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Alternate View of UC Davis Pepper Spraying

The Davis College Republicans have released footage they shot at the Occupy UC Davis protest where demonstrators were pepper sprayed. The footage shows a more complete account of the incident.

December 05, 2011

Comments (32)

Displaying 1 - 32 of 32

Dr. Leonard J. Mather, Ph @ 12/5/2011 6:47 PM

In teaching statistics and sampling specifically, it is imperative to get a full, complete representative sample when the entirety is not available. In this pepper spraying event, a sample snippet of a LEO spraying a seated student often triggers reactions responding to that one, small snippet of behavior. What led up to it, including chants with implied threats, total noncompliance of regulations were not visible at all on the single sampled snippets spread virally for the purpose of agitation or fostering discontent. Think of it as a tantrum thrown by a three-year old not getting his way. The spraying was correct.

Don Ray @ 12/5/2011 6:52 PM

Nope, the additional video didn't make the actions of the police appear any less disgusting. In fact, as a former combat military policeman and a civil law enforcement officer, I'm now even more critical of the actions of the police. They violated one of the most basic rules of confrontation: if you don't have the manpower, don't put the officers in the position where they could become surrounded --- even by people they're saying are peaceful. Time was on the side of law enforcement. They could have easily waited until they had back-up. Once they were surrounded, they had lost their ability to handle the situation. It must have been pretty embarrassing to have peaceful students offering the police safe passage. Regarding the words of the protesters, they were irrelevant.

David Orth @ 12/5/2011 7:36 PM

Don, just where do you suppose the UC Davis police could get enough officers from to have enough manpower to not be surrounded? I don't know where you've worked as a officer as you claim to have, but there isn't a police agency in the U.S that's large enough to put enough officers in an area that size to prevent a crowd that large from surrounding them. If a crowd of even 200 were to converge on the small town I work for there aren't enough officers in the entire county to pull that off. Words are never "irrelevant" what agency did you work for, if you did? Also, in my home state it is illegal to block the flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, which those sprayed obviously were. I am unaware of any state where that is not a crime. Dr. Mather is correct, the totality of the circumstances made the officer's actions quite correct and in keeping with the standard force continuum taught in police academies nationwide.

Joe @ 12/5/2011 7:45 PM

you liberal idiots disgust me. Move to china if you don't like the American way. Good bye!

Terri @ 12/5/2011 8:21 PM

You guys need to get it through your heads that it isn't just the U.S. Constitution that's being violated here. Amnesty International has issued an arrest decree for torturer G. W. Bush AND THEY'RE WATCHING YOU. You are violating international law.

Terri @ 12/5/2011 8:38 PM

You just released a video of yourselves violating international law. Do you see NOW that maybe you should have questioned becoming a military power under the illegal orders of a man who is wanted in international court for war crimes. STOP THIS. I'm not saying this for just the citizens. I'M SAYING IT FOR YOU.

Mike T. @ 12/5/2011 8:48 PM

It's astonishing how many people negate the 1st Amendment through these protests and comments across the spectrum. Like the US Constitution just doesn't exist at all. Assholes just skirt around it, most of the time not even making any reference to it, then repeating the dumb shit they did previously "It's illegal for them to be there!". Not by the the 1st Amendment jerko. The only point during a peaceful assembly police are allowed to break things up are when there is a clear an present danger typically called in by an outside source. Now seeing that there was no danger and the chancellor called the Police in(I want to be clear I don't blame the cops and their response although I have a problem with the heavy handedness of PERF tactics nationally) the chancellor should be prosecuted. As far as I'm concerned it's like pulling a fire alarm when there's no real fire.

George @ 12/5/2011 8:49 PM

Obviously the first video showing only what the protesters wanted people to see demonstrates how they wanted it to appear on their favor. After viewing the more complete video I have to side with the police. A peaceful protest is abiding to the rules of the environment you are in. When you start shouting vulgar words and begin to surround any individual either police or citizen it is a threat. There were more than enough attempts to have them leave and yet they refused. Liberals who do not see both sides to a situation and think their Sh%*t don't stink have got to go. This is America love it or leave it.

