UC Davis Chancellor Katehi: Police Were Told Not to Use Force Against Students

Desperately spinning
US News • Views: 20,500

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi said yesterday that she specifically instructed campus police not to use force against students.

As the tent city on the University of California, Davis, tripled in size, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi insisted Tuesday that the school’s police department defied her orders when it used force against students in last week’s pepper-spray fiasco.

“We told the police to remove the tents or the equipment,” Katehi said in an interview with The Bee in her office inside the administration building, which remains locked down to the public.

“We told them very specifically to do it peacefully, and if there were too many of them, not to do it, if the students were aggressive, not to do it. And then we told them we also do not want to have another Berkeley.”

In her most expansive comments since Friday’s attempt to remove the tents spiraled into the pepper-spraying of students, Katehi said she still does not know who decided to use pepper spray and was stunned when she first saw video clips of it Friday night.

“It looked horrible, horrific, I would say … , ” Katehi said. “I can tell you that I woke up Saturday really early in the morning, like 3 a.m., and I felt like it was a disaster on our hands.”

If the police really violated her direct orders by pepper spraying non-violent students, why didn’t she immediately say so after it happened? This does not pass the smell test.

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68 comments
1 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:38:25am
If the police really violated her direct orders by pepper spraying non-violent students, why didn’t she immediately say so after it happened? This does not pass the smell test.

I agree. Quan did the same thing in Oakland, she approved of the action then rolled over on police when it produced bad publicity.

2 allegro  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:41:34am
If the police really violated her direct orders by pepper spraying non-violent students, why didn’t she immediately say so after it happened? This does not pass the smell test.

Exactly my thoughts when I was reading her comments. She released a pretty long screed on Friday after it happened all about respect and shit *koff* without a single mention of this. I would think that it would be the first thing she said. It stinks big.

3 lawhawk  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:41:59am
If the police really violated her direct orders by pepper spraying non-violent students, why didn’t she immediately say so after it happened? This does not pass the smell test.

CYA Rule 101.

One can hope that the local prosecutor takes a look at this to see whether the university issued a policy about the pepper spraying or now, and whether the PD violated that policy. That's in addition to any charges of brutality by the officer against those protesters that should be lodged.

4 Altermite  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:44:11am

"I wonder if we can fit the police under that bus?" -Katehi

5 Lidane  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:44:44am

Sounds like someone is just trying to avoid getting sued.

There was no goddamn reason for those kids to be pepper sprayed and she knows it. She's just trying to CYA and backpedal now.

6 wrenchwench  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:45:01am

The fact that she had to sleep on it to realize she had a disaster on her hands says a lot about her judgment, or lack thereof. Or else her candor, or lack thereof.

7 Tigger2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:45:08am

If that were true she should have fired the officers in question instead of suspending with pay.

8 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:45:59am

I'm sure this has been posted before.
Chancellor addresses Friday's removal of tents from the Quad
[Link: chancellor.ucdavis.edu...]

9 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:49:19am

re: #8 Cannadian Club Akbar

I'm sure this has been posted before.
Chancellor addresses Friday's removal of tents from the Quad
[Link: chancellor.ucdavis.edu...]

I didn't see anything about her telling the police not use force. Maybe I missed it.

10 wrenchwench  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:49:56am

re: #8 Cannadian Club Akbar

I'm sure this has been posted before.
Chancellor addresses Friday's removal of tents from the Quad
[Link: chancellor.ucdavis.edu...]

That says the students were informed in writing that the tents were to be removed. Any instructions she gave to the campus police would logically have also been given in writing, and should be available for review as this document is.

11 kirkspencer  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:51:00am

Her story has changed so often I'm wondering if she's hired Cain's PR adviser.

12 lawhawk  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:52:38am

re: #8 Cannadian Club Akbar

Key graf:

We are saddened to report that during this activity, 10 protestors were arrested and pepper spray was used. We will be reviewing the details of the incident.

Straight out of PR/legal review. Don't say too much that might increase liability to the university or the pd without first carrying out a review.

Yet, if there was a policy that directed the PD to not use pepper spray as per her later statement, then why was it used - and why claim that that you're merely reviewing the details of the incident? It would appear that the PD contradicted the stated university policy.

13 jaunte  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:53:14am

"rogue elements"

14 lawhawk  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:53:55am

re: #10 wrenchwench

It doesn't necessarily follow that the PD was informed in writing not to use pepper spray just because a written notice was sent to the protesters to cease and desist the encampment.

15 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:54:08am

re: #10 wrenchwench

That says the students were informed in writing that the tents were to be removed. Any instructions she gave to the campus police would logically have also been given in writing, and should be available for review as this document is.

The link to the letter for the students was in her letter, but not one to the police.

