University officials and campus police officers have been under intense scrutiny ever since widely circulated videos showed riot police dousing students with pepper spray as they sat passively on the ground with their arms interlocked on November 18, 2011.
In their federal complaint, students claim the use of pepper spray on seated students was an example of excessive force that violated both their state and federal constitutional, First Amendment rights.
“This was my first demonstration. So many of my friends can barely make ends meet and then another tuition hike was proposed. We had no idea there would be police in riot gear or that we would be pepper‐sprayed because we were making our voices heard,” said plaintiff David Buscho in a news release.
The lawsuit alleges that UC Davis officials and the campus police department didn’t properly train and supervise its police officers.
The students are being represented by the ACLU of Northern California.
UC Davis officials have declined to comment on the lawsuit thus far.
- SFgate.comUC Davis pepper-spraying spur pledge for research (sfgate.com)
- UC Davis Chancellor Facing Confidence Vote In Wake Of Pepper Spray Incident (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- UC Davis Faculty Support Chancellor Katehi, But Oppose Use of Police Against Student Activists (studentactivism.net)