Climber777 @ 12/5/2011 9:25 PM

This just makes the actions of the police seem all the more irresponsible and unwarranted. A peaceful protest stupidly attacked by police is illegal in many ways and counter-productive. Let the people speak and be heard, so as to avoid more protests with more protesters and perhaps an increasing threat of violent resistance.

Climber777 @ 12/5/2011 9:30 PM

And stop with the "Love it or leave it" BS. It just doesn't hold water and reeks of you favoring more stringent control and greater restrictions of free speech.

jim @ 12/5/2011 11:34 PM

Ok all you uneducated students, learn the law before you protest. The taxpayers that are supporting your education are tired of it....

Brandon @ 12/6/2011 9:37 AM

I am glad that there is a video out now that showed the crowds actions instead of the 30 seconds of pepper spraying. Encircling the police and giving them demanding release of the arrestees and they will "let you leave" is a threat. Also it is implying that they are not free to leave at that point, where I work that is called false imprisonment, a gross misdemeanor, also known as a CRIME. Their free speech cannot infringe on other's rights, they could have protested on the quad lawn not restricting the flow of other pedestrian traffic who chose to excersice their liberty to freely walk in a public place. Don, where do you work that does not allow you or any other police officer not to take into account the verbal statements of suspects? If it were me I'd find another angency because that kind of stuff will get somebody hurt if not killed. Also, you of all people should know that the police rarely are ever able to have a perfect plan and execute that perfect plan, police work is 95% reaction to others actions.

Climber, if you think that we should let people "speak and be heard" to avoid more protests and the increasing threat of violent resistance, then I guess we should have let Al Qaeda be heard to avoid more violent attacks on this country right? That statement frightens me as an American citizen. The same goes for if the theif wants to steal or threaten more violent resistance, should the police let him take your stuff in order to avoid a possible more violent crime?

Shame on the University for suspending the Chief, they should be thankful that they didn't have to respond to dispurse the crowd.

joe @ 12/6/2011 12:27 PM

It was declared an unlawful assembly when tents-living structures were erected on private property... THE UC is private property... The protesters were given ample opportunity to leave... When you interlock arms and merely ignore the order to leave you have broken the law. PERIOD.

The police were very empathetic and restrained and only took action that was minimal in order to do their job.

try that in a city like L.A. it won't happen, why... because there are enough cops in the city to dwarf a protest.

BTW - demanding release of arrestees and marching toward police is a show of force in of itself... lynch mob comes to mind.protecting your face and ignoring a lawful dispersal order is willful and wanton disregard for the law, anyway you look at it.

John H @ 12/6/2011 2:14 PM

Don Ray - you're right, they were in a bad spot to begin with. Let's go hang the UC Davis administration for ordering them there, and for allowing the protestors to break the law in the first place. As far as a lawful protest, there are trespassing laws that apply, as well as camping ordinances. I think the use of calvary would have been more effective, with less force being needed. See the Nov 5 Nazi protest in Pomona for an example. It's on youtube. The cops in Davis got sucked in by the protestors at the behest of the college administration, who fomented the protest in the first place. What a fun place to work!

Mike @ 12/6/2011 3:01 PM

I can't applaud Dr. Mather enough for his untainted and precise, accurate, assessment. Thank you sir! And thanks as well to the Davis College Republicans for bringing "the rest of the story" to light. The actions viewed in the video clearly show that a mob was attempting to remove lawfully arrested persons from police custody, which is a lynching (hence the term "Lynch mob", which that large assemblage was), and yet another law which the alleged "peaceful protesters" blatently violated. Their profane comments and challenges, likely to incite an aggressive response, were also violations. The UC Police acted with dignity, professionalism, and EXTREME restraint. Freedom of speech in no way allows anyone to ignore the rule of law. In agreement with George, if the protestors don't like following U.S. laws, perhaps they could emmigrate to Syria or Iran and demonstrate there......

More anarchy than freedom of speech.

JJ @ 12/6/2011 5:15 PM

I had the pleasure of attending Cal State LA in the 60s when the "peaceful" demonstraters chased defense industry recruiters off campus and called in bomb threats during finals. It seems as though everybody has forgotten that the right to free expression ends at the tip of the other person's nose.

