Two campus police officers from the University of California, Davis, campus have been caught on video using pepper spray on Occupy protesters. The incident occurred on Friday and the video was posted on YouTube. The university announced today that the two officers have been put on administration leave in light of the video.
UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said in the statement: "I spoke with students this weekend, and I feel their outrage. I have also heard from an overwhelming number of students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the country. I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident.”
"However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again," she said. "I feel very sorry for the harm our students were subjected to and I vow to work tirelessly to make the campus a more welcoming and safe place."
Katehi also went on to say that a task force consisting of faculty, students and staff will be chosen this week. She has set a 30 day deadline for the task force to report on the events surrounding the arrests, including communication between the police and the administration.
The incident sparked faculty and students to call for Katehi to resign. However, according to the Modesto Bee, Katehi said in a teleconference yesterday that she didn’t think it was “appropriate” for her to resign.
Katehi had given police an order to dismantle the UC Davis Occupy encampment because it is forbidden to camp on school grounds.
In a statement posted on UC Davis’ website, Katehi wrote: "The use of pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this.”