Davis Students Sue Chancellor, UCD Police

    Also named in the suit is UC Police Lt. John Pike, the officer who was recorded blasting pepper spray at over a dozen Davis Occupy protesters on Nov. 18. Videos of the spraying went viral, and were iconic for many Occupy Movement supporters.

    The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Feb. 23 that Pike, UCD Police Chief Annette Spicuzza and another officer involved have all been put on administrative leave with pay while the investigation continues. One of the plaintiffs is UC Davis student David Buscho, who was pepper sprayed during the protest.

    “It was extremely painful and totally disorienting,” Buscho told the Los Angeles Times.

    Meanwhile, the faculty at UC Davis voted 697 to 312 in favor of continued support for Katehi as chancellor last month. Only around 50 percent of UCD faculty members participated in the Feb. 16 No-Confidence vote, which was made available through email to the entire faculty.

    During the same poll, UCD faculty also voted to condemn the pepper spray incident, the police and their use of excessive force in the protests.

    UC President Mark G. Yudof released a statement on Feb. 16 supporting Katehi and the UCD faculty.

    “She has my full support,” Yudof wrote. “In response to recent protest-related controversies, the chancellor has demonstrated both her integrity as a leader and her personal empathy for all members of the UC Davis community.”

    Last year, Yudof hired a task force to investigate the incident and provide feedback for future conflict prevention and management as well as suggested course of action on the pepper spray issue. On Feb. 15, task force chair and former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso sent Yudof a letter updating him on the force’s progress.

    “The Task Force believes that it is imperative to have a complete understanding of the events that took place on that afternoon,” Reynoso wrote.

    Reynoso said that a full report would be released in early March. According to the UCD website, the report would be available for download from the UC Davis website on March 6.

     

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