Some people thought the UC Davis students who were pepper soaked had it coming. They should have moved. They shouldn’t have been protesting. Or, in the charming words of Newt Gingrich, they should have a shower then get a job. What Gingrich and others fail to understand is what the police did at UC Davis was brutality. No need to take my word for it. You see The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the police chief and two other officers were put on paid leave as a result of the pepper spray matter and the Chancellor has requested an investigation by the District Attorney’s office.
“In a news release, campus officials said it was necessary to place police Chief Annette Spicuzza on leave to restore trust and calm tensions following Friday’s crackdown on the “Occupy UC Davis” encampment, which resulted in 10 arrests. The school has also placed two officers on administrative leave.”
UCD Police Lt. John Pike, UCD Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, and a fellow officer have been placed on leave. Pike is the guy who got his jollies out of going up and down the line of sitting students shooting military grade pepper spray in their faces and in some cases, their mouths.
Chancellor Linda Katehi is reported to have asked the District Attorney’s Office for an expedited investigation because she was inundated with reaction from alumni, students and faculty. This wasn’t merely a little discomfort. According to reports at least one of the students suffered nerve damage. There was bleeding. Some students got pepper spray right in their mouths.
Here is a video of the story. About half way through the video, David Buscho talks about what he heard the police say prior to the spraying. He also talks about the experience of being pepper sprayed: