But before it even came to that point, the student protesters had, with the help of Legal Services, gone over all the relevant state laws, city ordinances, campus ordinances, and campus regulations and concluded that no matter what the Chancellor thought, it was entirely legal for them to set up that camp. When the university's legal department found out that Chancellor Katehi was going to order the camp removed, they thought they made it clear to her that the students were right.
I kept having to stop and slap my forehead over that one repeated phrase in the report: (this person or that) was under the impression she had made it clear that (some order was given), but nobody else present had that impression. Anybody who is "under the impression that they made it clear" that some order was given who who didn't put it in writing and who hasn't had that order paraphrased back to them? Should be slapped. Or at the very least demoted. Unless you actually said it, you didn't "make it clear."
It turns out that it is illegal for anybody to lodge on the campus without permission, but the relevant law only applies to people trying to make it their permanent dwelling. The law prohibits non-students from camping on campus for any reason, but neither student affairs nor the one cop sent to look could find any non-students who were there overnight. A campus regulation says that students can't set up tents without permission, but that regulation is not enforceable by police, only by academic discipline. Campus legal "thought they made it clear" that the law was on the students' side, but according to multiple witnesses, what they actually said was "it is unclear that you have legal authority to order the police to do this" and Chancellor Katehi heard that as "well, they didn't say I don't have that authority, only that it's not clear."
Chancellor Katehi, on her part, "thought she made it clear" that when police ordered the students to leave, they were (a) not to wear riot gear into the camp, (b) not to carry weapons of any kind into the camp, (c) were not to use force of any kind against the students, and (d) were not to make any arrests. But all that anybody else on that conference call heard her say out loud was "I don't want another situation like they just had at Berkeley," and Chief Spicuzza interpreted that as "no swinging of clubs."
Chief Spicuzza "thought she made it clear" more than once that no riot gear was to be worn and no clubs or pepper sprayers were to be carried. What Lieutenant Pike said back to her, each time, was, "Well, I hear you say that you don't want us to, but we're going to." And they did, including that now-infamous Mk-9 military-grade riot-control pepper sprayer that he used. Oh, funny thing about that particular model of pepper-sprayer? It's illegal for California cops to possess or use. It turns out that the relevant law only permits the use of up to Mk-4 pepper sprayers. The consultants were unable to find out who authorized the purchase and carrying, but every cop they asked said, "So what? It's just like the Mk-4 except that it has a higher capacity." Uh, no. It's also much, much higher pressure, and specifically designed not to be sprayed directly at any one person, only at crowds, and only from at least six feet away. The manufacturer says so. The person in charge of training California police in pepper spray says that as far as he knows, no California cop has ever received training, from his office or from the manufacturer, in how to safely use a Mk-9 sprayer, presumably because it's illegal. But Officer Nameless, when he wrote the action plan for these arrests, included all pepper-spray equipment in the equipment list, both the paint-ball rifle pepper balls and the Mk-9 riot-control sprayers.
Persuade the DA to Drop Charges against the Davis Dozen?
Interested in supporting peaceful student protesters?
Want the Yolo Co. DA to not press charges on the Davis Dozen?
The Davis Dozen is a group of individuals who have been charged with being involved in the protest which culminated in the closure of the UC Davis branch of the U.S. Bank (a protest which was arranged to keep private commerce separate from publicly available education). Six of the twelve were either arrested or pepper sprayed during the November 18, 2011 student protest on the UC Davis quad.
It is the week of their arraignment. Consider calling the DA's office early and often this week to voice your opposition to these charges. You'll be referred to voicemail, so you don't have to talk anyone. It takes less than a minute! There is a sample script below.
District Attorney Jeff W. Reisig
Voice: (530) 666-8180
Fax: (530) 666-8423
"I'm a (student, teacher, worker, community member, etc) at UC Davis/in Davis/in Yolo County. I'm calling to oppose the use of criminal courts for political protest. I object to your office pressing charges against 12 people for conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor and for obstructing movement in a public place for protest at UC Davis. I urge you to drop the charges immediately."
***For legal purposes, please focus on the charges and refrain from discussing the actions or motives of the accused students and faculty.***
« Older As we know, RMS Titanic was on her ill-fated maide... | A pizza price war in Manhattan... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt