November 23, 2011

[The above video footage shows the pepper spraying incident on UC Davis campus last week.]

UC Davis' embattled chancellor said campus police officers defied her orders when they used pepper spray on peaceful Occupy protesters last week.

Chancellor Linda Katehi's statement comes as outrage continued over the incident, which was caught on tape.

During an interview with the Sacramento Bee, Katehi said, "We told the police to remove the tents or the equipment."

"We told them very specifically to do it peacefully, and if there were too many of them, not to do it, if the students were aggressive, not to do it. And then we told them we also do not want to have another Berkeley."

Katehi said that she doesn't know who decided who to use the pepper spray, but that Police Chief Annette Spicuzza was part of an "emergency conference call" before the incident took place, and that on Saturday Spicuzza claimed it was Lt. John Pike who made the decision.

Lt. John Pike, and another officer wearing riot gear and the campus police chief have all been placed on paid administrative leave.

Katehi has resisted calls for her resignation in recent meetings with students, and yesterday called for dropping charges against 10 people who were arrested and paying the medical expenses of students who were pepper-sprayed.

Eleven of the victims were treated for the effects of pepper spray which include burning to the eyes and nose, shortness of breath, gagging and coughing.

Police have been ordered to remain on call for emergencys, but to otherwise remain out of site on the campus.

Meanwhile, former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton will head a UC-sponsored investigation into the incident. Bratton is to lead an independent review and report his findings within a month, UC President Mark G. Yudof said.

Katehi said it was time officials "recognize that we are a campus of the 21st century, and students have different needs and different expectations of how to express themselves, and yet we have protocols of 30 or 40 years ago. And we have a police force that has been trained for the incidents we dealt with 20 or 30 years ago."

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