UC Davis pepper spray incident - what really happened - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-03-2012, 06:11 PM
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It's annoying how people post these out of context videos of police doing supposedly horrible things and then everyone gets all outraged without really knowing what happened. I don't think the please did anything wrong here by using pepper spray. Please don't comment without watching the whole thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhPdH3wE0_Y&feature=player_embedded
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#2 Old 03-03-2012, 07:23 PM
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Uh huh. Looked like a peaceful protest to me. People exercising their First Amendment rights. I guess the moral of this story is never come between a fat-ass cop and the donut shop.

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#3 Old 03-03-2012, 08:21 PM
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Technically, it was obstruction. The peaceful assembly did seem to have a disturbing mob character about it; I found myself wondering how many of those students actually knew why they were protesting or if it had all dissolved into just protesting "something". It was civil disobedience, but too many people don't understand that consequences come with that, including police response and arrest when lines are crossed. I have always struggled with my opinion on this case. If the police had simply tried to step over the students or physically move them to clear a path, one idiot-student's swing would have required that the police bring out their billy clubs and we would be watching videos of that and responding even more harshly.
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#4 Old 03-03-2012, 08:25 PM
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Uh huh. Looked like a peaceful protest to me. People exercising their First Amendment rights. I guess the moral of this story is never come between a fat-ass cop and the donut shop.

Did you even watch the video? They surrounded the cops and said they wouldn't let them leave unless they released their friends who had been arrested. That isn't "exercising first amendment rights". Then they must have been warned 10 times that the pepper spray (which was probably the safest use of force available) was coming.
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#5 Old 03-03-2012, 08:27 PM
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If the police had simply tried to step over the students or physically move them to clear a path, one idiot-student's swing would have required that the police bring out their billy clubs and we would be watching videos of that and responding even more harshly.

Trying to step over them while at the same time escorting arrested parties with them doesn't sound viable to me. Trying to physically move them would probably have been a lot harsher and more dangerous than using pepper spray.
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#6 Old 03-03-2012, 08:28 PM
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Trying to step over them while at the same time escorting arrested parties with them doesn't sound viable to me. Trying to physically move them would probably have been a lot harsher and more dangerous than using pepper spray.

I think we agree.
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#7 Old 03-03-2012, 08:41 PM
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I think in a so-called free society, you should do whatever the cops tell you to do.
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#8 Old 03-03-2012, 08:49 PM
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I think in a so-called free society, you should do whatever the cops tell you to do.

I don't believe you.
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#9 Old 03-03-2012, 10:19 PM
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Did you even watch the video? They surrounded the cops and said they wouldn't let them leave unless they released their friends who had been arrested. That isn't "exercising first amendment rights". Then they must have been warned 10 times that the pepper spray (which was probably the safest use of force available) was coming.

Yes, I watched the entire ridiculous thing, and read every word of the biased commentary. Without providing any grounds for removing the students from peaceable assembly, the police were wrong from beginning to end.

Words are never sufficient to incite physical attack, and I didn't see a single student raise a hand against the police in the whole video.

The police lie all the time. Just because an officer tells you you are in violation of some law doesn't make it true, and this particular group of students looked like they knew exactly what not to do, so I doubt that if the police had simply attempted to make their way through the crowd sitting on the ground, which didn't look all that big, any of them would have raised a hand against the police. In fact, I think this group of students may have behaved in a way that they hoped would elicit exactly the reaction from the police that they got. A show of unnecessary force against a bunch of kids sitting on the ground and refusing to move. The police may have played right into it, but that doesn't make what they did ok.

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#10 Old 03-03-2012, 10:39 PM
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Yes, I watched the entire ridiculous thing, and read every word of the biased commentary. Without providing any grounds for removing the students from peaceable assembly, the police were wrong from beginning to end.

Words are never sufficient to incite physical attack, and I didn't see a single student raise a hand against the police in the whole video.

