A police action intended to roust a few hundred protesters ... instead drew thousands of people into the streets on Saturday, where they battled riot police officers for hours...
Police used batons to try to push [the protestors] 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 [the protestors] as they did so. When [the protestors] covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of [the protestors] 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 remarkable and dismaying thing about these two excerpts is how seamlessly they flow together. You'd think they were both from the same news story, but they aren't. The first is news from Tahrir Square in Egypt (where I was walking around by myself just this past Tuesday) and the second is from U.C. Davis.
It is really starting to feel like the whole of human civilization is in danger of coming unraveled.
Here's more from the U.C. Davis story:
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 email@example.com; 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."
Follow the link above to see the video. It's shocking.
Have you read first comment in the article you are linking?
What is shocking to you about that video?
It worth reading more comments by ChillbearLatrigue:
> Have you read first comment in the article you are linking?
Yes. Have you read the first amendment to the Constitution? Whoever wrote that comment apparently hasn't.
> What is shocking to you about that video?
Have you ever been pepper sprayed?
Try this experiment: Go to your kitchen, get out a bottle of tabasco sauce, and pour a couple of drops in your eyes. Now as you contemplate the pain, consider that Tabasco is only about 1% as potent as police-grade pepper spray. Pepper spray may not look as overly violent as a billy club, but it surely hurts just as much, maybe more.
This police officer chose to employ this considerable violence against unarmed students seated on the ground who clearly posed no immediate threat. I'm not sure what is more shocking, that it happened, or that anyone would defend it on the record. Oh, wait, that comment was posted pseudonymously. Gosh, I wonder why.
> It worth reading more comments by ChillbearLatrigue:
It's pretty horrifying. This person sounds like a psychopath.
"The cop double sprayed them because it initially had no effect on the protesters. All of them were covered and their faces were covered. That affects the way that it works."
Translation: The cop sprayed the protestors twice because after the first time they assumed a defensive posture, and so the first application clearly was not causing them sufficient pain.
Do you imply that this video shows how police violated Freedom of Speech rights?
From what I can see from that video - freedom of speech was not restricted in any way.
Police only sprayed people who where blocking the road. Everyone else could enjoy chanting whatever they liked.
Regarding the right of peaceful assembly - that was only restricted because they assembled on the property against consent of that property owners.
If they assembled in your house with your permission - they would be just fine.
"why does anyone care about the fact that he's calm while doing it?"
Because his calm demeanor is an indication that the cop knew full well that neither he nor anyone else was in any danger from the protestors.
Yes, cops intent was to punish protesters for not-compliance with police request.
That's one of the core principles how law enforcement works.
Whoever didn't get the message from the first time - got the second portion.
In any case, what would be your course of action if protesters made a peaceful assembly on your backyard?
If police officer (or anyone for that matter) looks calm - that does not not mean that he was not in any danger.
Would you prefer to see police being nervous while dealing with protesters?
I definitely would not want that, because nervousness can easily cause inappropriate violence.
> they assembled on the property against consent of that property owners.
You've been watching too much Fox News. U.C. Davis is a public institution and hence the campus is public property.
> that does not not mean that he was not in any danger
I didn't say he was not in any danger (though I'll say it now). I said that his calm demeanor was AN INDICATION that HE BELIEVED that he was not in any danger. Whether or not his belief was correct (it clearly was) is an orthogonal issue.
> Would you prefer to see police being nervous while dealing with protesters?
I would prefer to see the police exercise good judgement and common sense.
Can we please cut through the bullshit? It's quite clear what happened here: this cop went on a power trip because the students refused to <voice=cartman>respect his authoritah</voice>. That is not acceptable behavior.
1) I doubt that I watches more Fox News than you did.
2) If U.C. Davis is a public property then public should decide what kind of peaceful protests to allow, right?
Most of the time I (as part of that public) am against such physical forms of protests on public property.
U.C. Davis administration (which represent voice of public for U.C. Davis) was against such "physical occupation" protests too.
Do you think that our voices should be totally ignored by protesters?
1) Cop's calm appearance does not mean that he believed that he's safe.
2) It's easy to say in retrospect that it was safe for police.
But when you try to disperse crowd it's hard to predict exact outcome and is better to assume that some serious violence can happen any moment.
3) From my perspective police did exactly what you prefer: they exercised good judgement and common sense:
They delivered some minor punishment (pepper spray) to the most active troublemakers (who were sitting on the road), but did not beat and did not arrest anyone, because there was no violence from protesters.
If police didn't stay calm - it would be hard to exercise good judgement.
3) Police teaches students to respect law and authorities. Why is it not acceptable?
And what is the alternative?
Just let protesters occupy whatever public property they like?
> Just let protesters occupy whatever public property they like?
Of course. That is what "the right to assemble" means.
What if I you happen to use that public road for your own business e.g. coming to work - would you still say that it's totally OK for protesters to take that road?
That depends on what you mean by "take the road." I'm pretty sure it's illegal to sit in the middle of a road. But if, for example, they were carrying signs and marching back and forth across a cross walk, I would find that extremely annoying, but it wouldn't be illegal, and I would defend their right to do it.
But that has nothing to do with what happened at Davis. The students weren't blocking a road, they were blocking a walkway. I'm pretty sure there's no law against that.
So imagine that you are walking to U.C. Davis to do some work their, and there is that crowd of students sitting on your way on the crosswalk.
Would you say that their right to sit on that public crosswalk and blocking it is more important than your right to freely go to U.C. Davis?
Let's put aside whether it's legal or not for now. What's the right way to resolve that situation is from your perspective?
> What's the right way to resolve that situation is from your perspective?
I would walk around them.
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