Under the settlement, UC agreed to pay $30,000 to each of the 21 plaintiffs, $100,000 to be split among 15 other individuals and $250,000 for their attorneys.
The Nov. 18, 2011, incident prompted national outrage, angry campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after online videos shot by witnesses went viral.
Images of a police officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
The settlement also calls for the University of California to set aside $100,000 to pay other individuals who can prove they were arrested or pepper-sprayed during the protest of tuition hikes and police brutality. The university would also give the ACLU up to $20,000 for its work reviewing free speech and protest policies at UC Davis.
The 10 hours and 35 minutes of video footage shot by the NYPD during the raid of Zuccotti Park that was released by Anonymous on Monday gives a more expansive view of what happened on the morning of November 15, 2011, albeit in a more sanitized form. Much of the footage, which also includes clips from the Duarte Square action and the re-opening of the park the following evening, is heavily edited, especially scenes that include arrests. Still, some of it is informative and contradicts the statements or positions made by city officials defending the raid, most notably, that Occupy's Library was dismantled and destroyed by Brookfield employees, and that reports of press harassment and arrests were part of a "myth."
The first four minutes of this footage shows protester Ted Hall giving a monologue as police in riot gear watch, but the remaining time shows police notifying Occupy's medical tent that they must leave. An officer tells the doctor on duty that he must leave, but that EMS will take care of his patients. The doctor declines, and refuses to leave his two patients. A long standoff ensues, as several officers believe that one of the protesters stole a scalpel. A nurse ensures them that they haven't. That nurse, "Nurse Jane," wrote about the experience here. She describes the medical tent as "the most amazing clinic I've ever worked in!"
Eventually, the tent is ripped by police knives, and everyone is forced out. Nurse Jane is seen speaking with another officer, explaining to him her concerns (11:40 mark), and notes that it doesn't help that there is a man filming her. "That would be me," the TARU officer from behind the camera replies.
The Gothamist has downloaded the footage into seven videos (including the one above) and breaks down each into note worthy events, you can view them all here.
Non-violent students at UC Davis protesting tuition hikes in November 2011 were sprayed with pepper-spray by campus police.
"Consistent with privacy guidelines established in state law and university policy, I can confirm that John Pike's employment with the university ended on July 31, 2012," Shiller said. "I'm unable to comment further."
Pike, 39, declined to comment when reached by The Bee as he was sitting in a meeting on campus where he said he was being terminated.
Pike's 2010 salary was listed as $110,243.12. He has been on paid leave since the debacle unfolded last year, sparking worldwide outrage, numerous investigations and calls for the resignation of UC Davis leaders.
A UC Davis football player who was shot in the eye by a projectile fired by campus police trying to break up a party on a city street can sue the university, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in a decision critical of the use of force against "non-threatening individuals." The ruling may be a setback for other police fighting lawsuits by Occupy protesters.
Wednesday's ruling stemmed from an April 2004 incident in which UC Davis and city police tried to disperse a crowd at a party by shooting pepper balls, which break on impact and spray a powder akin to mace or pepper spray.
About 1,000 people were at a Davis apartment complex to celebrate UC Davis' annual Picnic Day. The police wanted to break up the party because the street was congested, partygoers had parked illegally and some minors were drinking alcohol, the court said. Police in riot gear entered the complex, and an officer fired a pepper ball into an area where UC Davis student Timothy Nelson was standing with friends.
The pepper ball hit the sophomore in the eye and caused permanent damage, eventually leading Nelson to lose a football scholarship and drop out of the university, the court said.
Writing for the court, Judge Stephen Reinhardt said police used excessive force. "A reasonable officer would have known that firing projectiles, including pepper balls, in the direction of individuals suspected of, at most, minor crimes, who posed no threat to the officers or others, and who engaged in only passive resistance, was unreasonable," he wrote.
John Whitesides, a lawyer for the city of Davis, whose police were also sued in the case, defended the officers' actions and said that they might seek a larger panel of the 9th Circuit court to reconsider the case.
