UPDATE: Just as Oakland PD's Chief did when called out for brutality, UC Davis Police Chief lies about what happened
LATE UPDATE: Chancellor faces silent 'Walk of Shame'; 2 cops placed on "Administrative Leave"...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2011, 2:39pm PT  

On Friday, Lt. John Pike [and a number of other officers --- see UPDATE below] of the UC Davis police force lead a group of lawless cops in lining up demonstrators who had been peaceably assembled on the University of California, Davis quad and then covered them with with pepper spray. His fellow cops did nothing to stop him, and actually stood by in support. [Complete appalling video posted at the end of this article.]

We're at a loss to describe this type of outrageous, unprovoked and unnecessary behavior as anything less than torture, to be frank.

Yesterday, we shared the photo of a cop at OccupyPortland similarly pepper spraying a young demonstrator directly in the face. And the day before, we detailed the story of 84-year old Dorli Rainey who met a similar fate at OccupySeattle.

Our report yesterday detailed a rapidly growing partial list of other atrocious incidents of blatant, lawless, unprovoked violence carried out by "law enforcement" officials across the nation since the Occupy Wall Street movement began two months ago. The incidents, almost all documented on video by citizen journalists, demonstrate the unrestrained, and almost always illegal, use of brutal force, aggression, violence and often torture by Big Government against peaceful American citizens exercising what were once known as their Constitutional rights --- the very behavior which supporters of the Tea Party once pretended to be concerned about.

As we averred in that article --- as supported by the included linked incidents --- and as we feel even more certain of today after viewing the video of the casually brutal and tortuous behavior of Pike and his band of UC Davis stormtrooper thugs who stood by in support (see full video below), the U.S. has not become merely a Police State in the ten years following 9/11, but a fully weaponized Military State.

Though video evidence of what happened was widely available on Friday, rather than condemning the outrageous violence by a member of her own Police force --- as she almost certainly would have had the situation been reversed and a student used pepper spray against peaceful cops --- UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi chose to issue a statement yesterday which seemed to excuse the police brutality as necessary "to protect the health and safety of our campus community"...

"We deeply regret that many of the protesters today chose not to work with our campus staff and police to remove the encampment as requested," she wrote. "We are even more saddened by the events that subsequently transpired to facilitate their removal."

"Saddened by"?! Not "outraged by"? Not "infuriated by"? Not "appalled by"?

An Internet petition was subsequently launched calling for her immediate resignation.

This morning, Katehi tried again, with another statement --- which, once again, failed to condemn the actions of Pike and the UC Davis police who stood by --- announcing only the creation of a task force "to review the events and provide to me a thorough report within 90 days."

"While the university is trying to ensure the safety and health of all members of our community," she wrote in her still-inadequate mulligan, "we must ensure our strategies to gain compliance are fair and reasonable and do not lead to mistreatment."

She went on to call on the task force to "review our policies in relation to encampments of this nature and consider whether our existing policies reflect the needs of the students at this point in time. If our policies do not allow our students enough flexibility to express themselves, then we need to find a way to improve these policies and make them more effective and appropriate."

Still no condemnation of Pike's or the other officers' behavior was included by Katehi, though another expression of her "sadness for the events" was used in closing.

Once again, had a student walked up to a group of peaceful, compliant cops and sprayed them in the face with pepper spray, do you suppose both of Katehi's statements in response would have included, appropriately, the strongest and most unreserved condemnation of that student, and calls for full accountability for their actions?

Katehi's reaction to the blatant and obviously outrageous and lawless use of force by militarized police thugs is, unfortunately, not unusual anymore. We've seen similar all across the country over the last several months from public officials overseeing lawless and militarized police forces on steroids as they abuse peaceful American citizens exercising First Amendment rights. But her reaction does underscore exactly why demonstrators need to fight to continue the Occupations --- for as long as it takes to affect real change in this once-great, now-shameful nation.

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Video of UC Davis Police Department's Lt. John Pike pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators on 11/18/11 at the UC Davis campus follows below...

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UPDATE: It looks like it was more than just Lt. Pike from the UC Davis Stormtrooper force who used pepper spray on the peaceful demonstrators, according to this video from a different angle...

Moreover, apparently the UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza has done exactly what Howard Jordan, Oakland PD's Chief did after their brutal and unprovoked use of chemical agents on October 25th against peaceful demonstrators became public: blatantly lie about it.

According to the NYTimes tonight:

Annette Spicuzza, the U.C. Davis police chief, told The Sacramento Bee that the officer used pepper spray on Friday because the police were surrounded by students. “There was no way out of that circle,” she told the newspaper. “They were cutting the officers off from their support. It’s a very volatile situation.”

The videos, however, show officers freely moving about and show students behaving peacefully. The university reported no instances of violence by any protesters.

As you can see in the second video I've posted above, Lt. Pike easily steps right out "of that circle" without resistance from any of the students participating in the sit-in.

Seriously, don't these cops realize this stuff is now all on video tape?! Or do they just feel the corporate media and corporatized government will protect them even if it is?

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UPDATE 11/20/11: Haunting video of Chancellor Katehi's "Walk of Shame" as she faces a silent student protest, and word that two UC Davis cops have now been placed on "Administrative Leave". Video, details and more updates now here...