Report On UC Davis Pepper-Spray Incident: Delays, Delays & Final Release

On March 6 2012 a Judge prevented the release of a report about the 2011 incident in which police acting on what they believe to be orders from the University Chancellor Linda B Katehi, pepper-sprayed students who were doing nothing more than peacefully sitting on the ground.

“The report, which had been set for release Tuesday, now remains in the hands of the task force assigned to investigate the Nov. 18 incident and a select few others….setting up a legal fight over how much protection police officers can receive from public scrutiny.

The Judge decided a case before him by lawyers representing the UC Davis Campus Police requesting to quash the report from public review.
The dispute marks the latest twist in an episode that dates to November, when UC Davis police officers used pepper spray against students and supporters gathered on the campus quad to protest rising education costs. Video clips that went viral on the Internet showed an officer methodically spraying students seated in passive resistance after they failed to obey orders to disperse.Three campus police officials were placed on paid leave following the pepper spraying, including Chief Annette Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike, the officer shown in the video.”The task force that prepared the report task force was “headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, a retired law professor at UC Davis who also has said the report should be released in its entirety.”

Read more here.
March 12th:
This week there will be a hearingon the Judge’s decission to not release the report and findings on the UC Davis pepper-spraying incident as explained above.
A hearing on the matter is set Friday  in Alameda Superior Court. The report had been scheduled for release March 6, but Judge Evelio M. Grillo granted the union’s request for a temporary restraining order.The union cites concerns that the report will name individual police officers and could contain confidential personnel information.       Three campus police officers were placed on paid leave following the pepper-spraying, including Chief Annette Spicuzzaand Lt. John Pike.”

Read more at the above link.
March 16th:
Yesterday a judge rejected the previous decision to keep the report on the cops and administrators actions that led to the pepper-spraying of docile students at UC Dais.
But if the cops Union appeals the new decision the actual release of the report will e delaed until at least April.
“…Judge Evelio Grillo said in his 16-page tentative ruling that the report does not contain any confidential information regarding campus officers and that it does not recommend disciplinary action against any of the officials involved in the Nov. 18 incident.    

“The report is a compilation of public information that would have been available to an investigative journalist or member of the public who took the time and expended the effort to make a Public Records Act request, review videos posted on YouTube and elsewhere, and locate and interview witnesses,” the judge wrote.”
Read more in the Sacramento Bee article.
March 9th:
The  UC Davis Pepper-spray report should be released on Wednesday April 11th after months of delays and legal wranglings and attempts to permanently block the contents of the report from the eyes of the public.
UC officials announced plans today for the release of the report online at noon Wednesday and at a public meeting on the UC Davis campus from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Freeborn Hall.That will follow a court hearing in Oakland on Tuesday where the university system and the attorneys for campus police are expected to announce they have agreed to have the report issued without naming most of the police officers interviewed for the investigation.”

Hopefully the campus police won’t decide to file yet another appeal or legal attempt to further block the report.
You can read more from the Sacramento Bee here.
April 11th:
The report will finally be released.

The 190-page pepper spray report is now on the UC-Davis website,, and comes to a stark conclusion:

The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented.”

The Reynoso reports finds fault with the UCD leadership and the actions of the police, but finds no fault.  No one will get in trouble.  No one will go to jail even though the actions were indefensivle and the treacherous lies that led up to the actions and supported the finally pepper spraying were filled with lies.

Read the Reynoso report at the UCD website and more from the Bee here
April 12th:
The UC Davis Chancellor will “respond quickly” to the Reynoso report issued yesterday.  The report, about the pepper-spraying incident on campus last November, was critical of UC Davvis management and police but found no fault.
Chancellor Linda Katehi must meet soon with task force members who prepared the report, as well as faculty, students and other campus groups before presenting reforms in the coming days, said Peter King, a spokesman for UC President Mark Yudof.“The expectation is that fairly soon she’ll come to him with a plan to deal with this mess and make this right,” King said. “She’s going to have to work with her community, her faculty and all that, in a fairly expeditious way.”   according to an article in the Sacramento Bee on this afternoon.”On Wednesday, a task force led by a retired California Supreme Court justice blamed the November incident on poor planning, communication and decision-making at all levels of the school administration.It particularly criticized Katehi, campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike,whose pepper-spraying of seated students was videotaped and watched online around the world.”

It is unbelievable that no one will go to jail for violating the civil rights of tthe students who were in a peaceful protest on their own campus.

April 14th:

Chancellor Katehi outlines steps for UC Davis police, administration reforms in light of peper-spray incident reform which laid blame at the feet of the administration & police.

