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

(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.

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)
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