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UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident Documents

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To:        Chancellor Katehi[]
From:      Linda P.B. Katehi
Sent:      Mon 11/21/2011 10:46:55 PM
Subject:   FW: Letter from 2010 UC Davis School of Law Alumni


From: Jessica Brown~
Sent: Monday, November 21,2011 2:44 PM
To: Linda P.B. Katehi
Subject: Letter from 2010 UC Davis School of Law Alumni

Dear Chancellor Katehi,

We are writing in regards to the incident that occurred in the Quad on the UC Davis
campus on Friday. As 2010 graduates of King Hall, we watched the video documenting
the incident between the peaceful protestors and the Davis police in utter disbelief and
horror. We have never observed such a wanton display of warrantless force by police
on peaceful protestors, let alone one that occurred in an open space on our campus. It
is completely unacceptable that the police used pepper spray in this violent and cruel
manner prior to any other attempts to arrest the protestors, if such arrest was even

We join the Davis Faculty Association (~:i/ucdfa.or~) in calling upon the University of
California chancellors to cease using police violence to repress nonviolent political
protests on UC campuses. In light of recent similar events on the UC Berkeley campus
and the unnecessary use of riot gear by Davis police during the 2010 tuition hike
protests, a precedent is being set for disproportionate and unacceptable actions by law
enforcement on UC campuses. This disturbing pattern must be stopped immediately.

We find your statements to be disturbing on many levels. Regardless of one’s political
views, it is clear that such unnecessary force should never be implemented at the
behest of a university, nor should it be inflicted on 18 year old college students who
pose no threat to others. Contrary to your claim, ordering police to forcefully disperse
peaceful protestors does not make our campus a safer place. You cannot avoid
responsibility for this by blaming UCPD.

During your interview with George Stephanopoulos, you made a distinction between
protecting students "who are here to learn" and the peaceful protestors who apparently
did not deserve protection. This is an unacceptable distinction for a university leader to
make. Constitutional rights are not left at the schoolhouse gate and should be given the
highest priority of protection- even more so at a public university like UC Davis.
There is established Ninth Circuit precedent that the use of pepper spray against
nonviolent protestors is absolutely unconstitutional and that officers engaging in such
activity are not entitled to immunity for their actions. Headwaters Forest Defense v.
County of Humboldt (9th Cir. 2002), 276 F.3d 1125. We have asked the law school
administration to make a public statement condemning this use of force against UC
Davis students and other peaceful protestors, as well as admonish the University
administrators who invited and condoned it. As graduates of a highly respected public
law school, known for its commitment to public service and civil rights, we simply cannot
stand idly by while such injustice occurs on our own campus, especially when it is
directed at our fellow colleagues and students.

We call for your resignation for these reasons.

We are sharing the contents of this letter with our fellow alumni, several faculty
members and we have sent a similar letter to Dean Kevin Johnson.


Jessica Brown, J.D.

UC Davis School of Law, Class of 2010

Christopher Cart, J.D.

UC Davis School of Law, Class of 2010