Police Pepper Spray #OWS Student Protestors Directly in their Faces at Occupy Davis

This is horrifying and brilliant all at once.

Today at Occupy Davis, a police officer approached a group of students sitting in a line peacefully on the ground, walked up and down the line and pepper-sprayed them directly in the face — as one would spray pesticide on weeds. What you’ll see in this video is such a callous display of police brutality, I don’t know how this police officer is going to go home and look at himself in the mirror.

As the students cry “Shame on you!” the police arrest a few students; but as the crowd circles them — non-threateningly, but insistent — the police begin to retreat. Then, amazingly, the students (via People’s mic) offer the retreating police a moment of peace: “We are willing to give you a brief moment of peace so that you may take your weapons and your friends and go. Please do not return.”

And the police do.

It’s frightening and amazing to watch:

Here’s contact information (via Twitter, of course):

Chancellor’s office (530) 752-2065

UC Davis police (530) 752-1727

The officer who pulled out the pepper spray was Lieutenant John Pike. 530-752-3989 japikeiii@ucdavis.edu

 

This is what non-violent resistance in the face of egregious police brutality looks like.

[cross-posted at ABLC]






136 replies
  1. 1

    You know, today, I just got myself in the eye with a bit of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap. It was agonizing and scary, and the one thing I was thinking, once thinking returned, was just how sadistically brutal the use of pepper spray must be, unless there’s a truly compelling reason to use it.

    It’s really scary that people blow this off. I wish everyone who thought that this kind of behavior was acceptable would be pepper sprayed themselves, just so they’d get the idea.

    Sure, it’s reasonable and effective if a person is endangering others. It might even be reasonable to enforce compliance in extreme situations, in which more violent procedures are more likely to result in more serious injuries. But the casual use should be seen as an extreme civil rights violation.

  2. 2
    Laura says:

    Awesome.

  3. 3

    Extraordinary footage. Kudos to the protesters for holding it together in the face of such wanton abuse of authority.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    The military makes every soldier experience CS gas. It sucks. It is different than pepper spray, but it stunningly unpleasant.

  5. 5
    Loneoak says:

    So fucking proud of my UC colleagues and students right now.

  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    If I’m off base let me know, but I’m not totally comfortable with posting the cop’s e-mail address. Seems a little too much like counter inspection territory. YMMV of course.

  7. 7
    Mack Lyons says:

    @Yutsano: As far as I’m concerned, he’s fair game.

  8. 8
    Palolo lolo says:

    Just sent him an email. The subject line was: I’m sure your mother is proud of you,pounding on such violent people.”

  9. 9
    Seebach says:

    @Yutsano: Police are either accountable to the public, or they’re not.

  10. 10
    daveX99 says:

    Wow. I don’t even know what that was. That’s some serious jedi mind-stuff there.

  11. 11
    Hawerchuk says:

    @Yutsano: the taxpayers gave him a handgun; the least he can do is let us email him when he screws up.

  12. 12
    Urza says:

    When I was in college my roommate was in security. He had to be pepper sprayed himself before he was allowed to carry it for use on duty.

    They kept a bucket of milk there when doing it to help clear the eyes quickly.

    He said it was one of the most agonizing things he could imagine, even when they could clean it off in a few seconds.

  13. 13
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It’s almost indescribable.

    I’ve been inadvertently hit with pepper spray. While it burns mores, it didn’t create the sensation of no oxygen being in the room the way CS gas does. I’ll always remember taking off that mask, the initial burning in the eyes and nostrils, followed by what felt like a complete inability to draw air.

  14. 14
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Here’s an iconic photo of the incident.

  15. 15
    CA Doc says:

    Wow, Aggies! I thought we had the reputation of being too focused on getting into vet or med school to be politically active, but that was impressive. I wish I was a big alumni donor-it would be sweet to call up the Chancellor’s office and rip them a new one for allowing that kind of police misconduct, and threaten to withhold my largesse. Alas, the little donations I make annually to UCD probably don’t buy me that kind of influence.
    Apparently it’s a challenging stretch to go from giving students tickets for riding a bike without a headlight to managing civil disobedience. And this happened in the Quad, a big open space in the middle of campus. The students weren’t blocking anything. Just outrageous behavior on the part of that officer.

  16. 16
    ABL says:

    @Yutsano: it’s his school-issued address. I think it’s fair. He’s accountable to the public for his actions. I trust that people here will use common sense when mailing an officer.

  17. 17
    Seebach says:

    @daveX99: Many cops are fundamentally cowards who get off on being given license by the state to use violence. They would be criminals only if they had more courage.

  18. 18
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Mouse Tolliver: Thanks for posting that. I headed over here to do so. That’s reaching Chris Rock paraphrase territory: “Goddamn, that’s police brutality.”

  19. 19
    daveX99 says:

    @Seebach:
    That looked pretty criminal to me. That was a pathetic little man. Yeesh.

