UC Davis Officials Sued Over Pepper Spraying

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, February 24, 2012

Three months after being pepper sprayed or allegedly roughed up by UC Davis campus police during an Occupy demonstration, 19 students and alumni Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit claiming that their free speech and assembly rights were violated in the controversial incident.

The suit names Chancellor Linda Katehi as a defendant, along with other campus administrators and police officers. It details allegations against campus police Lt. John Pike, who the suit says sprayed the seated or crouching protesters at close range, causing pain to their eyes and faces.

The students, who contend the university did not properly screen and train campus police, are seeking financial damages and policy changes in how the UC system handles protests.

David Buscho, 22, a mechanical engineering major, had joined the Occupy camp to protest rising tuition and what he said was the privatization of UC. On Wednesday, he described how the pepper spray made him feel as if he was suffocating.