In a video released on Friday, a University of California, Davis police officer is shown spraying student protesters sitting peaceably with pepper spray at a close range. UC Davis police chief, Annette Spicuzza defended the action in a press conference on Saturday, saying “The students had encircled the officers. They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”
Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor, said, according to the Los Angeles Times, “It left me with a very bad feeling of what went on. There was enough information to show that we need to take a serious look at what happened”. Originally, Katehi authorized the removal of tents from the grounds, but not the use of pepper spray.
Students and faculty of UC Davis have been expressing their anger with how the police force handled the situation. Nathan Brown, an assistant professor of English said in an open letter “Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.”
Eleven students were treated for injuries, two of which were transported to the hospital. Ten students were arrested, but all have been released.
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