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    @Yutsano: His official email address for official business? Fine by me. Home address? That would be over the line.

    Perhaps the chancellor’s email address would be better. Or the DA in Davis. Ask when charges will be filed for assault.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @ABL: Fair enough. The address is a public record so that assuages my discomfort level. Plus I’m eating my favorite Thai curry and I gave a guy my phone number today. I shouldn’t be so picky. :)

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Well, aren’t you special? Or am I being bitchy?

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Seebach says:

    @MikeJ: Why would it be over the line? If you don’t want to be harassed, maybe you shouldn’t abuse your power on camera. If you don’t do anything wrong, people don’t tend to hate you. Notice how the other cops who didn’t pepper spray protesters aren’t getting any ire?

  25. 25
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Twitter is saying that the official defense of this action is that police were concerned for their safety after being surrounded by students and thus force was necessitated.

    Does Officer Dingleberry really look like he’s concerned for his safety?

  26. 26
    piratedan says:

    would certainly be nice if he loses his job so he could be an ordinary citizen again and know fear.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @Seebach:
    Fallacy of the excluded middle. Just because they’ve managed to wrangle badges doesn’t mean they aren’t criminals, as any victim of police brutality will tell you.

  28. 28
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You are. But I kinda like it.

  29. 29
    Seebach says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s true. I just mean, they’re too cowardly to live a life of crime without the state sanction. If the government wasn’t giving them a pass on being a criminal, they’d be too scared to act as disgusting as they do.

  30. 30
    Tim says:

    Wow. the UCD quad. I spent hours hacky sacking there many years ago. It was and I expect still is a place where people sit and talk, eat, study, and, generally, hang. Davis is a peaceful place. That sort of violence is just astonishing.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @Seebach:

    If you don’t want to be harassed, maybe you shouldn’t abuse your power on camera.

    Because we’re supposed to be a nation of laws. He should be arrested, he should go to jail. People should not be using extra judicial means to punish him.

  32. 32
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Just saw this on Twitter:

    @ginalou: Has Congress declared pepper spray a vegetable yet?

    Sheer genius. I’d only suggest a slight rewrite. “Those officers were pepper-spraying the kids like Congress had declared it a vegetable.”

  33. 33
    Seebach says:

    @MikeJ: We’re supposed to be, yes. But that’s not what we are. It’s great how the powerless continue to play by the rules while the powerful will not. Maybe Jesus will give us a cookie.

    Let’s just see if the administration reprimands him. I expect not.

  34. 34
    Doug Danger says:

    Lots of yammering and not a single headline in Bronstein’s little fish wrap chronicle, which has been needling OO and OUCB.

  35. 35
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Tim: Can’t be that peaceful, or they wouldn’t have stocked the campus police with those helmets with blast shields and XXL utility belts.

  36. 36
    ally says:

    The Davis Enterprise did a good job on this.

    http://www.davisenterprise.com.....on-campus/

    Quoth the chancellor:

    “We deeply regret that many of the protestors today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested.”

  37. 37
    JenJen says:

    Just saw this for the first time on CNN, and was horrified.

    I don’t see how any normal American could look at that footage and shrug it off. I hope we (as a nation) don’t, but I’m not so sure anymore.

  38. 38
    Darkrose says:

    @Yutsano: Officer Fuckwit’s email address, phone number, and salary information is a matter of public record, as is that of any UC employee.

    I’d encourage folks to email chancellor@ucdavis.edu as well. For those of you not affiliated with UCD, please make sure to mention that, as well as the fact that this is negatively influencing your view of the school. Also, too, perhaps the recent incidents of racist harrassment on campus might have been handled better if the campus police weren’t so busy being assholes toward peaceful protestors.

    Katehi is trying desperately to burnish the school’s image in order to attract donors now that the state’s pretty much said “screw you” to higher education. She needs to know that this isn’t making the school look good.

  39. 39
    dollared says:

    @MikeJ: Hi Mike, where you and I live the City Attorney might just do that. Elsewhere?

    I think this is the crux of the issue. If we cannot re-establish the rule of law, we really will lose our democracy. That’s exactly where every attempt to fix the political culture in Latin America collapses.

    Absolutely amazing that we would throw our greatest accomplish away.

  40. 40
    dollared says:

    @Suffern ACE: I hope that was snark. YOu realize, of course, that they were free from Homeland Security, purchased at the fed level after millions in campaign donations to Republicans…..

  41. 41
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @JenJen: Back in 1997, there were some anti-logging protestors up in the Eureka/Arcata area, who were assaulted by police who rubbed liquid pepper spray onto their eyes with Q-tips while they were chained together on the ground. This is nothing new.

  42. 42
    platosearwax says:

    Am I the only one who can only get the mobile site? I can see each post in the desktop version but the main page will only show the mobile version (and the link at the bottom to switch to the desktop version tells me the URL is invalid). Tried in Firefox 9 and Chrome on Windows 7.

