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November 18, 2011 3:20 PM Dumb-ass Training and the U.C. Davis Pepper Spray Incident: Thoughts From a Former Cop

By Peter Moskos

This UC Davis pepper-spray incident from yesterday, in which campus police sprayed a group of protesting “Occupy” students who were sitting on the ground, was just brought to my attention. I don’t know all the facts, but as a former cop-turned-academic, there’s one thing I can say.

In the police academy, I was taught to pepper-spray people for non-compliance. Ie: “Put your hands behind your back or I’ll… mace you.” It’s crazy. Of course we didn’t do it this way, the way we were taught. Baltimore police officers are too smart to start urban race riots based on some dumb-ass training. So what did we do to gain compliance? We grabbed people. Hands on. Like real police. And we were good at it.

Some people, perhaps those who design training programs, think policing should be a hands-off job. It can’t be and shouldn’t be. And trying to make policing too hands-off means people get Tased and maced for non-compliance. It’s not right. But this is the way many police are trained. That’s a shame. (Mind you, I have no problem using such less-lethal weapons on actual physical threats, but peaceful non-compliance is different.)

When police need to remove protesters—whether that’s even the case here I don’t know—it needs to be crystal clear who gives the order, be it the president of the university or the ranking officer on scene. Officers on the scene shouldn’t be thrown under the bus because their superiors gave stupid (albeit lawful) orders. Accountability matters.

And if police need to remove these students, then the police can go in four officers to one protester and remove them. Lift them up and take them away. Maybe you need one or two more officers with a threatening baton to keep others from getting involved. It really can be that simple.

People don’t hate the police for fighting off aggressors or arresting law breakers. They do hate police for causing pain—be it by dog, fire hose, Taser, or mace—to those who passively resist. And that’s what happened yesterday at U.C. Davis.

Peter Moskos is a sociologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
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Comments

  • Jimo on November 19, 2011 4:29 PM:

    Is this an extension of the Taser mentality where "non-lethal" alternatives to lethal means are substituted not merely for lethal means situations but also as a lazy substitute for training, reasoning, (as you put it) hands on action, and situational awareness?

  • Jennifer Pham on November 19, 2011 4:29 PM:

    I'm losing sleepy over this video and others like it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&feature=share. Open letters have been written to the Chancellor, but here's a different one.

    Dear Officer,

    In light of the recent protests and negative image of police forces, you have been bombarded with emails from supervisors outlining plan of actions and citizen complaints. This email is neither. This is a personalized plan designed for only certain people. It may be you, so please read.

    I appreciate all your sacrifices to protect us. To many civilians you are our heroes. As hard as it may be to believe, I really wish I were in your position. You are in a position of power to make a difference--especially in recent days. This Occupy movement has garnered a lot of media attention and the focus has been on police brutality-- this negates everything you stand for. People are calling cops pigs and hired thugs. This is NOT true of you--and you have the power to change the nation's public image of police officers.

    Everyone has seen footage of officers following orders to keep the peace, but this has been overshadowed by viral videos of officers using physical or chemical means to disperse a nonviolent crowd--leading to public outrage. Though you understand the position of these officers, you also feel that the methods used may be too damaging.

    The next time you are in a situation that compromises your principles and values, know that you are the one with the power. Your voice could mean more than everything that has happened at this point. You have the opportunity to take a stand and invoke real change because of your position-- as an officer.

    If you are dealt with this position, let your compassion play out. Being a hero and helping others is what motivated you to be an officer in the first place. When your superiors officers are ordering you to conduct acts that you may not agree with, please know that you aren�t powerless and that you do have a choice�just say no. Put your pepperspray/baton/badge down just for a moment. Let the world know that not all officers agree with the course of action that some their colleagues have committed over the past week. Another officer who might have felt that this is wrong may be empowered by your courage and follow your example. Let the media and public view your act of heroism and inspire others to do the same. You will have had made a bigger difference than all of thebrutality and discourse that has occurred thus far. Just food for thought.

