The Pepper-Spray outcomes

The New APPS blog has a useful post summarising and discussing the outcomes following the pepper-spraying of students at UC Davis last year. Here’s some of it, but the whole post is worth a read.

The fallout from these events includes:

  • Chancellor Linda Katehi is still the Chancellor of UC Davis.  UC Davis faculty voted 697 to 312 to defeat a no-confidence measure that censured Katehi’s handling of the controversial police action.  The President of the University of California, Mark Yudof, praised her “integrity as a leader and her personal empathy for all members of the UC Davis community” in responding to the incident.
  • UCD Police Chief Spicuzza resigned in April 2012.
  • The two pepper-sprayers, Lt. John Pike and Officer Alex Lee, were fired in July 2012, having been on paid leave since November 2011.
  •  The Yolo County DA’s office declined to bring charges against anyone involved in the pepper spraying, stating that “there is insufficient evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the use of force involved in the November 18, 2011, pepper spraying was unlawful and therefore warrants the filing of criminal charges.”
  • The protesters settled their suit with the University.  There was no admission of guilt, although each protester will receive an apology from Chancellor Katehi and $30,000.

It is hard to feel good about these outcomes.  Although the officers surely bear significant personal responsibility for what happened, it seems as though yet again it is the lowest-level employees who bear the brunt of the consequences for a troubling incident.  Since there will be no criminal trial and no civil trial, many of the details of what happened will remain unknown. 

Previous posts on this site – on the report; on the Scoville scale of chili heat; and a post of links on UC campus violence; and the original videos.

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