  43. 43
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @platosearwax: I can see the “regular” home page okay. I’m using Safari on Mac OS X 10.7.2.

  44. 44
    platosearwax says:

    Of course it was like that for a half hour and as soon as I post about it everything is fine. Serves me right for daring to comment!

  45. 45
  46. 46
    ABL says:

    @Joseph Nobles: don’t these fools realize that they are being recorded? perhaps they will claim they were recorded out of context.

  47. 47
    ABL says:

    @Yutsano: thai curry is the great equalizer.

  48. 48
    Darkrose says:

    @platosearwax: I can see the desktop site fine in Chrome on Windows 7.

  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m curious about something. Putting on — for a moment only! — my Darth Vader helmet, I might have considered, were I the commanding officer on scene, ordering my officers to shape up for a baton charge on the protesters. Yet these cops let the protesters shame them into beating a retreat. (By the way, were they town or campus police?)

    I wouldn’t put a baton charge at the kids past any group of cops, not if a senior officer among them was enough of a mean bastard to pepper-spray nonviolent protesters. They teach riot cops to be mean bastards everywhere. Does anyone remember the Bersih 2.0 demonstration last July, here in Kuala Lumpur? There’s YouTube video footage of the Royal Malaysian Police tear-gassing the compound of a private hospital; some of the hospital’s wards have windows that face the compound, and the medical staff were furious.

  50. 50
    Darkrose says:

    Oh, and for the record, the official line from the Chancellor’s Office is basically, “Those kids shouldn’t have stuck their faces in front of the pepper spray like that!”

    Following our requests, several of the group chose to dismantle their tents this afternoon and we are grateful for their actions. However a number of protestors refused our warning, offering us no option but to ask the police to assist in their removal. We are saddened to report that during this activity, 10 protestors were arrested and pepper spray was used. We will be reviewing the details of the incident.

  51. 51
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    “…, I don’t know how this police officer is going to go home and look at himself in the mirror.”

    Easy, while on paid administrative leave. Until he is cleared, then he can return to terrorizing undesirables, as usual.

  52. 52
    nancydarling says:

    In other California news, if you want to spice up your sex life, it is best to keep it in doors! I spoke to my son yesterday AM and family members of an acquaintance decided to take it to Lover’s Lane to make out and more. A cop happened by and ticketed them. I don’t know what the exact charge is but the fine is $2000.00—very expensive sex! Whatever happened to “Put your clothes on and go get a room”? My son reports people getting ticketed for all sorts of things that used to elicit a lecture and a warning. I suspect budget problems have led to stricter enforcement and punishment for our venial sins which happen to cross over into the penal codes.

  53. 53
    Chuck Derperton says:

    @Mouse Tolliver:

    I can’t tell if Tubby McHandlestache looks bored or mildly conflicted.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    nancydarling:

    I suspect budget problems have led to stricter enforcement and punishment for our venial sins which happen to cross over into the penal codes.

    Or penile codes.

    .

  55. 55
    magurakurin says:

    No one can know for sure what those cops were thinking, but it looked to me that, for most of them, their heart really wasn’t in it. It looked like a few of them, after hearing “shame on you” 50 times, actually were, shamed. That they decided to leave could be a telling sign. It was only a small demonstration, but when the instruments of state violence begin to refuse to exercise that violence it isn’t a good sign for the powers that be. This might be only a trickle, but if the cops start to sympathize with the protesters, the 1% should seriously begin to look at exit strategies.

    I beginning to think the the elites in the US and the World at large have really screwed the pooch for themselves. They got too greedy and pay back just might be coming around the bend here. Too soon to tell, but the eviction of OWS might have been a major tactical mistake on the part of the those who wish the demonstrations to stop. I think things are going to intensify.

  56. 56
    nancydarling says:

    @JGabriel: I thought of that after I hit the submit button.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @magurakurin: I beginning to think the the elites in the US and the World at large have really screwed the pooch for themselves. They got too greedy and pay back just might be coming around the bend here.

    I so hope you are right! Mr WereBear showed me this morning that Paul Ryan is calling for raising taxes on those too poor to pay taxes.

    That’s not being tone deaf. That’s being paid by somebody who is tone deaf.

  58. 58
    Mark S. says:

    Fuck, I don’t have any problem with publishing this asshole’s email address and phone number. I also wouldn’t have any problem with TV crews parked on his lawn and his life being a living hell for a couple of weeks. If that would make the next Officer McChubberson a little more hesitant to fucking pepper spray nonviolent protesters in the face in a nonchalant manner like he’s spraying pesticide on his geraniums, it would all be worth it.

    Is our officers learning?

  59. 59
    xian says:

    @Mouse Tolliver: is it wrong to notice that that cop looks like a fat-ass?

  60. 60
    xian says:

    @Joseph Nobles: classic excuse that lies about sequence, cause and effect. much easier to pull off before pocket videocameras.

  61. 61
    r€nato says:

    a cop is a professional bully. Here’s your proof.

  62. 62
    r€nato says:

    @xian: no.

  63. 63
    r€nato says:

    @JenJen: I look forward to Tea Partiers protesting this egregious abuse of government authority and the Constitutional rights of citizens.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  64. 64
    lee says:

    It looks like they only took off a few of the protestors leaving most of them there.

    Am I correct?

  65. 65
    Mike Silva says:

    The pepper spray is bad, but in the video, just before they deployed it, you can hear them threaten to shoot the students in the back with their non-lethal guns.

    Not sure what those guns are shooting, with those paintball like loaders on top, but I’m guessing small round rubber bullets. Thing is, those are mostly ‘non-lethal’ until they start flying towards heads…something that seems prone to happen when you have a bunch of tubby donut eaters shooting at the backs of seated protesters from a standing position.

  66. 66

    […] of my favorite blogs has a inspiring example of UC Davis students’ reaction to gratuitous violence by thugs wearing the uniform of the UC […]

  67. 67
    Mary McCurnin says:

    How long before the police start using bullet? It will happen.

  68. 68
    Atticus Dogsbody says:

    Here, this’ll take the edge off

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8-YMpYbRqY

    It’s a song about the orange footed scrub fowl.

  69. 69
    reallygonecat says:

    The time for protest is over.

  70. 70
    Lojasmo says:

    A couple of points:

    Pepper spray is SUPPOSED to go in faces.

    He clearly demonstrated his intention.

    That being said, that was brutal, and I damn near cried when the protesters drove those fuckers out.

  71. 71
    MikeBoyScout says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  72. 72
    Pat In Massachusetts says:

    Very, very useful information for those parents who plan on suing every entity involved in this horrible act.

    I hope John Pike will never ever work again. Of course, as always the biggest losers will be his own children, if he has any.

  73. 73
    Bob says:

    The police used reasonable force to arrest people who were committing a crime. They didn’t beat or shoot these people. If you want to protest, get a permit. If you want to block access to buildings without a permits, that’s a crime.

  74. 74
    mirele says:

    I am so proud of these young people. They stood up to the police in the face of police violence and did not respond with violence. That must have been so tempting. What an amazing thing to see. What wasn’t so amazing was that this video shows yet again that we live in a police state.

  75. 75
    MikeBoyScout says:

    What does a police state look like?????

  76. 76
    andrewsomething says:

    Thanks for posting this ABL.

  77. 77
    Robert says:

    I think it’s great that a video showing the full context of an altercation was posted of this event. From what we see, there is no doubt that this officer acted inappropriately. This is the kind of thing that makes people believe all law enforcement officials get off on violence. This one officer clearly does and should be punished to the full extent of the law. He is not representative of all officers and should be made an example of to put a little fear into the “fuck em” attitude officers across the country.

  78. 78
    Felanius Kootea says:

    That was amazing. I may be projecting but it didn’t seem to me like the other officers (besides Pike) were comfortable with the pepper spraying.

  79. 79
    Bob says:

    Robert: The officers acted appropriately. In the scale of force which officers can use to arrest an individual, pepper spray is the lowest. The pepper spray helps subdue the criminal, and makes it easier to arrest them. If not for the pepper spray, they would have to go “hands-on” with the protesters, and someone would probably get hurt badly.

  80. 80
    Bob says:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    However, the Supreme Court has found that the right to assemble is subject to time, place and manner restrictions. If you want to protest, get a permit. If you block access to a building without a permit, you are committing a crime and could be arrested.

    As an aside, protesters blocked access to my building two days ago. I lost about $400 in income as a result.

  81. 81
    tommybones says:

    Banner on the UC Davis homepage, I kid you not:

    “A Community That Embraces Civility”

  82. 82
    Lol says:

    He pretty clearly *is* representative of all police officers because they *always* close ranks to protect him. Bad apples rot the whole barrel.

  83. 83
    Maine Independent says:

    @Mouse Tolliver:

    Send him the photo. He’s a fat faced brutal as*hole. He should be charged.

  84. 84
    Joel says:

    Emailing the officer himself (or contacting him) won’t have the desired effect. I’d focus energy on contacting his superiors.

  85. 85
    ellenbrenna says:

    After the liquid pepper spray in the eyes incident mentioned above courts ruled that such practices did not constitute an abuse of police power or cruel and unusual punishment.

    The police are free to torture you in order to facilitate your arrest. They have been for years. He may be put on leave but he won’t get charged with anything because our court system has already determined that it is legal.

  86. 86
    esther says:

    If the police excuse is they were afraid for their safety, it wasn’t the protesters sitting down that were threatening it in anyway. Not that the surrounding crowds were either. but if you have a crowd that won’t disperse and you’re trying to move into it or they’re pushing against you, you could possible rationalize it then to prevent them from pushing. IF you believe in such tactics.