16 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:54:30am

re: #6 wrenchwench

The fact that she had to sleep on it to realize she had a disaster on her hands says a lot about her judgment, or lack thereof. Or else her candor, or lack thereof.

One of the reasons this has gone so badly both at Davis and Berkeley is that the real higher-ups who control the UC system have a very poor grasp of what's going on in the universities, and how it works. I think they still don't understand precisely what happened, or how much they screwed up.

17 Amory Blaine  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:55:34am

She needs to release all her emails/correspondence surrounding the date.

18 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:56:19am

Aren't emails sent by university officials open game during an investigation?

19 wrenchwench  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:57:02am

re: #14 lawhawk

It doesn't necessarily follow that the PD was informed in writing not to use pepper spray just because a written notice was sent to the protesters to cease and desist the encampment.

You're right, of course, but it would be nice if things could be so open and consistent.

20 RadicalModerate  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:58:10am

Read the statement by Chancellor Katehi carefully.

There are two criteria that she said would require the police disengaging.
1. Too many students to deal with effectively.
2. Students aggressively confronting police.

Neither of these criteria were met (at least in the eyes of the police), so they believed any actions they used would be justified to remove said students.
Her wording is just vague and nebulous enough to attempt to provide cover for both herself, and for the campus police who can come back and claim that they were only following her directives.

21 makeitstop  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:58:32am

As bad as this woman has looked for the past week, she looks even worse now.

She should do the right thing and resign. (Wishful thinking, I know.)

22 wrenchwench  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:59:43am

re: #17 Amory Blaine

She needs to release all her emails/correspondence surrounding the date.

re: #18 Cannadian Club Akbar

Aren't emails sent by university officials open game during an investigation?

Even if so, the public won't see any of that until January, when they expect at least one of the three investigations to be completed. That's from the video at the link at the top, which I only watched half of because it was taking so long to load.

23 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 10:59:49am

re: #19 wrenchwench

You're right, of course, but it would be nice if things could be so open and consistent.

There should be a memo, or at least e-mails, demonstrating communication between the administration and the campus PD. The cops may have received directions orally, but there's no way the whole thing happened word-of-mouth.

Also, the campus cops have professional guidelines and their own procedures, which would not change just because someone at the Chancellor's office said so. If she said 'shoot 'em', they would not have done that.

This is all spin, in other words.

24 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:00:00am

re: #20 RadicalModerate

Read the statement by Chancellor Katehi carefully.

There are two criteria that she said would require the police disengaging.
1. Too many students to deal with effectively.
2. Students aggressively confronting police.

Neither of these criteria were met (at least in the eyes of the police), so they believed any actions they used would be justified to remove said students.
Her wording is just vague and nebulous enough to attempt to provide cover for both herself, and for the campus police who can come back and claim that they were only following her directives.

I thought a police spokesman (woman) said there were around 200 people not seen on the pics going around?

25 Iwouldprefernotto  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:01:43am

I don't think they realized how bad the pictures would make the police look and how fast they would get passed around. The Internet is real people.

26 Amory Blaine  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:01:46am

re: #22 wrenchwench

As long as they are released and scrutinized.

27 makeitstop  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:02:27am

re: #24 Cannadian Club Akbar

I thought a police spokesman (woman) said there were around 200 people not seen on the pics going around?

The cops did initially claim they were surrounded.

28 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:04:02am

re: #27 makeitstop

The cops did initially claim they were surrounded.

Spokesmen for the police said the officers had been surrounded by other protesters and felt threatened.
[Link: wrvo.fm...]

29 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:05:02am

re: #27 makeitstop

The cops did initially claim they were surrounded.

Whereupon, they demonstrated their concern about this by pepper-spraying the people who were sitting down, and not making any sudden moves, thereby infuriating the standing, surrounding ones?

Makes sense to ME. It's kind of like, if there's a mama bear, you show her you mean business by kicking her cub. That always works.

30 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:11:17am

re: #27 makeitstop

The cops did initially claim they were surrounded.

yes, surrounded by spectators with mobile phone cameras...

31 RadicalModerate  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:13:18am

re: #24 Cannadian Club Akbar

I thought a police spokesman (woman) said there were around 200 people not seen on the pics going around?

That's the deal though. There isn't a set ratio of protestors to police that a procedure states "you're outnumbered". It's still a judgement call where you can have some cops state "nah, we were in control the whole time", even though it contradicts other statements by press release spokesmen.

32 Lidane  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:18:02am

re: #30 ralphieboy

yes, surrounded by spectators with mobile phone cameras... violent, drug-addled Marxist trust fund hippies that support rape and stabby stab

FTFY

33 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:24:09am

Assuming there were any pepper-spray orders, police should listen and take heed: people who apparently give criminal or seemingly criminal orders will not take responsibility. If you follow those orders, you're on your own.

34 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:26:07am

re: #33 Sergey Romanov

Assuming there were any pepper-spray orders, police should listen and take heed: people who apparently give criminal or seemingly criminal orders will not take responsibility. If you follow those orders, you're on your own.

A department's policies and procedures do not change because the Chancellor's office said so. If the cops didn't know that, they certainly should have.

35 Feline Fearless Leader  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:26:32am

Where did she find a bus equipped with monster truck tires?

Image: work.3220144.4.flat,550x550,075,f.school-bus-bully.jpg

36 Cannadian Club Akbar  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:27:30am

re: #35 oaktree

Where did she find a bus equipped with monster truck tires?

Image: 511533_4wd_monster_school_bus.jpg

37 Feline Fearless Leader  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:28:33am

re: #36 Cannadian Club Akbar

Thanks. I found one as well. :)

38 Amory Blaine  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:28:48am

re: #36 Cannadian Club Akbar

Image: 511533_4wd_monster_school_bus.jpg

How ironic it is a short bus. Or fitting I should say.

39 Feline Fearless Leader  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:30:33am

re: #7 Tigger2

If that were true she should have fired the officers in question instead of suspending with pay.

Officer is probably protected by a due process procedure that prevents immediate firing. Thus administrative leave while the process in on-going.

40 sattv4u2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:31:34am

Petite former Burger King manager Sonya Thomas wolfed down 7-3/4 pounds of holiday food in 12 minutes on Wednesday to defeat a pair of 400-pound rivals and win the Thanksgiving Invitational eating contest.

folks ,, she weighs 106 lbs!!!

[Link: forums.somd.com...]

AND ,, it's far from the 1st time she's won a professional eating contest!!

41 makeitstop  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:32:09am

OT: Beck's TV outfit tries another conservative 'comedy' show. Fail, as usual.

42 makeitstop  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:33:04am

re: #40 sattv4u2

Petite former Burger King manager Sonya Thomas wolfed down 7-3/4 pounds of holiday food in 12 minutes on Wednesday to defeat a pair of 400-pound rivals and win the Thanksgiving Invitational eating contest.

folks ,, she weighs 106 lbs!!!

[Link: forums.somd.com...]

AND ,, it's far from the 1st time she's won a professional eating contest!!

If I did that, the following day would consist of 'Occupy Bathroom.'
/

43 Vicious Babushka  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:33:46am

re: #40 sattv4u2

Petite former Burger King manager Sonya Thomas wolfed down 7-3/4 pounds of holiday food in 12 minutes on Wednesday to defeat a pair of 400-pound rivals and win the Thanksgiving Invitational eating contest.

folks ,, she weighs 106 lbs!!!

[Link: forums.somd.com...]

AND ,, it's far from the 1st time she's won a professional eating contest!!

She weighed 98 lbs. before the event.

44 justaminute  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:33:59am

Are student protests on University campuses something that they have never dealt with before? It must have occurred to them before the event or how did the cops get those spiffy storm trouper outfits? Chancellors come and go but the campus cops stay behind. This idea was conceived before the cops came to the protest.

45 RadicalModerate  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:34:43am

At least there's a little bit of good news today.

Texas court suspends judge taped beating daughter

(CNN) -- Judge William Adams, who made national headlines after the release of a 2004 video of him beating his then-teenage daughter, has been suspended by the Texas Supreme Court.

The reason for the action was not mentioned in an order of suspension that was made public Tuesday.

Adams, a court-at-law judge in Aransas County, was roundly criticized when his now-adult daughter posted online a video of him beating her with a belt when she was 16.

The video also showed the judge cursing and berating Hillary Adams.

Adams was punishing the girl for using the Internet "to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time," Hillary Adams wrote on the web posting.

46 sattv4u2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:35:00am

re: #43 Alouette

She weighed 98 lbs. before the event.

And consuming that much tryptophan in such a short time, she'll be asleep till Christmas!

47 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:35:23am

re: #45 RadicalModerate

At least there's a little bit of good news today.

Texas court suspends judge taped beating daughter

re: #45 RadicalModerate

At least there's a little bit of good news today.

Texas court suspends judge taped beating daughter

spare the rod, spoil the judge...

48 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:35:23am

re: #40 sattv4u2

The thinner you are, the more you can eat in one rush. This is because your stomach can extend more. A reason why a lot of competitive eaters are thin.

49 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:36:07am

Hey Sergey, what's up with this?: [Link: www.telegraph.co.uk...]

50 sattv4u2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:36:46am

re: #48 000G

[Link: www.telegraph.co.uk...]

The thinner, the more you can eat in one rush. Your stomach can extend more. A reason why a lot of competitive eaters are thin.

It's also technique

we're talking a timed contest, not an eat-all-you-can-till-you-can't-eat-anymore one

51 Sol Berdinowitz  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:36:57am

re: #48 000G

[Link: www.telegraph.co.uk...]

