UC Davis pepper spray incident - what really happened - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 03-05-2012, 10:48 PM
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I would have sprayed them sooner, had I been a cop on the scene.
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#32 Old 03-05-2012, 11:09 PM
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First, there were two sets of police, those on the inside of the circle and those on the outside. From what I could tell from the video, the cops on the outside of the circle were the ones who initiated the pepperspray. The argument that the cops had "no other choice" is destroyed seeing as how those particular cops had plenty of choices and no one was in imminent danger.

Clearly, the cops did not feel threatened by the crowd, seeing as how often they tried to convince the protesters to leave by coming up individually one on one and threatening the use of physical violence. Just the mere body language - protesters sitting down and cops standing, tells us all we need to know.

Cops tear down tent cities ALL THE TIME ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. And they do it successfully without using any violence. Sometimes they use a multi-day strategy where they put up blockades that get bigger and bigger until the few remaining tent dwellers feel obligated to leave, other times they just come in and make promises about better places to pitch tents. Any number of lies could work, really. Cops break up protests all the time too. There are all kinds of strategies to do this peacefully. It is very clear that in this situation, there was not a real strategy to remove the tents nor any significant attempt to do it peacefully.

The tents were taken down peacefully. The cops were barricaded by the students who wouldn't move. They were obstructing police officers while they were doing their jobs. That's against the law, like it or not, and anyone foolish enough to not know that prior to practicing civil disobedience is the guilty party, not the police themselves.

In those other many cases where tents were taken down, were the cops then encircled by a mob? It was no longer a peaceful assembly when the police were effectively being restrained. How do you propose the police leave the scene with the arrested people, or even without them, when they can't get by? You act like the police arrived with an ambition to pepper-spray the students. They used a peaceful strategy that didn't work out because the students wouldn't cooperate after many requests by the police that they simply get out of the way. Clubbing them would have been unnecessary violence. Pepper spray was just an elevated warning.
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#33 Old 03-05-2012, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

First, there were two sets of police, those on the inside of the circle and those on the outside. From what I could tell from the video, the cops on the outside of the circle were the ones who initiated the pepperspray. The argument that the cops had "no other choice" is destroyed seeing as how those particular cops had plenty of choices and no one was in imminent danger.

I just caught this. What? The cops are individuals who shouldn't be working together? Those who were encircled should be left to fend for themselves while the others take off because they could? Rubbish! No reason is "destroyed" here.
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#34 Old 03-05-2012, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Clearly, the cops did not feel threatened by the crowd, seeing as how often they tried to convince the protesters to leave by coming up individually one on one and threatening the use of physical violence.

Of course they felt threatened. Those people sitting on the sidewalk were conscious and breathing, and some of them were even moving their mouths.

Keep on freepin' on

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#35 Old 03-06-2012, 12:05 AM
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Nobody here seems capable of explaining how else the police could have left.
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#36 Old 03-06-2012, 12:08 AM
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I would have sprayed them sooner, had I been a cop on the scene.

+1.
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#37 Old 03-06-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

First, there were two sets of police, those on the inside of the circle and those on the outside. From what I could tell from the video, the cops on the outside of the circle were the ones who initiated the pepperspray. The argument that the cops had "no other choice" is destroyed seeing as how those particular cops had plenty of choices and no one was in imminent danger.

No, listen to the clip from Democracy Now! I posted. The pepper spray victim said that the cops wanted to leave and that they'd encircled them to obstruct them from doing so. The cops had to get them out of the way somehow and they had to do so while escorting several people who had been arrested.
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#38 Old 03-06-2012, 11:27 AM
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No, listen to the clip from Democracy Now! I posted. The pepper spray victim said that the cops wanted to leave and that they'd encircled them to obstruct them from doing so. The cops had to get them out of the way somehow and they had to do so while escorting several people who had been arrested.

If someone did that to me on the streets, I would have no problem using pepper spray. Anyone who violates my rights to get out of a situation is going to get hurt.
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#39 Old 03-06-2012, 11:55 AM
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If someone did that to me on the streets, I would have no problem using pepper spray. Anyone who violates my rights to get out of a situation is going to get hurt.