    They retreated because they knew they had fucked up badly. I think a few of them must have realized that they better get the hell out of there before some of those boneheads did something they would really regret. What are those guns loaded with?

  87. 87
    Bob says:

    Esther states:

    “If the police excuse is they were afraid for their safety, it wasn’t the protesters sitting down that were threatening it in anyway.”

    If police officers are in fear of bodily harm, they can use force greater than pepper spray, including tasers, batons, and firearms, depending on the level of threat.

  88. 88
    russell says:

    Watch the video and tell me which group of people – cops or protestors – looks afraid.

    I won’t be sending John Pike any emails, because it will just give him an excuse to feel persecuted. But fuck him.

    Phone calls to the University folks, however, seem totally appropriate.

  89. 89
    El Tiburon says:

    This is the definitive video to date. So moving and powerful.

  90. 90
    g says:

    I’m not totally comfortable with posting the cop’s e-mail address.

    It’s his professional address. I don’t see a problem here.

  91. 91
    Judas Escargot, Populist Asshole says:

    @mirele:

    I am so proud of these young people. They stood up to the police in the face of police violence and did not respond with violence.

    The PTB have been trying to hand-wave this away as a cheap repeat of “the 60s” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). But that was 2-3 generations ago. Temperaments seem to have changed.

    The cops have laws, tactics and equipment at their disposal that they didn’t have back then. But so do the protestors.

  92. 92
    Samara Morgan says:

    Just in case you didnt know Jeff “OUTLAW” Goldstein was an incredibly sleazy asswipe, here he is in training for the James O’Keefe Award exploiting minors on Youtube.

    Does the Right really think the War on Young American People is going to be a winner for them?
    They already lost the War on Terror Islam.

  93. 93
    Julia7 says:

    I’m a grad student at UC Davis and I’m proud of how the students handled this and my sense is student activities will be intensifying. The pepper spray use was police brutality, with more brutality after the spraying. Chancellor Katehi’s letter sent to all students today seeks to alienate the protestors by implying they aren’t students, and using the right wing mantra of “safety” as her biggest concern (how many times did we hear that after 9/11 as our rights were being stripped away one by one?). Most of the police do appear to be appalled and saddened which is probably why they made the good decision to retreat.

  94. 94
    Mike G says:

    @Joel:

    Emailing the officer himself (or contacting him) won’t have the desired effect. I’d focus energy on contacting his superiors.

    The cops will brush off complaints. Contact the UC Davis administrators, admins at other campuses or better still the UC Office of the President in Oakland or the UC Regents. If you’ve ever donated to a UC, let them know you’ll be stopping and why. The UC is hard-up for money, and witholding your $ will speak louder than anything else.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Dave says:

    ABL,

    You always so vehemently defend Obama, and I’m sure he is very, for lack of a better term, gun-shy about taking on the police, even rhetorically. But how can anyone see what is happening to the #OWS supporters nationally and not see Obama as a hypocrite for not speaking up about these abuses when he so eloquently spoke up about the police abusing protesters in Tahrir Square in Egypt?

    I’m curious about how you see it.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  97. 97
    vtr says:

    They were merely following orders.

  98. 98

    […] torturing of peaceful protestors with chemical weapons in the American Police State continues. The whole story and video at Ballon-Juice is pretty amazing: “Today at Occupy Davis, a police officer approached a group of students sitting in a line […]

  99. 99
    burnspbesq says:

    @MikeJ:

    Or the DA in Davis.

    The Yolo County DA’s office is on Facebook and Twitter. Give them a piece of your mind.

  100. 100
    burnspbesq says:

    @Bob:

    As an aside, protesters blocked access to my building two days ago. I lost about $400 in income as a result.

    Oh, bullshit. Go to the nearest Starbucks, buy yourself a big Signature Hot Chocolate, and work remotely. If you don’t have everything you need to work anywhere in the world on a USB drive on your keychain, you fucking deserve to lose that revenue. It’s 2011. Get with the fucking program.

    You lie.

  101. 101
    tom says:

    There are photos floating around of “direct to the face” pepper-spraying at Portland and NYC OWS protestors as well, who were also not being confrontational (at least to the extent that required use of pepper-spray). Granted, that’s how you’re supposed to use pepper-spray, aim at the face, so at least the officer is using it correctly.

  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @Bob:

    The police used reasonable force to arrest people who were committing a crime.

    Are you a lawyer? You do realize these terms have legal definitions for a reason.

    As an aside, protesters blocked access to my building two days ago. I lost about $400 in income as a result

    LOLWUT?? What kind of a business are you in that your mere presence in an office at a precise moment determines your income stream?

  103. 103
    goblue72 says:

    @Bob: How do the bottoms of those boots taste that you most clearly love to lick? Feels good polishing those boots with your tongue, like a good lackey?

  104. 104
    r€nato says:

    @Bob: please elaborate re: the $400. I’d like to hear this.

