UC Davis pepper-spray cops won't face criminal charges

5:38 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
Occupy Davis
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WOODLAND, CA - Criminal charges will not be filed against the UC Davis police officers involved in last year's pepper-spraying incident on campus, the Yolo County district attorney has determined.

The Nov. 19, 2012 incident in which a campus officer deployed pepper spray on protestors peacefully demonstrating created widespread outrage when video of the event went viral online.

The D.A.'s investigation concluded: Viewing the incident through the totality of the circumstances, there is insufficient evidence to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the use of force involved in the November 18, 2011, pepper spraying was unlawful and therefore warrants the filing of criminal charges.

Lt. John Pike, the officer seen in the video pepper-spraying the demonstrators, no longer works for the university.

The D.A.'s determination relied heavily on the University of California's Kroll Report of the incident, according to a news release. The Kroll Report concluded the actions of Pike and the other officers in general "believed that they and their prisoners were surrounded by a hostile 'mob,' and that the pepper spraying was necessary to clear the pathway so that the officers and their prisoners could leave the Quad safely" and that "a detailed review of the events provides some support for their [the officers] position."

The incident triggered several investigations and a review of current university policies and recommendations for changes. Just last week, the university reached an undisclosed settlement with the pepper-sprayed protesters.

The D.A.'s report accompanies this story.


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