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Dissatisfied UC Davis Student Contfronts Katehi After Capitol Hearing

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After four hours of testimony with virtually no conflict at the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon, a student confronted UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi in the hallway.

“I’ve been contacting you every single day, calling your office,” Jerica Heinze said to Chancellor Katehi after Katehi addressed legislators in a hearing at the Capitol.

Heinze says she was suffering from a lung infection when she inhaled pepper spray during the Nov. 18 incident on the campus quad.

“Why is it I have to drive all the way down here and corner you in a hallway?” Heinze asked Katehi.

Heinze came to the Capitol to hear what Katehi had to say in front of the joint Education Committee, and she left dissatisfied.

“It’s always painful to sit and listen to the rhetoric of the chancellor and President Yudof,” she said. “It’s very frustrating.”

UC President Mark Yudof sat before the committee for nearly 30 minutes, making a statement condemning the use of pepper spray but not sticking around to talk to reporters.

“I thought the hearing was fine,” was all he would say on his way out the building.

Katehi told the committee the same thing she told the student body last month, that she takes responsibility but did not give the order to use force.

“I think it was a very productive hearing,” she said.

Assemblyman Marty Block, a San Diego Democrat and chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, asked Katehi what she would have done differently that day.

Katehi responded, “If I knew the police could not remove the tents peacefully, we would not have removed them.”

But despite the testimony of university officials, former police chiefs, attorneys and students, there were no solutions presented to make sure the incident would not be repeated.

“They have to do a thorough investigation as to why it happened, so we’ll wait until that investigation concludes itself,” said Assemblyman Paul Fong.

Also Wednesday, the state attorney general declined a request to investigate the pepper-spraying. The attorney general’s office says it believes the incident can be thoroughly investigated on a local level. The Yolo County sheriff and district attorney had asked for Attorney General Kamala Harris’ help because of the national fallout from the incident.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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