Demonstrators can peacefuylly assemble but when they block foot traffic, threaten to rescue persons in custody (they calling lynching in the Cal. Penal Code and it's a crime) and basically interfere with other people's rights and property, they are no longer peaceable and need to be dispersed. California law gives the officers the right to disperse such a crowd and if the protestors disagree, they should seek redress in a court of law.

As far as international law goes, it has no legitimate place in US courts, at least not yet. Once it does apply, you can kiss your rights to assemble and speak freely good bye.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to be a campus cop taking orders from a college president who hasn't the foggiest idea what law enforcement is all about. Cops enforce the law, they don't make it. If you have trouble with the laws, occupy Congrss or the legislature in Sacramento and let the college kids study in peace.

Pervect3 @ 12/6/2011 6:08 PM

Although the new video does give a better view of the situation than the 15 second clips the news has been running, the incident still seems to fall short on necessitating pepper spray.

To put things into perspective in Young v. County of Los Angeles (LASO) (655 F.3d 1156) the 9th circuit recently made some very important distinctions in regards to excessive force. In this case the court held against a deputy sheriff for using pepper spray on an uncooperative motorist.

The court ruled for the first time, to legally classify pepper spray as “intermediate force”. The standards for using pepper spray are now the same as that for Tasers. The court will consider 3 core factors to determine the reasonableness of the use of pepper spray: 1) severity of the crime, 2) evading or resisting arrest, 3) immediate threat to officers or others (which is the most important factor). The court has made it clear that officers must, when feasible, consider alternative methods (i.e. get more officers) and give a warning, if feasible.

Further, the court has drawn a distinction between actively resisting without violence (i.e. stiffening up or grabbing on to a fixed object to prevent being moved) and violently resisting (battering a cop) and that the former will not justify the use of intermediate force.

The court, although recognizing the need to take immediate control of a volatile situation, that need by itself does not justify the use of intermediate force without there being an immediate threat to the officers. This video does not show an articuable immediate threat and therefore the use of force would be deemed excessive. Again we should reserve judgment until more facts and video are released.

Zach Green @ 12/6/2011 6:14 PM

Seems to me in my opinion by watching this alternate view video that it stills doesn't justify the use of chemical weapons. Which according to the OPCW is what peeper spray is. If Sgt. Pepper Spray could I hope rest of the officers could as well.

Zach Green @ 12/6/2011 6:17 PM

George your comment didn't make sense to me. You said, "A peaceful protest is abiding to the rules of the environment you are in." Abiding to the rules would make it a parade not a protest. Think of what a protest is. Obviously the rules aren't right and that's why we are protesting to begin with. Just because things are doesn't mean they should be. In other words just because they have a badge doesn't make them right.

Zach Green @ 12/6/2011 6:23 PM

Joe, your comment doesn't make sense to me. First we aren't liberals. Get that right! Do you research on the movement. We don't agree with the left or rights this country needs big change. Second, speaking about china. This movement has a lot to do with the American economy in the sense of getting companies to stop outsourcing work to china. It has a lot to do with avoiding our dependence on china and start depending on Americans.

Richard @ 12/6/2011 6:34 PM

My My I'll bet the kid's moms & dads are so very proud seeing their kids acting like jackasses.The cops should have done more than pepper spray; hauled their asses off to jail and take the parents with them

George @ 12/6/2011 7:53 PM

Some people are ignorant and refuse to accept what are facts. Such facts are that the civil rights which people argue they have apply to police officers too. When protesters surround the police and begin to chant vulgarities and stating we will let you go when you release those you have arrested. THIS HAS STRAYED FROM A PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY... It is a threat. As stated on when crowds become angry or threaten violence or shouting insults this is enough for officials to stop the protest.

Anonymous Coward @ 12/7/2011 9:36 AM

I'm really glad I saw this video. It removes any doubt that the police violated generally accepted Use of Force guidelines and, more importantly, deployed pepper spray in a fashion which has been specifically denounced by the 9th Circuit Court of Appleals (the highest relevant court to issue a relevant ruling).

There is no longer any doubt whatsoever that Lt. Pike violated those students' 4th Amendment rights, per Headwaters v Humboldt.

