Two UC Davis police officers were place on administrative leave in the wake of Friday’s pepper-spray controversy.
The university did not provide the names of the officers, although several outlets have speculated that – the officer who – is likely one of the two. Here’s what Chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi said:
“I spoke with students this weekend, and I feel their outrage. I have also heard from an overwhelming number of students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the country. I am deeply saddened that this happened on our campus, and as chancellor, I take full responsibility for the incident. However, I pledge to take the actions needed to ensure that this does not happen again. I feel very sorry for the harm our students were subjected to and I vow to work tirelessly to make the campus a more welcoming and safe place."
Katehi also sped up the timetable for an independent review of the police response, setting a 30-day deadline. That task force will include faculty, students and staff.
Police have noted that a crowd of hundreds had surrounded them, but many videos show that the pepper spray was deployed on students who were passively sitting. Here’s more from Katehi:
“These past few days our campus has been confronted with serious questions which will challenge us for many months and years to come. We have created great universities which are challenged in their capacity to accommodate our human needs of expression, anger, frustration and even civil disobedience together with the need to feel safe. We need to find a way to change that while at the same time remaining true to our mission of teaching, research and service. We need to think hard and together on how to accomplish this.”