Many people still would like to see additional blame for Katehi herself and legal consequences for the primary police leaders in the incident.  The report does not go that far.

Remember…this incident occured in November 2011, fivve months ago and today Katehi is claiming she is “moving swiftly” to enact reforms.  The reform that should be enacted?  A new Chancellor should be named by the UC system.

April 17th:

Chancellor Kathei now says that she takes “full responsibility” for the UC Davis pepper-spraying incident back in mid-November 2011.
Of course this is after she was able to keep her job and after the report faulted her but did not give her full responsibility that could have ended in jail time.
Now she wants to accept responsibility.
Reynoso’s report found communication failures within the police department and all the way through the administration to her own office, and found those failings led to the pepper spraying of students last fall…”I just want to say that despite the many challenges wse face, the state of the campus is very strong,” she said.”
Read more here.

University of California Davis (UCD) Tear-gas Incident

UC Davis Water tower, cropped with photoshop

Image via Wikipedia

November 17, 2011

The Day of

The Call to Action

Shame on You Shame on You” one of my Alma Maters @OccupyUCD University of California at Davis the video below shows Brave police officers who pepper spray seated protestors.  While the protestors stay seated on the ground, offer no resistance and pose no threat to the officers…one officer steps over them and sprays the pepper spray directly into the faces and eyes of those seated protestors.

I cannot believe how blatant this is and I hope this officer AND his superiors get fired and sued.  This is assault plain and simple.

The internet has been awash with salary details for a UCD Lt. said to be the police officer in the above video.

I am not publishing it here because I do not see his salary as important to his actions in the video and I think discussion about his salary just muddies the water as far as the real issue.

This LINK takes you to an Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi who ordered the police in the above video to clear the campus quad of these peaceful students.

The letter, from Assistant Professor Nathan Brown calls for the chancellors resignation.

The Chancellor is responsible for the actions of these police officers who were carrying out her instructions and must resign her post.

I support Professor Brown and stand with these students who have been so wronged by the University, the Davis Police/University Police, City of Davis, University of California system and Chancellor Katehi.

When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.”

November 20th:

The day of the UC Davis

The first video shows one of the pepper-sprayed students from UC Davis explaining what they will do.  Basically, they will sit in silence as the chancellor is led along, walking past the students to her car.

This video shows the UCD Chancellor walking past 1,000 silent students sitting on the ground, as were the students who wer pepper sprayed.

It must have been so hard to walk past these silent kids.

What a great job by the @OccupyUCD and the students of the university!!

Shame on you Chancellor, shame on you.


We live just some 15-20 minutes by Interstate 80 from the City of Davis.  I have taken undergraduate classes there from the time I was still in High School and they had us enrolled in Saturday classes, thru the 70s and on until 2006 when  I took a certificate course in Leadership.

I have always felt like I was a part of the school.  Now, I feel I am a part of the students, but not of the school.

What happened to the Leadership lessons I learned?  They are not on display.

Read this article from our local newspaper in Sacramento, about the school, the students & chancellor, what happened just three days ago, the video of the pepper-spraying of the students and the Chancellors poor response to the demands for her resignation.

Al Jazeera reports that two UCD officers involved in the pepper-spraying have been placed on Leave of Absence while the 30 day Task Force will get under way.

The identities of the two officers were not revealed, but the campus police chief told the Associated Press news agency that one was a veteran of the school’s police force, while the other was “fairly” new to the department.

“We really wanted to be diligent in our research, and during our viewing of multiple videos we discovered the second officer,” said Annette Spicuzza, the police chief.”

November 22, 2011

The UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, has now been   placed on leave of absence.

The action also came as national attention is focusing on the police response to what appeared to be a peaceful protest. NBC’s “Today” show and other programs did segments on the pepper-spraying incident, including broadcasting video that showed a UC Davis police officer spraying a line of students who were seated and providing no active resistance.”

Next they must remove Chancellor Katehi since she continues to refuse to resign.

UC Davis now has the Occupy movement spotlight.  This is not a place where the University wanted to be.

Check the story and videos at the above link.

The University will have a rally on this and other subjects.

Everyone can speak.  Each speaker will have one minute, including the Chancellor.  She will not be given more time than students, staff or residents.

UC Davis protestors have voted for a boycott of classes on November 28th.

Read the newspaper article at the link for updated information on what is occuring on campus as the story unfolds today.

About 1,800 students remained at 2:30 p.m. on the quad. Students were  discussing what their response should be to recent events.

