Two police officers involved in a pepper-spraying incident at the University of California-Davis have been placed on leave, and over the weekend, the university’s faculty association called for the chancellor’s resignation.
But Chancellor Linda Katehi told ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday that she’s staying put. “I really feel confident at this point the university needs me,” she told GMA (video here). “There are so many critical issues to be addressed and we really need to start the healing process and move forward.”
On Friday, a police officer was captured on video casually pepper spraying a group of sitting protesters. The incident occurred after “Occupy” protesters were asked to take down their tents from the university’s lawn.
The video sparked an online outcry and quickly went viral. Watch the video below:
In a statement on Sunday, University Of California President Mark Yudof said he was “appalled” by the images. “I intend to do everything in my power as president of this university to protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest,” Yudof said.
Yudof will convene the university system’s chancellors to discuss an appropriate response to the incident, he said.
The officers placed on administrative leave haven’t been officially identified yet. The AP reports that one is a veteran of the force and the other is fairly new. The Davis Enterprise reports that the officer who used the pepper spray is Lt. John Pike. UC Davis police chief Annette Spicuzza — who was at the scene at the time of the pepper spraying — is also on leave.
On Saturday Chancellor Katehi walked to her car amid silent protesters. Watch the video below. Katehi is expected to address the university on Monday.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com