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Has Pike Peaked?

The BBC wasn’t impressed: US university investigates campus pepper spray use.

The CBC article includes a quote from a fool:

Charles J. Kelly, a former Baltimore Police Department lieutenant who wrote the department’s use of force guidelines, said pepper spray is a “compliance tool” that can be used on subjects who do not resist, and is preferable to simply lifting protesters.

“What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure,” Kelly said after reviewing the video.

What part of ‘if you pepper-spray someone they are incapacitated and must be carried’ don’t you understand Lt. Kelly. The threat of pepper spray might get you ‘compliance’, but the actual use generally makes people unable to comply.

With Corrente still down, Lambert popped up at Naked Capitalism with a blow-by-blow account of the most common of the videos of the incident. Lots of information in the comments thread.

Now, CNN is reporting: California campus police on leave after pepper-spraying

(CNN) — The University of California at Davis has placed two police officers on administrative leave after video of them pepper-spraying non-violent protesters at point-blank range sparked outrage at school officials.

Friday’s incident has led to calls for the resignation of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, who announced the action in a written statement Sunday. Katehi said she shares the “outrage” of students and was “deeply saddened” by the use of the chemical irritant by campus police.

As a general rule you should never make your boss look bad if you want to keep your job, so you can imagine the effect of having your boss’s boss’s boss being besieged with calls for her resignation because of your actions.

Ms Katehi is Greek and received her undergraduate degree at the University of Athens during the dictatorship of the colonels. That she has allowed this to happen at UC Davis is mystifying. It is as if she learned nothing about dealing with student protests from her experience. The reaction when students were attacked, a regular feature of life under the colonels, was never compliance with the rules, but an escalation of tactics.

10 comments

1 hipparchia { 11.20.11 at 11:25 pm }

“What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure,” Kelly said after reviewing the video.

apparently it has been written into the standard procedures anyway. at the time of “don’t tase me, bro” i found, among other things, this guide for the use of force from the university of florida police dept – http://www.president.ufl.edu/incidents/2007/tasing/UFPD-use-of-force-policy.pdf

interesting that level 3 subject response – passive resistance – is described as totally inert, and the corresponding officer response is supposed to be lifting or carrying the person. level 4 subject response – active resistance – includes tensing or bracing, and tasers, batons, and pepper spray are all listed as appropriate officer responses. what do you want to bet that protesters linking arms is routinely classified as “tensing or bracing”?

2 Badtux { 11.20.11 at 11:39 pm }

And now his boss’s boss’s boss’s boss chimes in. I.e., the Big Kahuna of the entire UC system.

That said, what hipparchia says about standard procedure written into university police policy is 100% accurate. In the aftermath of the 1999 WTO police riot, virtually every police department’s policy manuals were re-written to explicitly allow the actions that got Seattle’s police chief fired. So my guess is that Mr. Big Man On Campus is gonna get re-instated with full pay. He has Civil Service protection if he was abiding by published policy, remember.

And what it says about our nation that this is in fact published policy for most police forces today… err.

3 Bryan { 11.21.11 at 1:03 am }

If the union lawyer can show that it is policy, Pike gets to stay.

If this is policy, the country is insane. The WTO problem was with the Black Bloc, and if the cops can’t identify the Bloc they need to find another line of work. Of course the problem is exacerbated by the number of police agents in the Black Bloc.

The UC President seems to understand that students are more than simply citizens, they are the University’s customers and largest source of income. Like any business, you have to get along with your customers.

There are simple to learn and use pressure point actions that would have enabled the cops to arrest those on the ground, but that ignores the real question – why do anything?

A bunch of people having a camp out, it not the worst thing that has ever happened on a campus. Why spend time and money doing anything? They could get some of the ‘Don’t feed the animals’ signs from the San Diego Zoo if they wanted to be snarky. but sending a tactical squad in to arrest people is just stupid on a lot of levels.

Hell, a camp site would relieve the chronic lack of housing for students at Berkeley.

At this point the students are being more adult than the University and other officials around the country.

4 Kryten42 { 11.21.11 at 6:53 am }

This is getting a lot of airtime here. Most TV news services showed the video of Pike walking along a line of students kneeling with their hands behind their heads, whilst he was pepper spraying their faces. Lot of anger here over this. It’s getting airtime ahead of the QUANTAS employee and Nurses demands and strike threats, which are pretty big deals here right now.

Just confirms what I’ve known for decades. *shrug*

5 Kryten42 { 11.21.11 at 6:56 am }

Oh… and BTW, nothing will happen to Pike. He may even get a bravery citation or some such. Of course, they are only worthless paper. Citations and awards lost any positive meaning long ago.

6 Suzan { 11.21.11 at 8:40 am }

Considering how we look already to the international community via our foreign policy, the latest “exciting” adventures in fascism just about sews up our rep.

7 Badtux { 11.21.11 at 9:41 am }

If this is policy, the country is insane.

You’re just now noticing this? I suppose living in Fundistan you could get the impression that the rest of the country was more sane than your location. I’d that same hope when I lived in Fundistan. But by and large, it isn’t. The pathology differs from place to place, but in general the typical American isn’t much different from in Fundistan — ignorant, filled with bitterness and bile and hate towards anybody not like them, and possessed of a viciousness towards even his fellow Americans that Saddam Hussein would have nodded approvingly about. As I’ve pointed out on my blog, Americans never solve a problem if not-solving the problem gives them an opportunity to be vicious towards their fellow Americans. Sad, but true.

– Badtux the Bummed Penguin

8 jams o donnell { 11.21.11 at 9:51 am }

I cannot believe that spraying passive protestors could be an accepted procedure. It makes absolutely no sense. Then again from the actions of US police departments over the last couple of months little would surprise me

9 Dave { 11.21.11 at 11:33 am }

As I’ve stated several times recently, the guy doing the spraying is a LARD ASS DESK JOCKEY who is in charge of the Records Unit. He is trying to prove his “Street Creeds” to the junior officers present. The Lard Ass should be stripped of his pension rights, fired and barred from EVER serving as a sworn officer again including being a rent-a-cop or night watchman at the hog killing shed at a meat packing plant.

10 Bryan { 11.21.11 at 1:27 pm }

This morning Pike’s boss was ‘invited to take time off’, a probable reaction to the UC President’s remarks about the long history of protests by students that is part of the UC system, and should be accommodated.

The photo of Pike spraying the students has appeared on the front page of the Iran Daily, the English language version of a house organ in Iran. The Egyptians are using the tactics of the NYPD and UC police to justify their tactics, making the civil rights credibility of the US lower than whale manure. Homeland Security is certainly helping our foreign policy goals ؟

Kryten, the only award Pike is apt to get, other than the ‘Bull’ Connor award, will probably be from the Egyptian military, the King of Bahrain, or Ahmadinejad, but he will probably keep his job if it is in the policy manual.

Suzan, it is becoming obvious that Homeland Security played a big part in the reaction to OWS, and that sound you hear is the US ‘moral authority’ circling the drain.

You are probably right, Badtux. You always hope that things are better somewhere outside of your current location. This stuff is implemented ‘under the radar’, so people don’t know it is happening until there is a blow-up.

Jams, those of us who live here didn’t know it was the policy. We should have suspected something like it under the rule of the Shrubbery, but it wasn’t confirmed. You have to be inside the system to find out about these policy changes.

Dave, if it is in the policy manual, Pike can’t be touched. He can be encouraged to find another position, but he can’t simply be fired if the department approved the policy. I seriously doubt he could pass the fitness requirements of my old department, but they may not exist at UC Davis.