  105. 105
  106. 106

    […] Balloon Juice: As the students cry “Shame on you!” the police arrest a few students; but as the crowd […]

  107. 107
    Aggie alum '94 says:

    Appalled and disgusted

  108. 108
    Gustopher says:

    Lawsuits are the only things that will stop this. Against the officer and against the department.

    A use of force against non-violent protesters is almost always in violation of local, state and/or federal laws. Getting the DA to prosecute is nearly impossible, so go the civil route.

  109. 109

    Robert: The officers acted appropriately. In the scale of force which officers can use to arrest an individual, pepper spray is the lowest. The pepper spray helps subdue the criminal, and makes it easier to arrest them. If not for the pepper spray, they would have to go “hands-on” with the protesters, and someone would probably get hurt badly

    Nod. See, you have to remember: the reason we have laws, and law enforcement agencies, is that people are supposed to serve the law.

    This namby-pamby bullshit about how the *people* have power, and the power of governance comes from the consent of the governed, this stupid-ass idea of a government of, by, and for the people, that’s all ancient history. The only nation founded on those principles was probably the USSR or something – there’s a US in the name, I’m sure. And that country is dead and gone!

    No, you have to understand: these people were upsetting *important* people, and causing them a huge amount of pain (while being unlikely to cause any permanent injury) was perfectly justified because there’s a nice excuse from a police procedure manual you can slap on it! As long as the police parrot that excuse, they can’t be prosecuted for wrongdoing.

    And we all know that if someone can’t be legally prosecuted for wrongdoing, then *nothing actually happened*.

    For example, if a person beats you up, and there are no witnesses, and you didn’t see the assailant, then there’s no way to prosecute the crime.

    And that means *you weren’t beaten up after all*. Right? “We’re not allowed to prosecute” is the same as “it didn’t happen”.

    Y’all pathetic people who believe that people have *civil rights* should be more like Bob, insisting that cops are allowed to cause pain to people, just because the police manual says pepper spray is the lowest on the scale of force. (I bet the rubber hose and the bar of soap in a sock are the next lowest. But I think the pepper spray has the advantage of being *officially* approved for use on annoying people.)

  110. 110
    George says:

    Personally i belived if you are to be trained with a taser, you shold be tased, and training to use pepper spray should in clude bieng sprayed…. That should help with some of the abuses\

  111. 111
    Pooleside says:

    Between the NYC demonstrations on Thursday and this video, how can anyone be fooled by what the media or official spokesmen tell them?

    Practically everyone in that crowd not directly participating is recording the event. There was so obviously no threat to the officers, and no disruption of normal campus activity, prior to the spraying.

    After the spraying, and the shock, lots of students gathered around.

    The establishment is busy destroying itself.

  112. 112
    Uriel says:

    Just as an aide, but there are any number of business where physical access to the place of business is prety much essential to making sales: pretty much all of retail, anything in food and beverage, a whole host of service based industries, etc.

    I mean, sure, youn can bring everything you need to give $10 haircuts to the local coffee shop, but they’re not likely to be very accomidating- and you’ll probably notice a decease in walk-in traffic regardless.

  113. 113
    Stan M says:

    I submit to you for consideration the idea that police are human beings too, and at least in some parts of the country they must be very wearing of exercising restraint while attempting to ride herd over these urban Burning Man events. Moreover, some of the same police might actually be in sympathy with the Occupants. Imagine how difficult THAT makes their lives.

    It’s unreasonable to expect that some people will not react inappropriately after having been taunted for a long period of time.

    Whether that’s true in this particular case I can’t say. Wasn’t there, haven’t yet seen the video. But I do know that when people with strong opinions start dehumanizing the people who disagree with them, trouble is inevitable. So I think there is plenty of blame to be spread around.

  114. 114
    Stan M says:

    Beware of fools in large numbers. Whether they are police or Occupants. Anyone who expects that a protracted period of aggravation won’t result in people acting out of frustration is living in a fantasy world.

  115. 115
    Duane says:

    @Yutsano: Police Officers are very familiar with the saying “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Lieut. Pike violated police protocols by using pepper spray without provocation and if he gets a few angry e-mails because of it – that doesn’t seem at all like an overreaction compared to his overreaction and incompetence. Lieut. Pike’s ineptitude proves everything Occupy protesters want to expose – that power unchecked results in the corrupt abuse of power.

  116. 116
    Court Jester says:

    @Bob: And what exactly was their crime, o wise one? I didn’t realize a dozen students sitting on the ground and not moving was on the books as a crime. It’s not like the police couldn’t walk around them.

    I question your idea of “reasonable” if you agree with this. Can I safely assume that you would have thought the use of firehoses and police dogs against protesters during the Civil Rights movement was also “reasonable”?

  117. 117
    Court Jester says:

    @Pat In Massachusetts: If this is Mr. Pike’s idea of reasonable force, then any children that he may have are very likely suffering already.