One proposal was for faculty to not teach and students to not attend classes  on Nov. 28. A vote resulted in that general strike motion passing by a landslide  1,720 yes votes to 9 no votes with 20 abstaining.”

It appears that you & I can buy the same pepper spray that the UCD Police used to hospitalize so many of our students last week.

And now people are writing some very satirical reviews of the spray.  The spray, already said to be strong enough to fight off a bear, is now being touted as “the best pepper spray” to control wayward students.

The spray even comes in the familiar red can:

You can actually buy this stuff on  I can hear the UC Police lawyers in court now “Well, if you and I can buy this stuff directly from Amazon….blah blah blah.”

If it wasn’t so tragic I would find the “reviews” to be pretty funny.

Check it out at the link above.  Interesting.

November 22nd:

How many agree with Megyn Kelly’s assessment on Fox Channel’s Bill O’Reilley show?  Kelly believes the pepper spray incident is completely legal and does not fit the term “excessive force”.

Well, Megyn you are wrong and I think if you read your e-mails on this foray on O’Reilley you will find that most Americans disagree even Fox watchers,

Am I wrong readers?  Let me know!

Also today, Michael Moore (talk about swing from the right to the left) believes that the pepper spray incident “resonates” with people much the way Tiananmen Square did when he appeared on the Lawrence O’Donnell show.  Follow this link.

President Obama got met with a mic check during his speech today.  The President was also handed a note which read:

Mr. President:

Over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. While banksters continue to destroy the economy with impunity. You must stop the assault on our 1st ammendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out

Read more about Day 66 of the Occupation here.

November 23rd:

Chancellor Katehi tells the Bee that the police officers “defied my orders”.  Amazing.  Some people run hard from blame.

Read the article at the link above.  I don’t want to quote her more here.  The public needs to call for her resignation and accept nothing else.

November 24th:

On Thanksgiving Day, the protestors at @OccupyUCD  UC Davis are growing stronger each day since that awful tear gas incident.

They have lights. They have power. They have portable toilets and a cook  tent. And today, they’re going to serve Thanksgiving dinner.

Protesters with Occupy UC  Davis say they will camp through the long holiday weekend and return in greater numbers Monday for a  general strike against tuition hikes, as UC  regents meet on campus.”

Read more HERE and support the General Strike on Monday, November 28th!!!

Someone has been nice to the UCD officer who did the pepper spraying, ordering him pizzas from Domino’s online ordering site.  It’s been reported on the TV news and online as some $200 in “fake” pizza orders.  Check it out HERE  That’s more than 40 pizzas, Mama mia!!!

I wonder if they have sent him some flowers and chocolates as well?

November 30th:

 Yesterday the local newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, ghad a front page article announcing that protestors disrupted the University of California Regents meeting which they had split into four meetings and in four cities in an attempt to avoid having students and residents attend the meeting.

The protestors brought a peaceful mood though.

” Shouting protesters interrupted the University of California regents’ meeting on  Monday, but the mood was generally peaceful as students criticized officials’  response to the use of police force and implored regents to back raising taxes  on the wealthy to fund higher education…

…Regents were discussing UC’s 2012-13 budget request to the state when about a  dozen protesters at UC Davis rose to their feet and, shouting in unison,  declared the need for a “people’s regents meeting.” They moved from their chairs  in the audience to the area in front of the dais, where they formed a circle and  began their own discussion.   

There was no response by campus police – who were stationed outside the  meeting room in very small numbers – and Chancellor Linda Katehi briefly joined  the group in the circle.

Around the same time, protesters in San Francisco and Los Angeles also  disrupted the meeting with loud chants. Unable to hear, regents eventually  disconnected from the teleconference and relocated to other rooms on the  campuses. UC officials invited media to listen as regents reconvened the meeting  by telephone.”

These “protestors” wanted to talk about the violence perpetrated on them at the UC Davis campus at the behest of Chancellor Katehi, and about the Challencellors salaries and UC tuition costs.  However the UC Regents did not want to discuss these issues and instead left the meeting and had their own discussions in other rooms.  When California residents & students tried to join their meeting the Regents left the room.

Read more of the article at this l

November 30th:

UC Davis faculty & staff weigh in on tuition/fee hikes and the pepper-spray incident:

“They disagreed over whether UC  Davis should continue to have a campus police force and whether chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi should resign following the Nov. 18  pepper-spraying of student protesters.

But faculty and staff members who spoke during a town-hall-style meeting  Tuesday seemed to agree on the need to work together to curb rising tuition and  to lobby for increased public funding for higher education.”