Annette M. Spicuzza, the embattled UC Davis police chief who came under fire in last week's report on what led to the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident on campus, has decided to retire, according to an email statement received by The Bee today.
"My 27 years in law enforcement have been dedicated to the ethical and committed service to the departments and communities I have been proud to be a part of," the statement read. "For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the Police Department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this.
"As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."
Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike, who pepper-sprayed UC Davis students participating in a non-violent protest on campus have both been on paid leave while internal affairs conducted an investigation of the incident.
Last week, a task force issued a report blaming the incident on poor planning, communication and decision-making at all levels of the school's administration.
The report was especially critical of Chief Spicuzza, Lt. Pike and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.
No doubt you all remember the shocking pepper spray attack on peaceful student protesters at UC Davis last November. Today the report into that incident has been released and the results are damning, accusing the Chancellor of poor leadership and concluding that the use of pepper spray was unjustified and should have been prevented. The laissez-faire attitude of the UC Davis police chief is especially appalling.
The report spreads blame for the events that led to the confrontation across several members of the UC-Davis leadership but said Pike was primarily responsible for the "objectively unreasonable decision" to pepper-spray the demonstrators.
"On balance, the evidence does not provide an objective, factual basis for Lt. Pike's purported belief that he was trapped, that any of his officers were trapped, or that the safety of their arrestees was at issue," the report states. "Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police."
But while criticizing Pike, the report also cites "systemic and repeated failures" among campus administrators it said "put officers in the unfortunate situation in which they found themselves."
The type of pepper-spray canister he carried was "not an authorized weapon" under campus police guidelines, and the officers "were not trained in how to use it correctly," according to the report.
Chancellor Linda Katehi told investigators that she envisioned "a limited operation in which police would demand that the tents be taken down but would use no other force," the report found.
However other top-level officials did not receive that message because the chancellor "did not effectively communicate this" during deliberations.
According to the report Chief Spicuzza initially tried to convince officers not to wear riot gear or use batons or pepper spray, but she was unsuccessful.
It also found "There is also evidence that she wanted her officers to withdraw if they encountered resistance," but as investigators weren't allowed to interview her they had no further details.
No one in the campus leadership took responsibility for ensuring they understood the way the police operation was to be handled, the report stated.
"The command and leadership structure of the (campus police) is very dysfunctional," the report adds. "Lieutenants refused to follow directives of the chief."
This conclusion stemmed in part from "heated exchanges" between Spicuzza and those in her charge had regarding how to proceed with the operation and her eventual "concession that her officers will do things their own way and there is nothing she can do about it."[Emphasis mine.] What was this, "mob rule" of the campus police? Spicuzza may as well have given the investigative team their interview and replied with a "Meh" to every question.
The report also takes on the claims by campus police that the video footage of the pepper-spraying incident shows that they were under threat and facing a "hostile crowd." It blasts those claims out of the water with video images of Pike and another officer who "were able to move through the crowd freely" and stepped over seated protesters three times "just minutes before Lt. Pike sprayed those same protesters."
The report contains recommendations to about how to improve communication and the police force, and how to better respect freedom of speech issues as well as various aspects of life on a university campus.
There were no recommendations regarding disciplinary actions.
The video above shows the UC Berkeley protest on Nov.9, 2011 with campus police beating students back with batons.
The assistant police chief tasked with reviewing campus police actions during the November 9, 2011 protest at UC Berkeley wrote that "Some of these findings will be controversial," in his 50-page report to the UC Berkeley police chief. Critical of the administration, he found that the police should have been allowed to use pepper spray on the protesting students.
Outraged protesters are calling the report a "a tactical handbook for warfare against students."
Berkeley's Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, traveling in Asia that day, had prohibited the use of pepper spray. That ban proved prescient, as Birgeneau later noted, because UC Davis officers were captured on video weeks later using the chemical irritant to coat seated protesters, prompting outrage around the world. Reviews of UC Davis police actions are pending.
In the Berkeley report released Friday, Young said that police acted properly in every way: in removing the tents, in their preparedness, in their training. He had several recommendations, including that police prepare formations out of view of protesters, to better take them by surprise.
