The worst part of this video, taken at UC Davis yesterday during what sounds like a brutal police action against protesters during an eviction of the university's occupation camp, is how casual the cop is: like a gardener using pesticide. According to an open letter to the university's chancellor from an English professor named Nathan Brown, it got a lot worse from there:
Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.
The man who pepper-sprayed the protesters in the video above is Lt. John Pike, of the UC Davis Police Department. If you'd like to let him know what you think of his actions, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org; for what it's worth, his boss, UCD Police Chief Annette Spicuzza, told the Davis Enterprise that she's "very proud" of her officers. "I don't believe any of our officers were hurt," she says, "and I hope none of the students were injured."
Spicuzza's pride comes a little more than a week after UC Berkeley officers were filmed beating students with their nightsticks, an event that led UCD mechanical engineering major Dominic Gutierrez to protest—and get a face full of pepper spray. He remained remarkably optimistic:
"When they see us on the quad, a student might think that maybe there are weird people camping on the Quad," Gutierrez said. "Once they see this, all they see is cops hitting students. They might have thought, ‘Those are people different than me, I would never (protest).'
"Now they see this is awful, and they'll come out for the same reason I came out."