Anyone who watched the video of this robot cop blithely spraying a group of college students when they were peacefully protesting could see that this was an excessive use of force and it was completely and utterly unecessary. Many people don’t realize that that was the least of what happened at UC Davis.
“Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood. (from the Atlantic Monthly)
Since this incident, the UC Davis police chief and both officers were put on administrative leave and the Chancellor, who authorized the police action, has been under pressure to tender her resignation as well.
However, in a television interview yesterday, Chancellor Linda Katehi stated that she has no intention of resigning and that “we really need to start the healing process and move forward.” On a radio program in the afternoon, she expanded on this view by saying: “We need to move on.”
As Glen Greenwald aptly notes, “So apparently — yet again — the only way everyone can begin to “heal” and “move forward” is if everyone agrees that those in power with the greatest responsibility be fully shielded from any consequences and that their bad acts be simply forgotten.”
Yes – that’s the way things seem to roll. The Bush cabal was not held responsible for war crimes, corrupt bankers were not held responsible for bringing down the world economy and Linda Katehi isn’t responsible for ordering riot police to disband a group of students who were peacefully demonstrating on the UC Davis campus.
By the way, here’s Linda Katehi’s walk of shame on Saturday. As she left her office, students lined the three blocks between her office and her car and sat in silence as she walked through this very still and unmoving corridor of people. It was very powerful indeed.