    Thanks for reading! Also, I realize I may be only seeing one aspect of this situation-- please let me know your insights-- I really want to learn more about different perspectives. I just know that one person can make a difference and you can use your influence whichever way you can to better the situations you're dealt with.

    Jennifer Pham

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJmmnMkuEM&feature=share

  • Joshua on November 19, 2011 5:26 PM:

    I'm grateful for this cop's stupidity--every time one of them does something unnecessarily violent or outrageous, it makes the flaws in our police system more self-evident. I honestly don't believe in allowing people who want to be cops to be cops. I'm more in favor of some kind of draft, as I think our current method of police recruitment puts ill-tempered, resentful, and self-righteous people in positions of authority, and they come out of police academy seemingly without a shred of self-awareness.

  • Objecitve Dem on November 19, 2011 7:00 PM:

    Your comments skipped over the importance of training police on how to de-escalate situations. Other occupations are trained on how to calm down angry clients/customers. People are trained on how to resolve conflict without using force.

  • Texas Aggie on November 19, 2011 7:29 PM:

    People seem to think that the officers in these incidents were somehow victims of something, their training, their superior officer, or something, and that they behaved in a way that normally they wouldn't do. I beg to differ.

    I've had several students who were divorced from police officers and each of them described cops as being bullies and sadists who enjoy hurting people. One of them changed the lock on her door when her ex, a former Houston SWAT team, told her how badly he could hurt her if he wanted. I see no reason to believe that the cops in these incidents were any different. Police lead all professions in cases of child and spouse abuse, most likely because there is a selection, either self selection or inadvertent selection, for the type of personality that enjoys causing pain in other people, the more defenseless the better.

  • Jonathan E. on November 19, 2011 7:33 PM:

    The question I have is why is that the cops are always on the side of those with the power, i.e. the wrong side in this case. Of course, they sooner or later abuse it as we've just seen.

    That "cop" his name is UC Davis Police Lieutenant John Pike is nothing but a professional sadist and should not only be immediately fired but should be arrested, tried, and surely convicted, for an unprovoked assault upon unarmed civilians, offering no threat to his personal safety. His house should be surrounded by Occupy supporters until he's taken in to face justice.
    When he's arrested, maybe I'll retract my question about why cops are always on the wrong side.

  • Ginny in CO on November 19, 2011 7:36 PM:

    Actually an interesting idea Joshua. I know there is some psych screening in the admissions process, although I suspect it is very inconsistent. My thought is that the stress and cumulative experience may contribute to some of the ugly attitudes. The other is the training in the academy AND out OTJ. Around 2000 I became interested in correctional care as a new career path (RN). The initial applications were not accepted and I ended up going to agency work to find the place and path that would be best. While working at Denver Health Medical Center (#1 Trauma center in the nation) I floated to the correctional care unit. The patients were just fine. Restricted access unit, all patient rooms locked unless a guard was present. All rooms with windows from the hall and camera surveillance. Because we could not be in a room without a guard at the door, and they were plenty busy, there was little to no time for getting to know the patients (establish trust), get them to report symptoms (regular patients are not always good at this) or do teaching.

    The sheriffs were in 'maintain the prisoner's lack of dignity or rights' mode at all times. I ultimately overheard a sheriff describe me to another as 'prisoner friendly'. One night shift I reported off to the oncoming nurse who ridiculed my report on one patient because she was 'just seeking drugs' even though the patient was under medicated compared to regular unit patients with the same diagnosis. As I left the unit I heard her yell down the hall - outside her patients' rooms- to the guard station "I have a couple that you need to taze, Rm # x and z." I went straight to the supervisor's office and reported her.

    Not all the guards or all the staff were inappropriate. Very few were confident enough to treat the patients as people.