Granted the students were being stupid and were technically the instigators...but weren't they sitting down when the cops pulled out the pepper spray? Couldn't the cops have stepped over them?

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#40 Old 03-06-2012, 12:03 PM
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So from what I can see, students had a stand-off with the police, surrounded the police, and then got pepper-sprayed.

I'm basically okay with this. Peaceful protest is one thing, but these students were interfering with the police carrying out their duties. Perhaps the initial arrests that lead up to the pepper-spraying were unlawful, but that doesn't mean the students had a right to form a mob and threaten the cops.
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#41 Old 03-06-2012, 12:23 PM
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Granted the students were being stupid and were technically the instigators...but weren't they sitting down when the cops pulled out the pepper spray? Couldn't the cops have stepped over them?

It's been discussed in this thread already. It's not likely the cops could have stepped over these people with their gear. And do you really think they would have just let them step over anyway?

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So from what I can see, students had a stand-off with the police, surrounded the police, and then got pepper-sprayed.

I'm basically okay with this. Peaceful protest is one thing, but these students were interfering with the police carrying out their duties. Perhaps the initial arrests that lead up to the pepper-spraying were unlawful, but that doesn't mean the students had a right to form a mob and threaten the cops.

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#42 Old 03-06-2012, 12:46 PM
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Granted the students were being stupid and were technically the instigators...but weren't they sitting down when the cops pulled out the pepper spray? Couldn't the cops have stepped over them?

Probably very doubtful, very difficult to step over a group of people with locked arms, a couple rows deep..... I guess the cops could have just started beating them with their batons, or even opened fire on them with their paint guns, or even some glocks, I am sure that would have gone over real well.
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#43 Old 03-06-2012, 01:46 PM
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And do you really think they would have just let them step over anyway?

If the students actively prevented the cops from stepping over, the cops could easily justify the use of force.

Yes, the students shouldn't have done what they did, but to suggest that the cops were in any real danger is stretching it. The cops had battlegear, guns, battons, and other crowd control devices against sitting plain clothed students with no weapons.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the cops.

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#44 Old 03-06-2012, 02:02 PM
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Well, the people didn't sound very smart. Trying to prevent cops from leaving... only a moron would do that.
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#45 Old 03-06-2012, 02:53 PM
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Well, the people didn't sound very smart. Trying to prevent cops from leaving... only a moron would do that.

not just morons, someone trying to spark an incident to paint the cops in a negative light would also go out of their way to provoke them in this manner.
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#46 Old 03-06-2012, 03:23 PM
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There are legitimate ways to interact with the cops. This wasn't one of them.
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#47 Old 03-06-2012, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by paperhanger View Post

How do you propose the police leave the scene with the arrested people, or even without them, when they can't get by?

Since they had reinforcements on the outside of the circle, they easily could have taken any number of other strategies in order to direct the protestors' attention away for a moment to "escape" the circle of sitting, chanting students who did not pose any obvious threat.

You want strategies? Well, OK here are some random ideas:
- the outside cops could have brought some of that metal fencing and wedged it between protestors to make a path for the cops inside the circle
- they could have used plain clothed cops to spread a rumor that some other, more important protest/news situation was taking place half a mile away to drive the onlookers away and some of the protestors away to make the situation smaller and easier to handle
- the cops could have coordinated with TV news to distract the protest leaders away to "make statements" for the news so the follower-protestors would be less organized and less likely to coordinate an attack
- the cops could have simply admitted defeat and uncuffed the wrongly arrested persons, then leave

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You act like the police arrived with an ambition to pepper-spray the students. They used a peaceful strategy that didn't work out because the students wouldn't cooperate after many requests by the police that they simply get out of the way.

Well, they did. The ones who sprayed the students were the police on the outside of the circle. They came in order to use pepperspray. They sprayed the students. It was in no way any sort of "self defense" on the part of the police within the circle.

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Clubbing them would have been unnecessary violence. Pepper spray was just an elevated warning.

