Yamada: Pepper-Spraying of Protesters ‘Disturbing’

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DAVIS — Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) has expressed concern about the pepper-spraying of student protesters on the UC Davis campus on Friday, which has been widely seen on YouTube and in news broadcasts.

The protesters, who had been arrested in connection with an overnight encampment on the campus Quad, were sitting on the ground and offering no resistance at the time.

“The disturbing pepper-spraying of non-violent UC Davis students is now under independent investigation,” Yamada said Sunday in a Facebook post. “As fact-finding proceeds, kudos to the students and the greater campus community for showing restraint.

“Since Friday, I’ve been contacted by students, alumni and community members about the incident. My office will continue to monitor the situation closely.

“We’re all angry at the public disinvestment in higher education; kids and seniors, health, housing, transportation, and public safety have also been hard hit. With ‘trigger cuts’ looming, how we join forces to refocus our spending priorities is the biggest task ahead.”

UC Davis announced Monday that the chief of the campus Police Department, Annette Spicuzza, had been placed on administrative leave pending a review of the incident. The two police officers who appeared in the video were also placed on administrative leave on Sunday.

“As I have gathered more information about the events that took place on our Quad on Friday, it has become clear to me that this is a necessary step toward restoring trust on our campus,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

“I take full responsibility for the events on Friday and am extremely saddened by what occurred,” Katehi added. “I eagerly await the results of the review, and intend to act quickly to implement reforms that will safeguard the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in nonviolent protest.”

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office will conduct a review in collaboration with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department.

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4 Comments

  1. Cayenne pepper is one of the greatest health secrets in the world . The health benefits of cayenne pepper are many including preventing heart disease and cancer. The cops did these kids a favor.

  2. When will we start holding officers accountable for their brutality and excessive use of force? Evicting protesters is Unconstitutional and endangers the basic rights of EVERY last American. Is this the country we were raised in, were men and women are beaten, gassed, pepper-sprayed and arrested for their disapproval of the government? We have to be careful to protect our Constitutional Rights! Raise awareness and do your part with these free posters I designed for the movement on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/11/propaganda-for-occupy-movement.html

  3. Representation on

    I think the completely uncalled for violence of the police is a symptom of the continued decline of academic and student involvement in the governance of universities and the increased ruling of the university by the administration. Far too many of the faculty in our universities are year to year hires, they can and are dismissed in the blink of the eye by administrators.

    The administration is far too strong and the faculty and students are far too weak.

    Katehi was wrong when she said “Friday was not a day that would make anyone on our campus proud”. I was very proud of the restraint of the students, they couldn’t have been better. I applaud them on their restraint and their willingness to put themselves on the line for their beliefs.

    The campus police would be very unlikely to move into the administration building and pepper spray the administrators. I think that what needs to happen is placing faculty and students permanently and legally back in a meaningful and empowered loop in the governance of the university by administration, faculty and students. The administration, the faculty and the students should be widely recognized as being the bosses of the university police.

    The administration is horrifyingly strong in most American universities, the faculty and students terribly weak.

    Like American patriots during the revolutionary war, members of the university community should revolt if they are not given fair representation in the system in which they are workers and tax payers.

    The administration is far too strong and the faculty and students are far too weak.

    Time for a change, if not, we can say goodbye to American education as we knew it and that was one of the forces that made America great.

  4. Of course Yamada finds it disturbing, parasites and freeloaders are getting what they deserve and she wants more handouts given to them. How else will she be re-elected without the freeloader vote. I guess they will need the handouts since not many companies hire criminals and terrorists. Funny how these terrorists run and hide their leech faces. Is it not tresspassing when the terrorists do not have valid student ID? There maybe people in the building against their will so now they are kid nappers and terrorists, who knows. But they are costing the taxpayers money, something the occupy wastes do not understand, 1% has to support the useless 99%.

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