So, from this article, it seems the employees are united in their push for lower tuition but unable to reach unanimity on the issues of police violence or the future of the Chancellor.

February 19, 2012:

University staff vote not to support tuition increases at the University but reject a measure of no-confidence regarding Chancellor Katehi.  That is a shame but I suppose that the majority of staff just refuse to connect blame for the incident on the Chancellor.  I would be voting in the minority.  Not unusual.

February 22:

UCD students who were peper-sprayed in the November 17, 2011 incident on campus have filed a lawsuit against the University 

Nineteen students have brought the suit that says that the university used excessive force to break up the demonstration.  The Occupy UC Davis students were sprayed as they sat on the ground.

The suit said that the actions by police that day, which were broadcast around the world, had a chilling effect on free speech.

Among those named as defendants are University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, various UC Davisofficials, the campus police chief and a police officer.”

Read more at the above link.


“Non-lethal” Police Weapons

*****THIS post is in DRAFT form until this note is removed*****

“Congress shall make no law—abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble”

Often it seems that our local police are asked to enforce local ordinances, charters etc that politicians have implemented in an attempt to circumvent this very critical piece of our 1st Ammendment.

The 1st Ammendment not only guarantees our right to speak and assemble freely, it REQUIRES our governments not to pass any law that conflicts with that right.

If I want to assemble with likeminded people at noon on Monday or at 4 am on Friday, under the Constitution I am allowed to do so.

Yet, many jurisdictions have passed local laws saying that I cannot.  And then they pay their police to enforce these unconstitutional pieces of crap local ordinances.

We, the people, must tell our federal politicians that we will remove them from office if they fail to do their job and enforce our 1st Ammendment rights.

Lately, with the @OccupyWallStreet encampments having sprung up worldwide we have seen more and more police actions against protestors and hear about use of “Non-lethal” weapons.

What are nonlethal weapons?  What do they include and what kind of damage can they do when used against human beings?

***I am not an expert in police weapons, tactics or the law.  If I get something wrong here, please let me know.  I will research your issue and fix the entry.

Non-lethal weapons are used by police in many situations such as barricaded suspects, riots, protests and demonstrations and (XXX).  In these situations police have a need to either convince someone to give themselves up, cease an activity or vacate an area.

Types of Non-lethal weaponry:

Non-lethal weapons include a significant range of items including various pepper agents that have been around for a long time and some new ones.

  • mace and pepper spray

This video fits a couple of different weapons.  It occured on the campus of the University of California at Davis on November 18th.

First, you see one officer step over the seated protestors and move in front of them.  He then blatently sprays pepper spray directly into the faces of these seated protestors.  They posed no threat to the officers and offered no resistence.  I am shocked the crowd and those sprayed stayed non-violent.  This video disturbs me so…

Also, aside from the mace can, you can see officers carrying what appear to be pepper ball rifles (??)

  • tear gas spray,
  • tear gas canisters and tear gas grenades

Gas that is dispersed or spread using projectiles such as canister or grenades fired from a weapon can cause harm in a number of ways in addition to the harm from the gas itself.

Gas can also be dispersed in a “Fog” often called Pepper Fog  some local jurisdictions do carry pepper fog materials.

Cannisters and grenades can (and do) strike people and cause massive damage including soft tissue wounds, broken bones, concussions, damage to eyes, noses, mouth and genitals.

  • percussion grenades

In the police actions against Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in Oakland California most of us have heard about the injuries suffered by American Veteran Scott Olsen who was struck in the head by a tear gas canister.  While he was laying unconscious on the ground a police officer tossed a tear gas grenade right next to Olsen, scaring a gathering crowd away and possibly doing more damage.

Below are a couple of photos of Iraq Veteran, Marine Scott Olsen and a video of Olsen being first struck by the canister and then of the tear gas grenade being tossed directly toward Olsen as he lays injured on the ground.

There was a vigil held in Oakland for Olsen after this attack.  The injuries suffered by this Iraq veteran who it seems posed no real threat to the police on-site the night of the attack (from the Oakland PD, Alameda County Sheriff, Palo Alto Police Department or others) seemed to have re-energized the protestors and certainly increased the donations they collected.

  • batons
  • rubber bullets

Rubber bullets sound so harmless, and as opposed to full-metal jacketed bullets they certainly are.  They are not made to penetrate flesh although they can.  Rubber bullets can do a lot of damage to soft tissue and bones and seriously wound a person if they strike an eye, ear, nose, mouth or genitals.

