The Washington Post

UC-Davis police chief is placed on leave

SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California, Davis said Monday that it had placed its police chief on administrative leave amid outrage over widely circulated videos of officers dousing student protesters with pepper spray.

In a news release, campus officials said it was necessary to place Chief Annette Spicuzza on leave to restore trust and calm tensions after Friday’s crackdown on the “Occupy UC-Davis” encampment, which resulted in 10 arrests.

The school has also placed two officers on administrative leave.

Videos posted online show one riot-gear-clad officer spraying a line of protesters as they sit passively with their arms intertwined. Spicuzza told the AP that the second officer was identified in videos.

On Sunday, UC President Mark Yudof said he was “appalled” by images of protesters being pepper-sprayed and planned an assessment of law enforcement procedures on all campuses.

“Free speech is part of the DNA of this university, and nonviolent protest has long been central to our history,” said Yudof, who heads the 10-campus UC system. “It is a value we must protect with vigilance.”

UC-Davis officials refused to identify the two officers who were placed on leave. Spicuzza had earlier told the AP that one had served on the force for many years and that the other was “fairly new.” Both officers were trained in the use of pepper spray under department policy.

UC-Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said she had asked the Yolo County district attorney’s office to investigate the department’s use of force. She said she had been inundated with reaction from alumni, students and faculty.

The protest Friday was held in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement and in solidarity with demonstrators at the University of California, Berkeley who were jabbed by police with batons Nov. 9.

Nine students hit by pepper spray were treated at the scene, and two were taken to hospitals and released, officials said.

— Associated Press

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Republicans debated Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Highlights from Saturday's GOP debate
Except for an eminent domain attack from Bush, Trump largely avoided strikes from other candidates.

Christie went after Rubio for never having been a chief executive and for relying on talking points.

Carson tried to answer a question on Obamacare by lamenting that he hadn't been asked an earlier question about North Korea.
The GOP debate in 3 minutes
Play Video
We have all donors in the audience. And the reason they're booing me? I don't want their money!
Donald Trump, after the debate crowd at St. Anselm's College booed him for telling Jeb Bush to be "quiet."
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She's planning to head Sunday to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 38%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.