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @r€nato:
    I would as well. If Bob was blocked for entire 8 hour shift that’s $50/hr. Maybe Bob owns a business that would be affected if access was totally blocked. I do own a retail business but for me if Occupy was protesting outside my shop, I’d join them. And long term I think that would be better for business than having the cops haul them away. But I haven’t heard any businesses being blocked for any length of time.

  119. 119
    gluon1 says:

    Not to be pedantic, but I hear it as “so that you may take your weapons and our friends and go.” To my ear, that’s an even more powerful sentiment; we’re willing to let you finish your arrests, however much we may disagree with your basis therefor, but you shall do no more.

  120. 120
    Jules says:

    Campus police officers are not real police officers. They are people didn’t make it throught he vetting process for city, county, state law enforcement. They are Paul Blarts’ who are allowed to carry weapons.

  121. 121
    Trakker says:

    A Kent State moment? This will go viral on campus all over the country and it will piss of a lot of students and spur them into action.

    Police are supposed to keep the peace. They are supposed to diffuse tense situations, not turn them into explosive situations.

    Most police departments work hard at achieving that goal. I’m willing to bet that cops all over the country will slap their foreheads in exasperation as they watch Officer Pike brandish his can of pepper spray and hold it up triumphantly for all to see just before he sprays the faces of those students peacefully sitting on the ground. What an asshole!

    Officer Pike and whoever ordered him to take that action should be fired immediately.

    On the other hand, we just might owe Officer Pike a vote of thanks if this video enrages enough students on other campuses to get them working on their own protests.

  122. 122

    I submit to you for consideration the idea that police are human beings too, and at least in some parts of the country they must be very wearing of exercising restraint while attempting to ride herd over these urban Burning Man events. Moreover, some of the same police might actually be in sympathy with the Occupants. Imagine how difficult THAT makes their lives.

    Sorry, but no one gets to violate the rights of the citizenry, not even when they’re tired and justifiably cranky.

    It doesn’t matter if we know that humans will snap on occasion, and do something they wouldn’t normally. That kind of behavior *still* has to be punished. Sometimes the fear of punishment is all that keeps a person from acting.

    It’s true: there are probably going to be some otherwise decent cops who will snap, and do something wrong (like needlessly pepper spray people) and then, after being punished, go on to be fine officers, having learned their lesson. You shouldn’t paint the cop’s entire life story from a single incident. But neither should you ignore the incident.

  123. 123
    DivaBabe says:

    @Mouse Tolliver: Not for nothing, but what a fat, toady-looking little man. No wonder he has such a Napoleon complex.

  124. 124

    Renato, your comment is pitch-perfect. Where are all these people who were so concerned about government overeach and the Constitution? Oh right, unless it’s gun laws, the tyranny of universal healthcare or taxes, they don’t give a fuck about the Constitution.

  125. 125
    pat says:

    I haven’t read any comments yet, but I just watched the video and HOLY CRAP I wish I were 50 years younger. I missed the 60’s by being a good girl…

    Too late to go to the front lines, perhaps, but I signed the Recall Scott Walker petition yesterday.

    It seems that we are reaching Kent State conditions here, and if the National Guard had had pepper spray then, maybe those students would be alive today. That leads to the second thought, thank goodness the cops have pepper spray so they don’t have to resort to bullets….

    Aside from the chosen “weapons,” the scenario is pretty similar.

    I hope the parents of the students who were assaulted (there’s no other description for what happened to them)
    SUE THE PANTS off the university and anyone else they can think of. I hope lawyers are lining up to represent them.

  126. 126
    Steadysteve says:

    @rEnalto (don’t have the euro sym)
    We Tea Party types are prepping for a different type of response to gov’t abuse of authority. Think American Revolution 2. Who do you think is buying up all the guns and ammo?

  127. 127
    Sgaile-beairt says:

    “Disperse, ye rabble!”

    But it’s the 21st century…

  128. 128
    Sgaile-beairt says:

    …and the rabble, armed only with this millennium’s version of The Pen, disperses the armed soldiery instead, without blood being shed.

    Ah, Cruikshank! thou shouldst be living at this hour…!

  129. 129
    Duckman GR says:

    I watched that video, and I hope that a lot of people see the whole thing, not just the pepper spraying. On the one side, the police and their guns and pepper spray, on the other, a bunch of students armed with videos of the police in action. Yeah, the students are angry, justifiably so, but they really aren’t threatening, they’re just yelling at the cops for the actions of one Officer, a Lieutenant mind you, not a Patrol Officer, but a manager and decider.

    People like Bob just follow orders. People like Pike and the Chancellor do the same but with the knowledge of why, and so should know better than a simple soul like Bob would, how wrong their actions are.

    The things that have happened in this country that have led to the current state of affairs are wrong, people know it, and some people are finally saying enough. I’m sick of this crap, of watching our civil law enforcement being used in such a way as to violate every founding principle of this nation. These tactics of overwhelming force being used against people for essentially getting in the way is simply unacceptable.

