonus

      Your thinking is a little doodled to say the least. There choice was to sit there not be pepper sprayed by these hooligan cops. When you are sitting peacefully which law are you breaking ? I need exact quotes from the law books since you know so much. Quote chapter and verse and which law book you got your info from.

    • Vanessa

      So sitting on a sidewalk automatically means you will get pepper sprayed? I can’t even think intelligently right now because you probably wouldn’t understand. Sitting on a sidewalk and killing/raping someone are two different things. People like you make my blood boil due to your lack of intelligence.

      • Ha ah

        There is also a difference between lethal, less than lethal and non lethal weapons used to quash protest behavior that is not legally disbanding after hours.

        There is no constitutiuonal protection from getteing pepper sprayed after being ordered to move off off public property by a police officer. It is a non lethal weapon.

        Im a vet and I approve police protecting public property for all people, not just a select few who think they can monopolize funds, forces and the boo hoo to mommy for not expecting a slap on the wrist after refusing to vacate premises!

  • http://studentactivism.net/2011/11/19/police-brutality-and-lies-at-uc-davis/ Police Brutality and Lies at UC Davis « Student Activism

    […] chief of the UC Davis police department told the local CBS news that officers began spraying, in the station’s paraphrase, “out of concern for their own safety,” a claim that […]

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