Saturday, November 26, 2011

Did The UC Davis Protesters Deserve To Get Pepper-sprayed?

Let's listen to this little vixen explain how they provoked the police:

So, she complains that university "riot police" are on "her campus"--clearly she wishes they weren't--admits that she and her compatriots surrounded the officers and told them that if they wanted to leave they'd have to go through the students, and then she's surprised that the officers responded?

I'll grant that the officers did not appear to be under imminent threat; on the other hand, they shouldn't have to wait until they're in jeopardy before they act. I also grant those who have police power given to them in our society must be held to very high standards of conduct, as they have the power to take away that which is fundamental to our ethos as a people--freedom.

Did the officers respond appropriately? If you tease the nice dog enough, should you really be surprised when it nips at you?

Initially I was against this police behavior. Now I'm not so sure.

Update, 12/4/11: It's always nice when a fellow blogger links :) Coach also adds information from former students of his at Davis.

8 comments:

maxutils said...

Okay . . .the complaint was that the were blocking access to Mrak Hall. As someone familiar to the campus, I would say . . . walk around them until they became weary. And, stop increasing tuition by ridiculous amounts every year.

Darren said...

The police aren't raising tuition.

Anonymous said...

The police are also not dogs and should be trained to act with appropriate force, not to play into a taunt.

vulcanarcher said...

Anonymous:
That video was a snippet of that whole event. My husband is a police officer; a whole lot of commands and other methods were used to move people out of the way who were blocking access. There are different levels of force, and pepper spray is the first level. Again, we don't know the full story.

maxutils said...

Darren, of course they aren't. But, neither were the protestor protesting the police. They were in front of the administration building. Who, also didn't raise tuition, but is the symbolic of those who did, on campus.

MikeAT said...

vulcanarcher

I must disagree with you with one part. Pepper spray is not the first level of force. In order, Command Presence, Verbal Orders, Physical Contact (i.e. Grab your dumb ass and pin it against the wall), Intermediate Force (e.g. Baton strikes below the neckline, Taser, mace) and finally Deadly Force (e.g. bullets, knife or baton strikes on the head). FYI Darren will confirm to you I’m a 13 year veteran cop.

I’ve looked at this thing and commented on it at at my blog. Yes, 20/20 hindsight with limited knowledge of what happened before the spray but these things we do know. One, these useful idiots did not have the right to block a sidewalk like that interfering with other people’s lives. Two, they were warned multiple times to leave by 300pm. Oh, from the UC Davis Peaceful Protest handbook

"Individuals have wide latitude for expressing their views, but certain conduct is unlawful or violates University policy. Those who engage in activities such as making threats of violence toward specific individuals, disturbing the peace, obstructing or disrupting campus functions, or behavior that threatens health and safety may be prosecuted and/or disciplined. "

Now his waste of tax dollars feeding on the public trough says the police were trying to leave, “...we had encircled them...they were trying to clear a path...if they wanted to clear the path they would have to go through us...” These idiots surrounded the police and seemed to want to keep them there. Ain’t happening. That is a threat and they can justify use of intermediate force to handle that. In case no one out there noticed it the cops were seriously outnumbered.

Having said all that, IMHO the situation was very poorly handled by the officers on site. Police were (from my view point) outnumbered something like 10 to 1 and surrounded. Once the spray went out it might have started a riot and then it could have escalated to someone getting themselves severely injured or shot.

What the officers should have done was fence off the moron professor and other trolls in a fence box open only to their back to keep the crowds away. Then one at a time four nice officers surround the minion on the end and asked “Do you want to leave now? If not you will be arrested.” If he willingly departs, cool. If he wants to go to jail, oblige him. I bit of a reverse of what happened. Instead of the good guys being outnumbered as they were, you isolate the bad guys and pick them off one at a time.

Possible problem with this at Davis (the University and the city) is judges and city/district attorneys siding with the protestors because they believe the punks have a right to not work, etc. Oh well, we don’t have that issue down in Houston thank God.

Oh, one final question. Does Davis have a Free Speech Zone or whatever the hell it’s called this week for protesting? Anyone else at a major university when they want to protest their taxes being raised, seizure of multiple industries, tax dollars being wasted on solar companies, etc seems to be confined to little corners off the beaten path on the campus. Why not these trolls? Just asking.

Coach Brown said...

My students from Davis said that this wasn't the full story either.

maxutils said...

Trust me on this: blocking access to Mrak Hall would require a lot more students, on both sides, and at least close enough to the building to have it in view of the news footage. I tend to agree wit the protestors, who have been incorrectly lumped in with the 'occupy' movement, but even if they were [rotesting not enough ice cream in the dining halls, this was a horrible overreaction.