I tend to avoid political discussion, but I believe it would be inappropriate for me not to address the events that have taken place recently at UC Davis as they are making national and international news.
To concisely summarize, a group of peaceful student protestors were pepper-sprayed by police officer John Pike, a man who receives over 110,000 per year to “protect” after the students refused to move from their places, locking arms together, seated in solidarity. One of the protestors was hospitalized for chemical burns and 10 of the protestors were arrested, some of them dragged to the police car. The footage of the events makes me sick. I lived in Ecuador at a time of political unrest when civilians were tear gassed and pepper sprayed for acting out and the images I have from those times are nothing like the events of UC Davis. The students simply sat there. They did not fight back.
These events transpired because the Chancellor of UC Davis called the police in after the protestors refused to leave their encampment after they were given a warning. Now the Chancellor’s actions are being scrutinized and the idea is spreading that she should resign as many believe these events would not have taken place if she had not called the police to act.
Let us not forget that there was a single police officer at fault for the pepper-spraying — John Pike. His more than 110,000 annual salary comes from taxpayer dollars. Since when is it acceptable for police to pepper-spray non-threatening individuals?
I would like to see John Pike fired and an investigation as to whether the officers were told to use pepper-spray only under certain conditions. As for the Chancellor, she’s clearly worried about losing her job (as she should be) given that she is the reason the police were brought in. All it takes is a single individual to plant the seed of an idea and it will grow, especially with social media these days.
For those of you who haven’t seen yet, please feel free to witness the events with your own eyes…
I also recommend you check out: Ten Things You Should Know About Friday’s UC Davis Police Violence