    You would think the Occupiers are a bunch of vicious drug cartel thugs, or gangs of al Queada terrorists storming our public spaces and inflicting murder and mayhem. Yet as this video shows, they aren’t. There was nothing threatening about the crowds behavior, unless you’re a gutless coward crapping your pants every time someone says boo. “Shame on you?” That was threatening? That was all they did, crowd around and yell at them, “Shame on you!”

    And that is typical of the threatening nature of the Occupations that I have seen, and for that we get masses of riot police busting heads and shooting “non-lethal” projectiles and flash bang grenades and pepper spray.

    This phrase really needs to be addressed in our political dialogue, “or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” because to my mind there really isn’t anything in there about getting permission, in fact, I would argue, that trumps any stupid rule the police can manufacture. Too bad our right to assemble inconveniences people like Bob, but as they say, the next time they’ll be coming for you.

    So right on, UCD students, RFO!!

  130. 130
    coldcutcombo says:

    a battle may have been won, but the war carries on

  131. 131
    DHFabian says:

    I saw the news film of the police actually pepper-spraying seated citizens who were exercising their Constitutional right to peaceful assembly and to express dissent. It was truly the most anti-American act I have seen in a very long time. It was an unlawful, unwarranted and dangerous attack on American citizens, and should be dealt with as such. Can the US government afford to allow a group of quasi-military, armed individuals to use force to crush dissent? To censor the American people? Does this not meet our definition of “terrorism”? THIS is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately by Congress and by the president. If we don’t demand a public answer, the violence against citizens will escalate.

  132. 132
    DHFabian says:

    coldcutcombo: The war has been going on for years already, but it only recently began hitting the middle class hard enough for them to notice.

  133. 133
    shano says:

    ABL: here is the decisive link of our national police state and Homeland Security:

    Chuck Wexler, head of group that coordinated police crackdown on #Occupy serves on Dept of Homeland Security council http://is.gd/FByuu2

    So, will you publish this and let the truth stand on merits?

  134. 134
    Tom says:

    Here comes Kent State all over again, it’s just a matter of time . . .
    You’d think the govt. would “learn” from their mistakes – now i’m beginning to wonder whether it was a “mistake” on their part.
    What are we, Syria now?

  135. 135
    Achymama says:

    If you are willing to post the contact information for this cop that was doing his job, then post the contact information of every jerkwad that was NOT complying with the order to leave and while you’re at it, post YOUR OWN contact information – phone number included. I believe in the freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom of privacy, and freedom from hurtful acts like yours. I most definitely DO NOT believe a crowd of people who do not comply with the rule or the law (as in other “occupy x” are doing”) won’t become violent when not getting their way. When we become a lawless mob, we lose our civility, we lose our humanity.

    So, is this a protest against tuition? Ask the teachers/educators/professors if they will take less in pay and benefits. You know, those that scream that they do not make enough money, yet I have never been so horrified at the incorrect grammar or spelling which must come from an inferior education. They do not even have an idea of what our country is. It is NOT a democracy which is “MOB rule, or majority wins” type of system, we have a Republic! We have a representative amount of votes so that a state with a small population has a “voice” and is not ruled by the overpopulated states.

    While I am at what I believe in – I believe I do not owe any of these spoiled people a free “education”. Anything worth having is worth EARNING. I also do not believe I owe them a living. See previous sentence. The American Dream has been perverted to a sense that this generation of “Me, me, me and more me” thinks it means a glut of “stuff”. Amidst the dust of their protests, they are endangering our LIBERTY which is already teetering on a thread. Without LIBERTY, the rest is worth NOTHING!

    When a herd of people block the rest of the population from any public location, where is the outrage for those of US blocked? If the park/campus/road/subway, you name it, has rules – then why in the heck should anyone think that those rules should be thrown out at THEIR whim? Why is the OWS banging drums and creating the ruckus we see on screen? Peaceful? They are the percentage that will bring us down. I mean down hard, too. They aren’t even smart enough to see it.

    There will ALWAYS be some jerk in the crowd that is over hyped and ready to cause problems and that simply cannot be disputed. Given the rage and hype shouted and chanted in groups like this, it is always volitile under the surface and only takes seconds to become uncontrollable and dangerous.

  136. 136
    ChoeJoe says:

    Achymama… thank you.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Balloon Juice: As the students cry “Shame on you!” the police arrest a few students; but as the crowd […]

  2. […] torturing of peaceful protestors with chemical weapons in the American Police State continues. The whole story and video at Ballon-Juice is pretty amazing: “Today at Occupy Davis, a police officer approached a group of students sitting in a line […]

  3. […] of my favorite blogs has a inspiring example of UC Davis students’ reaction to gratuitous violence by thugs wearing the uniform of the UC […]

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