    One of the ideas I have promoted since Denver has had unnecessary force repeatedly from Hancock and Hickenlooper, is:
    just because you are non-violent doesn't mean you can't protect yourself from someone else's violence.
    I had been thinking of wearing my bike helmet, knee pads, and work gloves plus carrying chemical goggles and a NIOSH mask. Debated about getting the elbow and wrist splints skaters use. In a search of a thrift shop for items needed at the site, I found one of the plastic protective shields football players wear under their jerseys. It protects the chest, upper abdomen (spleen) and kidney area of the back. Shoulder pads would deflect a baton strike that could be plenty damaging.

    Excellent comment supporting the idea relayed a solution that European protesters had devised as a means of interfacing with a line of cops having non threatening protection. They inflated inner tubes and tied them together. The line of protesters carried the tubes in front of them when the crowding was too tight to keep a non contact distance.

    Thanks to Peter Moskos for an excellent contribution to the discussion of this.

  • David Hobby on November 19, 2011 8:22 PM:

    I am sorry, but the officer in that photo was clearly surrounded by linked-armed protestors. True, they were peaceful protestors. But they had surrounded the cops, thereby threatening the officers' safety.

    The officers used the only choice available to them at the time -- to methodically walk down the line pepper spraying the protestors in the face. Without the pepper spray, the officers would have been forced to actually step over the seated protestors and walk to safety. Which was clearly not a viable option.

  • Paula on November 19, 2011 8:44 PM:

    It appears the police were outnumbered, and decided to try an easy approach -- pepper spray was supposed to disperse the line.

    Thank God cool heads prevailed and no student picked up a rock or a bottle, and no cop decided to open fire. Though a few of them looked ready to.

    So the police retreated. Good idea. Come back with enough to carry the protesters away, or don't come back.

    Over at the Nation, the former chief of police in Seattle re-evaluates the way the police handled protestors at the WTO gathering. You're right. There's a right way, and a wrong way.

  • Wordsmith on November 19, 2011 9:09 PM:

    David Hobby:

    Lt John Pike stepped OVER the sitting students to face them. And for what it's worth, SITTING protestors with linked arm. As you put it, "to methodically walk down the line pepper spraying the protestors in the face" in my opinion is utterly cowardly and unnecessary.

    As it was after spraying the protestors in the face & down the throat w/pepper spray & carting off a few, the police did just that, they walked out.

  • Bonnie Tamres-Moore on November 19, 2011 10:00 PM:

    I have have been an activist opposing torture for 7 years . The police behavior at UC Davis was torture.

    The United Nations Convention Against Torture, signed by President Reagan in 1988 and ratified by a Republican Congress in 1994 says "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture".

    The definition of torture in The United Nations Convention Against Torture is this: "torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

  • Dmitry on November 19, 2011 10:01 PM:

    Wordsmith:

    I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm.

  • Gregg on November 19, 2011 11:41 PM:

    Reading these posts about this article amuse me. Obviously, you people have never worn a badge and gun to work lately. I think a right to protest peacefully is our Constitutional Right, but many of you are basing your opinions on a video. What happened the few preceding seconds or minutes before the cameras were turned on? I have worked with the author of this article, and sometimes we agree, sometimes we do not agree. The fact of the matter is that Pete wrote he did not know the whole story surrounding the incident. I have been involved in several, if not multiple, crowd control situations. Did someone in the crowd throw something at police? Did someone in the crowd threaten the police? It amazes me on how many videos there are of so called "brutality" videos, but you never see the seconds leading up to the incident. People in protests try and get a reaction from police by provoking them, and others wait with their cameras at the ready. Unless you have been in those situations (i.e., having urine or feces thrown at you, or in some cases, bleach or ammonia) then let the police do their jobs instead of always condemning them for wanting to return to their own families safely. Pepper spray and tasers are used for "non-compliance" just for that reason. To keep officers from being injured without causing severe injury to the non-compliant person. Do you think those people were going to move just because the police told them to? Whether it is an armed robbery or a non-compliant crowd, the job of officers today is one of the most difficult jobs there is. Instead of always criticizing, say "thank you for what you do everyday to make my community a safer place". Not all of us are on some ego trip or are authority whoremongers who just like beating on people. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT !

  • motocat on November 20, 2011 12:35 AM:

    Gregg -- sorry, but it is you who do not have the facts straight, apparently your current job having left you unable to even see straight. Also, please stop crying about how hard the profession is -- no one forces you to do what you do, and we are very well compensated. I have probably been in more "situations" than even a fellow thug like you, does that mean you should bow down and listen to me?

  • Wordsmith on November 20, 2011 1:45 AM:

    Dmitry - Ya sure, eh? Okay...

  • Delayne on November 20, 2011 2:19 AM:

    Thank you to the author.

    I fail to see where the passively protesting students were offering ANY danger or threat toward the officers confronting them - I admit that lifting them bodily would require a team effort if they went limp or were curled up in balls due to the pain of tear gas, etc....but these students were DETERMINED to remain PEACEFUL. And the majority of #OWS protestors do NOT hate or want to harm the police - they'd MUCH prefer to win the police over to their side as part of the 99%.

    These same students DEMONSTRATED self-control, restraint, and their continued goal to remain peaceful during their silent watch while the university's chancellor walked to her vehicle. Not a peep from the students - only sounds were clicks of cameras - the only questions came from outside reporters. I truly fail to see evidence of these students offering harm or threat to the police officers. I do consider the people who gave the orders to use force responsible. Most people cannot afford to lose a job by defying orders.

    I'm not a naive young student - I'm a 41 year old woman living in the Midwest. I see most of these protestors attempting to create peaceful movements - I hope that discussions come from this to prevent further conflicts. SURELY we can come up with the means to work things out between police and protestors WITHOUT damaging safety OR reputations of both/either. I even wonder if those ordering the police are hoping to sow discord between protestors/police - what a shame, if both groups want cooperation.

    Thank you for your time.

  • ABC on November 20, 2011 4:33 AM:

    "They do hate police for causing painbe it by dog, fire house, Taser, or mace..." Fire hose instead of house? Other than that, great article.

  • Anonymous on November 20, 2011 4:46 AM:

    Thanks for your input Peter!

    As an aside: "Thoughts from a *former cop" should be the title /corrections :),

  • Anonymous on November 20, 2011 6:48 AM:

    Hey, Gregg...

    "Reading these posts about this article amuse me."

    Well, I'm sorta sickened that it tickles your fuckin' funny-bony.

    "Obviously, you people have never worn a badge and gun to work lately."

    So what?


    "I think a right to protest peacefully is our Constitutional Right, but many of you are basing your opinions on a video. What happened the few preceding seconds or minutes before the cameras were turned on? I have worked with the author of this article, and sometimes we agree, sometimes we do not agree. The fact of the matter is that Pete wrote he did not know the whole story surrounding the incident."

    Do you to two have some personal problems to work out?
    If so, find a better venue.

    "I have been involved in several, if not multiple, crowd control situations. Did someone in the crowd throw something at police? Did someone in the crowd threaten the police? It amazes me on how many videos there are of so called "brutality" videos, but you never see the seconds leading up to the incident."

    Me too.
    Makes me think cops should be wired with cameras at all times and not be able to edit the footage.

    "People in protests try and get a reaction from police by provoking them, and others wait with their cameras at the ready. Unless you have been in those situations (i.e., having urine or feces thrown at you, or in some cases, bleach or ammonia) then let the police do their jobs instead of always condemning them for wanting to return to their own families safely."

    I agree that you face dangers, sometimes life-threatening ones. And no one condems you for wanting you to get home same. Hell, that is almost a universal human want. In fact, in most cases the protesters want the same thing, not only for themselves, but for you as well.

    "Pepper spray and tasers are used for "non-compliance" just for that reason. To keep officers from being injured without causing severe injury to the non-compliant person."