The police lie all the time. Just because an officer tells you you are in violation of some law doesn't make it true, and this particular group of students looked like they knew exactly what not to do, so I doubt that if the police had simply attempted to make their way through the crowd sitting on the ground, which didn't look all that big, any of them would have raised a hand against the police. In fact, I think this group of students may have behaved in a way that they hoped would elicit exactly the reaction from the police that they got. A show of unnecessary force against a bunch of kids sitting on the ground and refusing to move. The police may have played right into it, but that doesn't make what they did ok.

I agree that the commentary on that video was ridiculous, but so is referring to college students as "kids" unless you are willing to bring their parents into the discussion and hold them accountable. I feel that the University should have let the occupation play out without any resistance, unless it was bringing harm to anyone. The police did show up, though, and things turned out as they did.

Some police officers do lie, but that's hardly a rationalization for a categorical disrespect for them. Life wouldn't be so pleasant as some people would like to think if they weren't here.
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#11 Old 03-03-2012, 10:57 PM
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I guess it all depends if you believe everyone should bow down and do everything someone says because they are a cop. I'm proud of them for standing up against them, and in a non violent way, nobody does anything these days, the police can do anything they want to anyone with virtually no consequences, it's disturbing and we need people that are willing to go against it, and without even hurting anyone.
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#12 Old 03-03-2012, 10:59 PM
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I guess it all depends if you believe everyone should bow down and do everything someone says because they are a cop. I'm proud of them for standing up against them, and in a non violent way, nobody does anything these days, the police can do anything they want to anyone with virtually no consequences, it's disturbing and we need people that are willing to go against it, and without even hurting anyone.


How do you suggest the police should have left the scene?
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#13 Old 03-03-2012, 11:59 PM
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Yes, I watched the entire ridiculous thing, and read every word of the biased commentary. Without providing any grounds for removing the students from peaceable assembly, the police were wrong from beginning to end.

Are you sure, because the police did provide grounds for what they were doing multiple times.

Even if you believe they were wrong in the beginning, that doesn't mean they were wrong in their use of pepper spray later on.

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Words are never sufficient to incite physical attack, and I didn't see a single student raise a hand against the police in the whole video.

If a group of cops are surrounded by people who outnumber them and the cops are told that that they can leave if they set free some people they've arrested, that is not just "words". How would you propose the cops should have reacted in that situation?

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I agree that the commentary on that video was ridiculous, but so is referring to college students as "kids" unless you are willing to bring their parents into the discussion and hold them accountable.

How was the commentary ridiculous? I don't remember all of it, but it seemed pretty reasonable/accurate for the most part.

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I feel that the University should have let the occupation play out without any resistance, unless it was bringing harm to anyone.

I'm inclined to agree, although I'd need to know more details and the University's reasoning.
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#14 Old 03-04-2012, 12:14 AM
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How was the commentary ridiculous? I don't remember all of it, but it seemed pretty reasonable/accurate for the most part.

It wasn't objective in the least. There was a clear melodramatic point throughout. Not that I disagreed with it completely, but it was hardly any form of journalism that someone should base an opinion on.
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#15 Old 03-04-2012, 12:24 AM
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Upon further reflection I'll say I found some of it accurate, some of it ignore-worthy and some of it a bit ridiculous. The commentary is not really necessary to the video.
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#16 Old 03-04-2012, 12:34 AM
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How do you suggest the police should have left the scene?

Not sure, i'm not sure that if it were me that i would be boxing the police in, i don't like them so i'd rather them leave sooner. But if you disagree with people being arrested and it's something you feel very strongly about i could understand why they would. Once removing by force is threatened it kind of creates a defensive reaction and at that point nobody wants to back down. I don't think pepper spray use was needed, as long as nobody was hurt, nobody should have been arrested or pepper sprayed.
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#17 Old 03-04-2012, 12:42 AM
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Not sure, i'm not sure that if it were me that i would be boxing the police in, i don't like them so i'd rather them leave sooner. But if you disagree with people being arrested and it's something you feel very strongly about i could understand why they would. Once removing by force is threatened it kind of creates a defensive reaction and at that point nobody wants to back down. I don't think pepper spray use was needed, as long as nobody was hurt, nobody should have been arrested or pepper sprayed.

How do you suggest the police should have left the scene?
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#18 Old 03-04-2012, 05:59 AM
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It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the university specifically asked the police to remove the students. Like any corporation, colleges have an image they want to project, and a protest probably doesn't fit that image.

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#19 Old 03-04-2012, 06:19 AM
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The cops look a little on the hefty side (shouldn't they be in shape?). They should be thankful things didn't turn violent. I think those students could have whooped some ass.
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#20 Old 03-04-2012, 08:03 AM
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On side of the protesters, i understand making a statement by surrounding the tents that you know are illegally set up and to peacefully defend them and risk arrest to show your determination and seriousness behind your cause. That's honorable, but the events following completely sullied the image of the protest and the credibility of the students, as well as potentially lessening the seriousness of these protests in the eyes of anyone that witnessed the ridiculousness of this event.

Surrounding the cops and making demands? Even then the cops tried to speak to the protesters and warned them multiple times of what they would have to do if the students continued trying to detain them. All they got back were students laughing at them and then making unfounded chants to not fire their guns at them, which is ridiculous. The students obviously played this out like it was some sort of game as you see them often smiling, laughing, and making jokes to the police officers words. The police may have been able to do things more peacefully and not spray the students, but that would of been risky and potentially put the police in danger when looking at the fact that the students would go as far as trying to surround them and make demands. Besides being the safer path, spraying also seems like it was the best option to send an obviously much needed message that these things are no game.

The only way the students actions would have been justified is if the police were unjustly trying to suppress them by disobeying laws or following unjust laws (in which, non-peaceful action would of been called for). -This was not the case, and those students should be ashamed for causing discredit to a meaningful movement.
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#21 Old 03-04-2012, 12:45 PM
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The cops look a little on the hefty side (shouldn't they be in shape?). They should be thankful things didn't turn violent. I think those students could have whooped some ass.

they look a little on the hefty side because they are all in body armor, and though the mob would have won the intial schrimish if it came to that there would have been a lot of college students needing hospital care.
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#22 Old 03-04-2012, 12:47 PM
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what we have here is a perfect example of what the OWS movement really is, I believe it was Stalin that said it best "....... useful idiots."

And most of you claimed the Tea Party movement was violent.
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#23 Old 03-04-2012, 02:40 PM
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what we have here is a perfect example of what the OWS movement really is, I believe it was Stalin that said it best "....... useful idiots."

Useful to who?
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#24 Old 03-04-2012, 02:47 PM
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Useful to who?

What political party has come out with endorsements of them?
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#25 Old 03-04-2012, 02:54 PM
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I'm not sure how embarrassing themselves on video is a perfect example of them being useful to the Democrats, but okay...
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#26 Old 03-05-2012, 03:37 PM
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The students are apparently suing the school and/or the cops, but I don't know the details of their charges. In case there's any remaining doubt that the cops weren't in the wrong to use pepper spray, here's a quote from one of the pepper spray recipients on Democracy Now!:

"We had encircled them and they were trying to leave and they were trying to clear a path and so we sat down, linked arms and said that if they wanted to clear the path they would have to go through us..."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8yHfLDIeBs

Attempting to physically block people from leaving an area is not peacefully protesting. It's creating a situation in which cops have no choice, but to use some form of force to clear a path for exit. Pepper spray probably had the lowest chance of injuring anyone of the options available.
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#27 Old 03-05-2012, 07:02 PM
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I'm coming out on HJ's side of this one actually...
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#28 Old 03-05-2012, 08:36 PM
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The cops look a little on the hefty side (shouldn't they be in shape?).

That's what I thought, too. But then I realized it's much better to pepper spray seated people directly in the eyes, nose and mouth rather than lift your legs high enough to step over them.

Keep on freepin' on

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#29 Old 03-05-2012, 08:41 PM
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That's what I thought, too. But then I realized it's much better to pepper spray seated people directly in the eyes, nose and mouth rather than lift your legs high enough to step over them.

I have a 34 inch inseam and am very flexible and I don't think I could do that, particularly while in body armor and particularly if I was escorting other people under arrest.
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#30 Old 03-05-2012, 09:27 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.
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