The first  photo below is a rubber shotgun shell and the bullet or projectile which lives in the shell before it is fired.  Look at the fins which help with the flight of the rubber projectile increasing distance and accuracy.

In the next photo in the we see a shotgun shell used to propel a beanbag round and, in the other hand, is a rubber bullet.

The shotgun shell fires from the weapon and opens at the top allowing the actual projectile(such as a beanbag)  to separate from the shell and project further, just  as pellets in a regular shotgun shell would do.

The next two photos show actual damage to a human being who has been struck with a rubber bullet.  The first is a facial injury and the second is a chest wound.

You can see that these non-lethal weapons can do a lot of damage to a person.

  • bean bags

There are a ton of bean bags weapons out there.  Most are shotgun based and fire 12g bean bags such as this one.

A 12 gauge round that direct fires a 26 gram or 40 gram bean bag projectile. Designed for single target engagement allowing escalation of force from a close distance prior to use of lethal means. ”

Such intruiging naes….the “Power Punch”.  If you felt it slam into your bbody you would definitely feel the punch and wonder if it was actually “non-lethal”.

So where do such nonlethal weapons come from?According to one source many used by the Oakland PD come from the same U.S. based arms company that supplies the Israeli Army:

The police repression on display in Oakland reminded me of tactics I witnessed the Israeli army employ against Palestinian popular struggle demonstrations in occupied West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, Ni’lin and Bilin. So I was not surprised when I learned that the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police. The company is Defense Technology, a Casper, Wyoming based arms firm that claims to “specialize in less lethal technology” and other “crowd management products.”

Read more of this article HERE

Note:  There is nothing wrong with police departments purchasing these weapons nor with the company manufacturing and selling them.

One article states that of the various agencies on-site during the October 25th siege of the Oakland encampment only the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department allowed their officers to use explosive tear gas canisters.

Read the Fog City Journal article at the link above.

Society will need to decide whether we want to continue to allow our police departments to use such weapons against American civilians whose crime is something like “trespassing” or “violating curfew” or even “failure to follow a police officer’s direct order”.

In my mind, these crimes do not seem significant enough to warrant such weapons being used.

Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen lay bloodied while regaining consciousness after being struck by an unknown projectile during a protest in Oakland on Tuesday. Photo by Jay Finneburgh

Below is Scott Olsen after leaving the hospital November 12th and looking much better.  Olsen was still having trouble speaking when he left the hospital and will require some ongoing therapy for a period of time.

The last item will not seem like a “weapon” to many of you or to the police.  I am talking about a badge that is hidden or covered in some way so that the public cannot identify the officer.

This usually happens in a “riot” gear setting.  The officer puts black electrical tape over the badge or sticks it in his pocket or pulls a pocket flap down over the badge.  It is usually done from a state of fear.  It may seem to us that it is from arrogance, but in truth the officer worries that an uncovered shiny badge marks him as a target.

You most often see this happen at night when a flashlight or a camera light or the headlights of a passing car make that badge just light up.

However, it is against the law for an officer to hide or cover up his identity—his badge with his name and number.

To the public that hidden badge does seem to be a weapon.  We know it is against the law and may even remind the officer.  That rarely changes the behavior.  And we wonder “if he covers his badge, what will he do to me?”  Cops understand it is intimidating even if that is not their primary reason.

The California Penal Code states that uniformed police officers must wear “a badge, nameplate, or other device which bears clearly…the identification number or name of the officer”.

Feel free to remind the police of this when they forget.”

More at the link.

“Congress shall make no law—abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble”

“Sound cannons” or  “LRAD” or “Sonic Blasters” are another “non-lethal” weapon developed for military use on the battlefield and now being turned against American citizens on U.S. soil doing nothing but protesting.

Are these protests large crowds?  Are these protests rowdy?  Are the protestors breaking the law?  Yes, sometimes.  But we are talking about protests and protestors.  If (when) foreign governments turn these weapons against their own citizens we would (and do) complain and ask them to stop.

But the products, which the makers developed as nonlethal options for military use, are prompting outcries from people on the receiving end, who call them “sound cannons.” The city of Pittsburgh is fighting an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit claiming the piercing tone from a police blaster during the 2009 G-20 summit permanently damaged a woman’s hearing. At least one Occupy Wall Street protester says New York City police also used the punishing alert tone, although police say they have used the device only to broadcast messages.

LRAD says its products offer police something louder than a megaphone and more benign than rubber bullets and tear gas for managing crowds, defusing hostage situations and serving warrants on dangerous suspects.”  More at the link above.