Incidentally, you cannot have an informed opinion about this incident without reading that ruling. It came from California, concerned the use of pepper spray on protesters, and cost the police over $4.5million in legal fees (to lose).

John @ 12/7/2011 11:44 AM

As a conservative Libertarian I want to offer a couple of observations:
1) Don't liberals realize that George Bush is no longer president?
2) Shouldn't all students be allowed a peaceful learning environment?
3) There are too few police. Why not utilize the National Guard?

Schedlinski @ 12/7/2011 11:53 AM

Although the video puts the incident into context, it does not justify the pepper spraying. In fact, it appears that the UC Davis officers fundamentally do not understand when they can and cannot use OC. Under California law, OC spray can be used to disable people who are actively resisting, but cannot be used to gain compliance against those who are passively resisting (this was decided by the courts after the SF case of swabbing OC in demonstrators' eyes). Shaking the can of spray and warning protesters that they will be sprayed does not grant the officer authority to use the spray, any more than cocking his gun and telling them they will be shot if they don't move would give him the right to shoot them.

Jonathan Barnes @ 12/9/2011 3:34 PM

This in no way justifies the stupidity of police in pepper spraying students. Give me a break. Just because you may have the full right to do so, does not mean you should. Use common sense. These are students you are supposed to protect & serve. Not pepper spray like a bunch of dogs. The police are a bunch of puppets and they don't even know it.

irvin @ 12/11/2011 11:34 AM

This piece of propaganda shows how the University violated civil rights and the cops just picked up on the view that whateveer it takes, do it. You have police armed with shoulder arms- rifles, assault rifles and weapons not allowed civilians in CA attempting to force a crowd on unarmed citizens out of a public space. The cops should not have been there in the first place unless other groups threatened the protestors. This edited tape just shows how far people will go to stamp out protest. At least the cops didn't open fire with what appear to be fully automatic rifles they were carrying.

Will @ 12/14/2011 2:54 AM

The video did infact show that the group may or may not have been close to causing a riot at first. But any time a group, large of small, assembles as this group did what ever the reason, and the police arrive and ask them to break up the assembly and clear the area and and several arrest are made as in this video and that group surrounds the police and clearly make a threaten the police as this group did, then the entire group should have been arrested. The entire act was disturbing the peace and enciting a riot, which will land you a free ride to jail in any state. Maybe the police should have waited for more officers to arrive. But what if the officers that were on the scene was all that was avalible at the time. In that case you make due with what you have on hand. Just in case you are not aware , There's a shortage of police officers across the world. For those who think that the police were wrong in their decission need to go to the library and read the laws for their state when it comes to what they considered a peaceful protest. being a police officer my self these officers exercised great restraint.

R D @ 12/21/2011 5:09 AM

To all you freedom of speech guru's. the next time you are in a grocery store and some jerk is standing there yelling the worst profanities that you could imagine and your children are listening to it, we'll just let them go ahead on with their freedom of speech. heck why don't we just do away with all public nuiscance crimes and let people just do what they want when they're out in public. Let's let them fornicate in the parks or on the streets, curse up a storm and while were at, why don't we just do away the Police all together. After all we don't want the government controlling what we do at all. With that being said, the next time some jerk is robbing you or slapping your kids around, call a civil rights attorney not a cop because remember we don't want the Police. Lets just all smoke dope and gripe about our freedom while anarchy runs free.

PETALUMA123 @ 12/22/2011 3:52 PM

The narrator correctly points out that shaking the giant mace can was an obvious warning, Are we to assume if he racked his shotgun that warning would allow him to open fire? The chemical weapon is not a cattle prod. It is for defense. He should be fired.

r @ 1/22/2012 3:14 PM

This is why WE occupy...

John @ 3/7/2012 6:07 PM

Most here are overlooking the fact that camping in tents on the college campuss (Private Property of Davis) without the permission of the school is unlawful when asked to leave (602 CPC) Blocking the police from doing their duty is interfearing with police (148 CPC), as is resisting arrest. These youngsters got a blunt lesson in life and should learn to obide by the law of the land or leave the USA.

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