He lamented, however, that "force options" for police were limited on Nov. 9.
Referring to pepper spray, he wrote: "A few focused applications on the crowd that blocked the officers near the row of bushes would likely have cleared that area very quickly, with few additional baton strikes."
Perhaps because this is the campus police reviewing themselves explains the outrageous conclusion that during this absolutely peaceful protest police should have been allowed to use both pepper spray and the batons to beat students. If this is considered standard procedure on our nation's university campuses, it's a wonder that we haven't yet seen more Kent State-like situations. Is it only a matter of time?
To see the full review of UC Berkeley police actions, click here.
The following video shows the police response to the student protest at UC Davis on November 18, 2011 with pepper spray being used liberally on seated students.
The American Civil Liberties Union is assisting nearly a dozen students and alumni of the University of California, Davis with a lawsuit against Lt.John Pike as well as University employees, including Chancellor Linda Katehi and other campus administrators in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
Lieutenant John Pike achieved Internet infamy after he was photographed and videotaped delivering a heavy dose of pepper-spray to more than a dozen seated demonstrators outside a UC Davis building last year. Protesters had gathered at the school to demonstrate against rising tuition hikes and campaigned under the umbrella of the then-infant Occupy movement. As protesters sat peacefully, Pike attempted to disrupt their demonstration by debilitating participants with bursts of pepper-spray to the face. Unfortunately for Pike, the incident went viral online which, in turn, only strengthened the Occupy movement as more Americans became outraged by the establishment’s not-so-nice interpretation of the First Amendment.
Pike is now named in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, which is also aimed at the school’s chancellor, provost and other administration officials and campus police. The ACLU, representing the victims, charge the defendants with failing to properly train and supervise officers, which they say resulted in a “series of constitutional violations against the demonstrators. “
In a press release that accompanies Wednesday’s suit, the ACLU attests that “the University’s response to seated student protesters amounts to unacceptable and excessive force that violates state and federal constitutional protections, including the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
By taking the matter to court, the ACLU hopes that institutions across America will think twice before allowing local law enforcement to follow in the footsteps of Pike.
David Buscho, a UC Davis mechanical engineering student who is among the plaintiffs, said he felt searing pain and had trouble breathing after being pepper-sprayed in the face.
"This was my first demonstration," Buscho said in a statement. "We had no idea there would be police in riot gear or that we would be pepper-sprayed because we were making our voices heard."
Barry Shiller, a spokesman for UC Davis officials declined to comment because they had not yet seen the lawsuit.
Help! The "Occupy" movement needs more protest songs! Seriously, they're doing disco! Oops, wrong browser...
Actually this video is rather cute and clever, but beware the "P" word. What's the "P" word, you ask? See the link here for the actual song title and complete lyrics.
But, if you suffer from flashbacks of disco balls, sequins, polyester suits, and nose-bleed inducing platform shoes (That are back in style, gee thanks, Lady Gaga!)...just consider yourself warned.
Here's the opening:
I first was pepper sprayed
Just standing on the side
But it took me being blinded
to open up up my eyes
Cause I'd read the daily news,
and not responded actively
and I realized then and there
this revolution needed me
So here I am,
camped in a tent
Which is really so convenient
cause I can't afford my rent
But they came with shields and mace
In the night while it was dark
A NYPD army
Sent to clear Zuccotti Park
We'll protest on, with catchy phases
We're going global
From London to Uc Davis
If you think that your batons are going to get us to go home
GO on and hit me, I'll just upload it from my phone.
There are so many wonderful images and perspectives from today's General Assembly meeting on the UC Davis campus that it seems easier to put them together in one place and let you explore them. Lee Fang and Twitter user Silvermaneman were tweeting live from the event with pictures and video.
Chancellor Katehi made an appearance and spoke briefly to students. In a somewhat backhanded way, she apologized for Friday's events, but it was by no means direct.
O ne of the things I love about college students is their fresh creativity. That photo at the top asks students to make tents from wire as a way of honoring the "occupiers." I love it.
Their tweets are below, in chronological order. Be sure to click through to the media.
Update: Lee Fang has a post with all the details here.