By: Brianna Jordan
On Friday, November 18, students protested at UC Davis inCalifornia. What started as a small group of students encamping themselves around campus ended up being a battle between the alumni and the police department.
A group of students were attempting to start up the Occupy Movement when they were confronted by the police department, who were only authorized to remove the tents. The police then claimed that they felt threatened when the students encircled them, causing the police to pepper spray them. Geoffrey Wildanger, an art history graduate, claims the police overreacted and states, “The cops weren’t threatened in any way”
The chancellor, Linda Katehi, called the police, telling them she simply wanted the tents removed and the students to also be peacefully removed. When she found out the police were pepper spraying her students without permission, she stated over a telephone interview, “It left me with a very bad feeling of what went on. There was enough information to show that we need to take a serious look at what happened.” Katehi held an apology speech on Monday, November 21, with several hundred faculties, students and even parents attending. While claiming she was sorry, many sections of the large crowd started shouting, “Resign! Resign!” That night while Katehi was walking to her car, hundreds of people were lined up next to one another and silently glared at her in their attempt to create the “walk of shame.”
The event led to two officers and the campus police chief to be suspended. It is now a battle between the police, the students, and Linda Katehi. Many videos were recorded, and many photos were taken. There were no obvious signs of the police being threatened, but then again, there were no videos showing what happened before the pepper spraying started. Whether the police were in danger or not, many people are against the force the police used. In the end, the tents that were meant to be removed were confiscated and many protestors left immediately to avoid further confrontation. The police were required to pay the medical bills of the students that ended up being hospitalized due to reactions to the pepper spray. The police have not given a public apology to the school yet, but many people are expecting one soon.