    Yeah, TASERS never killed anyone!
    Seriously?

    "Do you think those people were going to move just because the police told them to?"

    Sometimes, and always some of them.
    But you could grab 'em and drag 'em as suggested, before macing or shooting electricity into them.
    Before that, there's even this thing called talking.

    "Whether it is an armed robbery or a non-compliant crowd, the job of officers today is one of the most difficult jobs there is. Instead of always criticizing, say "thank you for what you do everyday to make my community a safer place". Not all of us are on some ego trip or are authority whoremongers who just like beating on people. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT !"

    And here you blame the wrong people.
    NO ONE HERE DENIES THAT YOUR JOB IS TERRIBLE AND HARD.
    In fact, we'd probably be first to support you getting better benefits and pay. You're kicking downwards, which is always tempting to people already gettin' kicked. But it's not going to make anything better.

  • Alexaxas on November 20, 2011 11:56 AM:

    Gregg seems to think that police officers should be held to alert standard than civilians, rather than a higher one. There is no question that if another protester or civilian observer had done the exact same thing as this uniformed thug they would be arrested and tried. Instead, the police will close ranks and protect him. I harbor no illusions that they would behave any differently if he had used lethal force.

  • g on November 20, 2011 12:09 PM:

    Do you think those people were going to move just because the police told them to?

    Why should they? Why should citizens unquestioningly take orders from police officers?

  • g on November 20, 2011 12:16 PM:

    People dont hate the police for fighting off aggressors or arresting law breakers. They do hate police for causing painbe it by dog, fire house, Taser, or maceto those who passively resist. And thats what happened yesterday at U.C. Davis.

    I think this is a key point. The actions of the police at Davis, spraying pepper spray directly into students' faces - was for one purpose alone - punitive. They wanted to cause pain. It wasn't a tactic for another purpose - to immobilize them, disperse them, or in self-defense. It was to cause pain. It was to "show them who's boss." "Give them something to cry about." "Give 'em what they deserve."

    There's a reason our legal system is set up so that the guys who arrest and detain lawbreakers aren't allowed to be the same guys who decide guilt and decide what the punishment is - or deliver that punishment.

    here, the cops chose to deliver the punishment that they had already pre-deteremined the students deserved. It's wrong.

  • Dennis on November 20, 2011 2:20 PM:

    @Gregg

    On quick YouTube search and you would see what happened immediately prior.

    The relevant portion of a 3 part video:

    http://youtu.be/z6GMmpgrAlE

  • Brian on November 20, 2011 3:10 PM:

    It's disturbing that the most flagrant incidents of police using pepper spray on unthreatening protestors have come from senior officers. This is a lieutenant in California, and it was a deputy inspector in New York.

    I agree with you that there is a problem with bad training. Police use pepper spray and tasers as the equivalent of putting hands on someone; these weapons are really the equivalent of using a nightstick on someone. In any situation where an officer would not be justified in hitting someone with a baton, they are not justified in using pepper spray or a taser.

    But these attacks, by Lieutenant Pike and by Deputy Inspector Bologna, can't be written off as mistakes by poorly trained junior officers. Why are these senior officers making a point of abusing these protestors? What policy are they following, and what precedent are they setting for the officers who are under their orders?

  • Lex on November 20, 2011 6:44 PM:

    @Gregg: Here is a fact: The officers' behavior violated controlling law in the 9th Judicial Circuit, which includes California. Here's the law: http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/276/276.F3d.1125.98-17250.html

    Sorry, dude. Cops have an affirmative duty to obey the law ... and an affirmative duty to disobey orders contrary to law.

    Also, commenter Bonnie Tamres-Moore is correct about the UN Convention Against Torture applying in this instance.

  • Jean on November 20, 2011 8:46 PM:

    As a retired police lieutenant, I, too, have been present at a number of demonstrations. Pepper spraying non-violent protesters is not just morally wrong, it's bad policing. I wholly agree with the author of this article that, if the protesters needed to be moved, they should have been picked up and taken to jail.