Pepperspray is NOT an "elevated warning". In many states it is considered a weapon by law.

Note: my take on this comes from being falsely arrested myself for 5 hours by an asshat cop with an axe to grind. I know some cops are nice and do it to preserve the law and help people. But a lot of cops are just power-hungry and don't even know the laws at all. They are useless. After my experience, there is no way I can look at police violence like this pepperspray incident and take the cops' side. Nope.
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#48 Old 03-06-2012, 03:43 PM
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If the students actively prevented the cops from stepping over, the cops could easily justify the use of force.

Yes, the students shouldn't have done what they did, but to suggest that the cops were in any real danger is stretching it. The cops had battlegear, guns, battons, and other crowd control devices against sitting plain clothed students with no weapons.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the cops.

This
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#49 Old 03-06-2012, 03:48 PM
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You want strategies? Well, OK here are some random ideas:
- the outside cops could have brought some of that metal fencing and wedged it between protestors to make a path for the cops inside the circle
- they could have used plain clothed cops to spread a rumor that some other, more important protest/news situation was taking place half a mile away to drive the onlookers away and some of the protestors away to make the situation smaller and easier to handle
- the cops could have coordinated with TV news to distract the protest leaders away to "make statements" for the news so the follower-protestors would be less organized and less likely to coordinate an attack
- the cops could have simply admitted defeat and uncuffed the wrongly arrested persons, then leave

I think this is how it translates:

- The cops could have been accused of using metal fencing to assault protesters.
- The cops could have been accused of infiltrating, subverting, and inciting the occupy protesters.
- The cops could have been accused of pressuring and modifying the news for their own ends.
- The cops could have been accused of racial bias the next time they went to arrest someone and that person or people next to them resisted arrest and the cops didn't leave.
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#50 Old 03-06-2012, 03:54 PM
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not just morons, someone trying to spark an incident to paint the cops in a negative light would also go out of their way to provoke them in this manner.

Exactly. And the dumbass cops played right into it. So who are the morons?

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#51 Old 03-06-2012, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Since they had reinforcements on the outside of the circle, they easily could have taken any number of other strategies in order to direct the protestors' attention away for a moment to "escape" the circle of sitting, chanting students who did not pose any obvious threat.

You want strategies? Well, OK here are some random ideas:
- the outside cops could have brought some of that metal fencing and wedged it between protestors to make a path for the cops inside the circle
- they could have used plain clothed cops to spread a rumor that some other, more important protest/news situation was taking place half a mile away to drive the onlookers away and some of the protestors away to make the situation smaller and easier to handle
- the cops could have coordinated with TV news to distract the protest leaders away to "make statements" for the news so the follower-protestors would be less organized and less likely to coordinate an attack
- the cops could have simply admitted defeat and uncuffed the wrongly arrested persons, then leave

Or the students who knew they were going to get sprayed could have just moved out of the way on their own. Those ideas all sound extremely unfeasible and/or unlikely to work. And trying to separate people with linked arms by wedging a fence between them would have been more violent than just using pepper spray.

Quote:
Note: my take on this comes from being falsely arrested myself for 5 hours by an asshat cop with an axe to grind. I know some cops are nice and do it to preserve the law and help people. But a lot of cops are just power-hungry and don't even know the laws at all. They are useless. After my experience, there is no way I can look at police violence like this pepperspray incident and take the cops' side. Nope.

In other words you're impossibly biased on this issue? The cops in the video aren't the ones who arrested you. Many cops are indeed awful people, but generalizing a whole group based on a personal experience is a form of prejudice.
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#52 Old 03-06-2012, 04:02 PM
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Exactly. And the dumbass cops played right into it. So who are the morons?

The cops should be worried about doing their job, not trying to look good for the cameras. The protestors are the morons, because now that the full video is out they're the ones with more egg on their face.
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#53 Old 03-06-2012, 04:07 PM
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Exactly. And the dumbass cops played right into it. So who are the morons?

they didn't play into it. They used the least lethel means at their disposal to disperese the crowd who they warned numerous times what was going to happen if they didn't move out of their way.

The only dumbasses were the students who knowing after 3 warnings they were going to get pepper sprayed stayed in place and got sprayed. In fact they are lucky that is all that has happened, if the cops really wanted to press the issue they could supenia all the video of the event and try to id every student that obstructed them carrying out their job.

believe I am not a big supporter of the police state that we have become and are becoming, but in this instance the cops were in the right and the students were in the wrong.
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#54 Old 03-06-2012, 04:20 PM
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I think this is how it translates:

- The cops could have been accused of using metal fencing to assault protesters.
- The cops could have been accused of infiltrating, subverting, and inciting the occupy protesters.
- The cops could have been accused of pressuring and modifying the news for their own ends.
- The cops could have been accused of racial bias the next time they went to arrest someone and that person or people next to them resisted arrest and the cops didn't leave.

That's a pretty good translation.

I've been to many protests in the past that got somewhat heated. Never were the cops on our side. And never did we manage to get ourselves pepper sprayed. These protestors asked for it. I carry pepper spray with me when out at night and believe me, I am much quicker at the draw with it than these cops were. I will not give multiple warnings if I am feeling threatened or surrounded.
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#55 Old 03-06-2012, 04:21 PM
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...because now that the full video is out they're the ones with more egg on their face.

Only to cop groupies.

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#56 Old 03-06-2012, 04:37 PM
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Only to cop groupies.

What little I've seen of the show "Cops" has had me cursing at the cops on my screen. I've always sided against the cops when tasering controversies or dog shooting incidents have come up, including on this forum. I hate cops who go after people for drug possession, especially the ones who raid people's homes in the middle of the night. Not a cop groupie. Sorry.
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#57 Old 03-06-2012, 04:44 PM
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Only to cop groupies.

I hate the show cops, and on the few episodes I have seen I believe the cops on that show violate civil rights all the time and I believe many of the incidents should lead to investigations of the cops, but then again I am only seeing the edited down version of the video just like everyone else.

My point, is I am no fan of cops in general. However, in this incident you are wrong, and I believe the cops handled the situation in the safest, and least violent means at their disposal. Why do you think the cops have started video taping incidents like this from start to finish? To cover their a$$es. I must say they did a good job of covering theirs here.
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#58 Old 03-06-2012, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

Note: my take on this comes from being falsely arrested myself for 5 hours by an asshat cop with an axe to grind. I know some cops are nice and do it to preserve the law and help people. But a lot of cops are just power-hungry and don't even know the laws at all. They are useless. After my experience, there is no way I can look at police violence like this pepperspray incident and take the cops' side. Nope.

Sorry personal baggage makes you feel this way. Unfortunately it's making you irrational.
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#59 Old 03-06-2012, 06:29 PM
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If the students actively prevented the cops from stepping over, the cops could easily justify the use of force.

Yes, the students shouldn't have done what they did, but to suggest that the cops were in any real danger is stretching it. The cops had battlegear, guns, battons, and other crowd control devices against sitting plain clothed students with no weapons.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on the cops.

I am a betting man and bet that if they had tried to step over, even if it had been possible, the matter would have escalated to a point where the police had to use their clubs, and number of students would have been arrested for assault and probably expelled, and possibly worse.
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#60 Old 03-06-2012, 08:58 PM
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The police were not "surrounded". At 8:35 approximately, you can see a police car in the distance and no one blocking the path out, and only a few scattered students. I watched without the idiotic commentary. It is readily apparent to me that 1) the students, hardly dangerous, were protesting in a party atmosphere and were giddily disobeying authority. 2) there was no threat to the police and the pepper spray in particular was an unnecessary act. I disagree with the assessments that seem to believe the cops were surrounded.

Having helped to defend several Occupy members in NY, I am well acquainted with police tactics at these types of demonstrations. Feigning threats to officer's safety is a well worn excuse for excesses. What threat did these student pose except to piss off and offend some folks in authority? So the students were warned? That makes for Justified police action? Nonsense.
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