The thinner, the more you can eat in one rush. Your stomach can extend more. A reason why a lot of competitive eaters are thin.

re: #48 000G

[Link: www.telegraph.co.uk...]

The thinner, the more you can eat in one rush. Your stomach can extend more. A reason why a lot of competitive eaters are thin.

Yes, skinny people make better "sprinters" when it comes to eating, but it takes a real couch potato to go the distance, say for the time it takes to watch a double feature from Netflix (including the special features)...

52 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:38:15am

re: #44 justaminute

Are student protests on University campuses something that they have never dealt with before?

Well, it is DAVIS.

These are people who respond to social injustice by riding their bikes to the coop until they feel better. Or grooming their cows.

/Just a little.

53 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:38:50am

re: #49 000G

Hey Sergey, what's up with this?: [Link: www.telegraph.co.uk...]

The explanation provided by the studio is correct AFAIC. The same happened in this case:

They should really invent a new gesture.

54 sattv4u2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:39:28am

re: #52 SanFranciscoZionist

Well, it is DAVIS.

These are people who respond to social injustice by riding their bikes to the coop until they feel better. Or grooming their cows.

/Just a little.

When I was in college, we used to go across the way to the farm and tip cows,,, does that count??

55 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:41:38am

re: #39 oaktree

Officer is probably protected by a due process procedure that prevents immediate firing. Thus administrative leave while the process in on-going. institutional obfuscation.

Helped you out a little.

56 jvic  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:43:35am

1. This does not pass the smell test.

Supposedly the chancellor ordered a major police deployment without creating documentation. Crooked or incompetent? I lean toward crooked.

re: #16 SanFranciscoZionist

re: #6 wrenchwench

The fact that she had to sleep on it to realize she had a disaster on her hands says a lot about her judgment, or lack thereof. Or else her candor, or lack thereof.

One of the reasons this has gone so badly both at Davis and Berkeley is that the real higher-ups who control the UC system have a very poor grasp of what's going on in the universities, and how it works. I think they still don't understand precisely what happened, or how much they screwed up.

2. I'm not sure whether they care. They may live in a world where all that matters is career consequences: where all that is considered real is career impact.

3. This chancellor belongs to the class of people who make decisions about war and peace, and who are purporting to extricate us from the economic mess for which they themselves are responsible.

57 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:43:44am

re: #49 000G

(About that last clip you can read at [Link: vrn.kp.ru...] )

58 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:45:12am
59 makeitstop  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:47:16am

My favorite:

60 sagehen  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:47:22am

re: #41 makeitstop

OT: Beck's TV outfit tries another conservative 'comedy' show. Fail, as usual.

[Video]

P.J. O'Roarke is the only funny conservative ever. They really need to remember this.

61 sattv4u2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:47:24am

re: #54 sattv4u2

When I was in college, we used to go across the way to the farm and tip cows,,, does that count??

15%,,, 20% if it was really good service!!

I'll be here all week ,, tip your waitress and try the veal

62 sagehen  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:49:29am

re: #54 sattv4u2

When I was in college, we used to go across the way to the farm and tip cows,,, does that count??

In Fresno that would count; Davis is too kumbaya for that.

63 sattv4u2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:51:40am

re: #62 sagehen

In Fresno that would count; Davis is too kumbaya for that.

gotchya

Been to both

64 lawhawk  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:53:42am

re: #28 Cannadian Club Akbar

Spokesmen for the police said the officers had been surrounded by other protesters and felt threatened.
[Link: wrvo.fm...]

Yet, they sprayed not the people supposedly surrounding them, but those who were nonviolently and passively demonstrating by sitting on the ground.

Doesn't pass the smell test.

65 makeitstop  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 11:59:16am

re: #60 sagehen

P.J. O'Roarke is the only funny conservative ever. They really need to remember this.

Andy Borowitz isn't bad, either.

But they're both too smart to get involved with a conservative 'comedy' show. They know that what passes for conservative humor just ain't that funny.

66 reloadingisnotahobby  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 12:03:37pm

re: #18 Cannadian Club Akbar

Aren't emails sent by university officials open game during an investigation?

Call in the "Hacker Squad"!!

67 Tigger2  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 12:03:57pm

re: #39 oaktree
That probably is true.

68 jvic  Wed, Nov 23, 2011 12:06:13pm

Katehi has been controversial before:

The University of Illinois admissions scandal has rippled to the West Coast, where U. of I. Provost Linda Katehi is to become chancellor at the University of California-Davis in August. But questions about Katehi's involvement in, or knowledge about, the so-called Category I clout list has prompted calls there for an investigation.

There is not strong evidence of wrongdoing by Katehi, but, as at Davis, something bad went down on her watch and Katehi...knew nothing about it.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence,...


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