    To the person who posted that police officers lead all professions in incidents of spousal and child abuse, please provide documentation to support that claim.

    To the poster who claimed that we are well compensated, no, we're not. We die younger than the general population, in part, because we spend much of our working life in high stress mode because anything can turn into a life or death situation in the blink of an eye. How much is a day of your life worth?

    Police departments have been increasingly militarized since 9/11 and, imo, it's not for the better. Neither the police nor the public should ever be allowed to forget that we're all Americans.

  • Robin 'Roblimo' Miller on November 20, 2011 10:08 PM:

    I don't hate cops. In fact, my wife used to be one. But I have a major problem with bullies. I don't know how a citizen is supposed to react when a police thug walks along a line of seated, unarmed people and sprays an irritant in their faces.

    My first instinct is to shoot him.

    This is why I stay away from these protests. I'm afraid my Army training would kick in and I'd treat cops like that as enemies. Which they are.

  • Former UCD employee on November 20, 2011 11:12 PM:

    Here is an interview with one of the paper-sprayed students. I wish people who think they were a spoiled bunch of brats would take the time to read it; I'm sure they will come away with a very different feeling about them.

    http://boingboing.net/2011/11/20/ucdeyetwitness.html

    Reading about the injuries that the students suffered, some of which were sustained from the arresting procedures, is very disturbinging.

    UCD students are some of the most serious, well-behaved kids I'd had the pleasure of working around.

  • professordarkheart on November 21, 2011 8:00 AM:

    Thanks for the article, Peter; I've seen a lot of personalized responses to this outrageous incident, on both sides, and it's a useful reminder that we're not talking about individuals making decisions in a vacuum. If indeed these officers have undergone training that suggests that this use of pepper spray is legitimate (the 9th circuit decision in Lundberg v. Humboldt would suggest not), that doesn't remove their personal responsibility to use force in a lawful way, but it is a useful explanation in that it actually points to something concrete that could be changed to reduce the incidence of such punitive uses of excessive force.

    My question for you would be whether police training includes any mention of passive resistance in the context of political protest. It seems to me that there's a huge practical (if not legal) difference between a criminal suspect refusing to submit to arrest and a protester. The former may be in his house within close reach of a hidden weapon, or may be involved in a rapidly unfolding sequence of events, in which there's no time to gather four officers together to physically remove him from the scene. But the protesters' resistance is exactly about sitting there and not moving, and that's certainly a situation in which resorting to force seems unnecessary.

    It probably will and should remain up to the discretion of the officers involved in any given situation to decide whether passive resistance entails enough of a threat to anyone's safety that the use of painful force is mandated, but it strikes me that officers who were mindful of the intentions (and often the training) of peaceful protesters, whose passive resistance is an explicit part of what they're doing, and therefore shouldn't be as challenging for the police to figure out how to respond to as the non-compliance of an unpredictable criminal suspect, would be less likely to make such disastrous mistakes. And it also seems to me that police departments should be as invested in avoiding them as anyone else, since the one thing that's clear about UC Davis is that the damage that's been done to that community's relationship with its police force is going to last a long time, and that only makes policing harder.

  • sgrmfox on November 21, 2011 9:59 AM:

    If you can't figure out yourself that pepper spraying a group of students siting on the ground is wrong, you don't need training as a police officer. You need training as a human being. I don't think this is something the police department can provide, especially to someone who's lived to adulthood without getting this training from their parents, schools, churches, etc.

  • paul on November 21, 2011 11:57 AM:

    I'm kinda wondering now. Given the length of time that Lundberg has been controlling law in the 9th circuit, it would seem that anyone who is offering what purports to be legal advice that pepper-spraying nonviolent protestors is OK is committing malpractice at best and acting as part of a criminal conspiracy at worst.

