In the push and pull that has become the battle between the 99% and the 1%, Friday's videos of a pepper spray incident, where a UCal Davis police officer is seen spraying into the eyes of seated protesters, has sparked another debate about the role of police in the #Occupy protests and whether their use of force has been justified in all cases.
From the videos posted here, this is one incident that will need some serious explanation from the authorities involved.
It appears that the UCal Davis incident will only add more problems to what has become a protest of problems. As The New York Times reported tonight:
Eyewitnesses uploaded their recordings late Friday. In a statement on Saturday that acknowledged the role of the eyewitnesses in raising awareness about the police’s behavior, the university’s chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi, said she was saddened by “the events.”
“The use of pepper spray as shown on the video is chilling to us all and raises many questions about how best to handle situations like this,” Ms. Katehi wrote. Her statement said that she was forming a task force and asking university officials to review existing policies about encampments like the one that was erected on the campus this week.
“While the university is trying to ensure the safety and health of all members of our community, we must ensure our strategies to gain compliance are fair and reasonable and do not lead to mistreatment,” Ms. Katehi wrote.
Asked about the demands by some faculty members for her resignation, Ms. Katehi said at a news conference on Saturday afternoon that she did not deem it appropriate to resign “at this point.”
Here is another YouTube video of the same incident.
Finally, this video shows the same incident from a different vantage point.