Posts Tagged ‘UC Davis’

University police brutalize peaceful protestors at UC Davis; do students bear some responsibility?

November 22, 2011

The video is chilling: a police officer walking along a line of students seated with arms linked, spraying them with pepper spray like one would spray a windowsill for mosquitoes. But these were people, huddling, screaming, non-threatening.

Pepper spray, also known as OC spray (from “Oleoresin Capsicum”), OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and even temporary blindness) that is used in riot control, crowd control and personal self-defence, including defence against dogs and bears.[1] [2] Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits persons using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape.

Although considered a less-than-lethal agent, it may be deadly in rare cases, and concerns have been raised about a number of deaths where being pepper sprayed may have been a contributing factor.[3] [from Wikipedia]

One should be very careful to second-guess police use of force when they are threatened, or when they are dealing with violent people, but there was nowhere near an excuse for the UC Davis police to attack the protesting students.

The two cops who sprayed the students should face criminal charges, and Linda P.B. Katehi, the hapless chancellor of the Davis campus of the University of California, should be fired for (more…)