  • Jim Jordan on November 21, 2011 1:19 PM:

    Our mutual pal David Kennedy alerted me to your piece. I think you speak for the overwhelming majority of cops who would be embarrassed to use a technology like pepper spray in this way. Great job.

  • Joe on November 21, 2011 4:04 PM:

    Hey Pete,

    Your generation of the 'hands on' approach is the very reason we have in car CCTV and mics on 24/7. Get a clue monday morning QB.

  • Crissa on November 21, 2011 6:29 PM:

    I am sorry, but the officer in that photo was clearly surrounded by linked-armed protestors. True, they were peaceful protestors. But they had surrounded the cops, thereby threatening the officers' safety.

    ...Surrounded by peaceful people, the solution, obviously, is to throw a punch? Is that what you do when you're in a crowd at the mall? Oops, too many people, I should assault someone!

    I'm most worried that little will come from these actions. These officers need to be more than fired. We trusted them with these weapons, and they abused that trust by assaulting people. People who were unable and unwilling to fight back.

  • Anonymous on November 23, 2011 6:49 PM:

    Crissa, Wordsmith, everyone else who thought that David was ACTUALLY justifying the cop's actions.

    Please get your sarcasm detectors recalibrated.

    IT WAS SARCASM.

  • Milan Moravec on November 28, 2011 1:28 AM:

    Campus UCPD report to chancellors and take direction from their chancellor. University of California campus chancellors vet their campus police protocols. Chancellors are knowledgeable that pepper spray and use of batons are included in their campus police protocols.

    Chancellor Birgeneaus campus police use baton jabs on his students. UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor are in dereliction of their duties.

    UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor need to quit or be
    fired for permitting the brutal outrages on students protesting tuition increases
    and student debt

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  • Anthony on December 03, 2011 10:36 AM:

    Hmmmmmm..........

    My position is quite simple:
    If a human being uses disproportionate force against me, I will take revenge.

    If the human being in question is some dude with brass on his shoulders and some blue skirt on this changes only one thing:
    It makes his behavior worse and the penalty more severe.

    It only shows I'll have to wait until he's no longer with his buddy bullies.

    Than I come back with my buddy bullies and teach him a lesson he will NEVER, EVER forget.

    If this dude maces my daughters or another woman who's under my protection for no good reason, my buddy bullies and I will pay him a visit, and he will never work again on two legs.

    Simple.

    Don't mess with me or mine.

    Don't hide behind some uniform or some bozo giving you orders.

    You deal with me. You do it fair 'n square, or you pay.

  • signalfire on December 04, 2011 3:23 PM:

    Police officers need to read the Constitution and learn to uphold it. Same as the military oath, 'against all enemies, foreign and domestic...'

    Do not realize that your uniform makes you either the last hold out against tyranny, or tyranny's protector?

  • Ben on December 09, 2011 7:35 PM:

    WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD PEOPLE!

    I served in the military for a few years (Infantry) wait for it this is relevent. One of the questions that were never answered fully was "What is an illegal order"

    It is not just those given an illegal order but the indifferent bystanders, who seeing questionable acts who need to have training. Sure you say "Any decent person would have raised his voice or protested the LTs acts" But there are times when you wish to present a UNITED FRONT.

    So perhaps in training SAFETY WORDS should be introduced? That way when you see a comrade losing it, you could say the safty word, conditioned by training this would be a splash of cold water to let him know he's losing it, to back off and regroup? We did it and while not always successful, it was a start.

    Bottom line, perhaps I am using the phrase wrong. But instead of cying over spilt milk, let us try to prevent the milk from being spilt?

    As far as the police, I imagine a mentality of "When I do wrong, no one forgets. When I do right, no one remembers"

    Take time to say "Thank You for the job you do" it will shock them to hear that. It does when I do so. Most police are used to people approaching them ONLY when they want something. To hear a thank you leaves them with a feeling of At least someone appreciates what we do. Breaking the ice of US AND THEM to WE.

    Just my opinion, anybody got better ideas?