Report Slams UC Cops for Pepper Spray
Protesters posed no threat, says task force
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2012 2:51 AM CDT
Updated Apr 12, 2012 3:10 AM CDT
Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis, late last year.   (AP Photo/Thomas K. Fowler)

(Newser) – The pepper-spraying of protesters at UC Davis late last year should not have happened, a report from a task force at the California University has concluded. The study refutes campus cops' claims that Occupy protesters posed a violent threat and included many troublemakers from off campus, the Los Angeles Times reports. The incident received nationwide attention after Lt. John Pike was filmed pepper-spraying a line of seated protesters. Pike and the chief of campus police remain on paid leave.

"There is little factual basis supporting Lt. Pike’s belief that he was trapped by the protesters, or that his officers were prevented from leaving the quad. Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police," states the report, which notes that Pike used a stronger kind of pepper spray than he was trained in or authorized to carry. The report, which accuses police and administrators of bad planning and poor decision-making, recommends that the university review its procedures for handling protests.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Apr 12, 2012 12:06 PM CDT
Then they wonder why the citizens of America do not trust the cops. This is getting more like Nazi Germany 1939, your papers better be in order. It was the tea partiers that were carrying guns, but the Koch brothers own them.
Apr 12, 2012 11:34 AM CDT
Wow, that's awfully harsh...the task force is recommending the university "review its procedures for handling protests." Justice is done.
Apr 12, 2012 9:42 AM CDT
How sweet of a deal is that,. abuse a group of studentns with an unathorized pepper spraying and get a long paid vacation.