Protest settlement sprays taxpayers

by Katy Grimes | October 1, 2012 9:38 am

Oct. 1, 2012

By Katy Grimes

Instead of being held accountable for bad behavior and rule-breaking during an Occupy protest on the campus of UC Davis last November, a group of college students are going to be rewarded, and receive settlement payments.


The announcement last week that the University of California will pay $30,000 to each of the 21 students and alumni who were pepper sprayed at a protest against tuition increases last November is a travesty.

There might have been a lesson in this story somewhere, but not when spineless government progressives are in charge.

Instead of teaching these students some responsibility and accountability for their actions, the liberals running the UC cowered, apologized, and decided to pay them for their bad behavior… because it’s always easier to look like a hero when spending other people’s money.

Even the ACLU gets $250,000 out of the $1 million settlement[2] and a chance to assist UC Davis in rewriting it’s protest policy. What a racket.. This taxpayer shakedown worked like a charm.

But what those involved are glossing over is that it’s taxpayers on the hook for the $1 million settlement and additional costs to litigate the case. The money is not coming out of the pockets of UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, or any of the UC officials responsible for the “poor communication and planning throughout the campus chain of command.”

“The settlement should be a wake-up call for other universities and police departments,” said Michael Risher, staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, the AP reported. “If the First Amendment means anything, it’s that you should be able to demonstrate without being afraid of police violence.”

However, students were warned that they were conducting an illegal protest and that if they did not disband, they would be pepper sprayed. In fact, according to this video, there was an agreement between the cops and the protestors. They actually agreed to be pepper sprayed[3].

Peaceful, illegal protest

After dismantling the unauthorized tent encampment, the shortened video[4] widely circulated does not show the UC Davis police officer walking up and down the line of protestors telling them they will be pepper sprayed if they do not get up and stop blocking the side walk.

“During peacefully Occupy Movement, police came in to tear down tents and proceeded to arrest students who stood in their way,” the written explanation on the video states. “Once students peacefully demanded the release of the arrested, a police officer unnecessarily pepper sprays the students to open a path for the rest of the officers.”

Nor does the video show some of the protestors following, taunting and surrounding the campus police officers. Protestors then refused to allow the police past unless they released the protestors that had already been arrested.

Calling this a non-violent, peaceful protest is another big lie. The UC Davis students were holding an illegal campus protest, several had already been arrested, and they were warned that they would be pepper sprayed by the campus police.  You can see in this video[5] that the students agreed to be pepper sprayed.

Settling with spoiled, whiny thugs

The UC settlement is a travesty of justice and a capitulation by a spineless, liberal university administration. The protesters should never have been allowed to congregate, build a camp, and occupy the campus quad, which is against campus rules. The administration and campus police could have prevented this situation by just arresting the protesting miscreants when they began their illegal protest.

In this video[6], the police politely asked “Will you allow us to do our job, or are you going to make us take action?” The protesters shouted “F– the Po-lice!” and other vulgarities. The police then told the protesters that, if they did not stop interfering in the lawful arrests of other protestors, they would be sprayed with pepper spray.

“Do you understand?,” the police asked. “Yes, we understand,” the protestors replied. “And you’re okay with that?”  “Yes, we are okay with that.”

Only after receiving permission did the now-famous pepper spray sweep take place.

No rights were violated, except the rights of the taxpayers who had to pay for 30 minutes extra overtime for the cops.

The apparent goal of these protests was to get a video of some purported police malfeasance. The protesters got their little 15 minutes of fame, and thanks to ACLU legal representation, also got $30,000 each.

These purported anarchists claim to abhor the government, yet it is the very thing they turned to in order to fight their legal case. They attend a heavily subsidized state-run university, and worked the California legal system, all with help from UC Chancellor Linda Katehi.

The Yolo County District Attorney’s office announced that it would not file charges against any of the police officers involved after finding that the officers perceived they were dealing with a hostile mob.

Other people’s money

How much will the next protest cost taxpayers? The legal precedence has now been set to pay protestors should police force be necessary.

Gov. Jerry Brown wants voters to approve his tax increase measure in November. But the UC Davis episode and outrageous settlement will probably go a long way to helping defeat Proposition 30[7].

‘The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,” famously said former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. We are indeed running out of other people’s money, and I don’t think voters are real keen on giving any more to the incompetents running the state.

  1. [Image]:
  2. $1 million settlement:
  3. agreed to be pepper sprayed:
  4. shortened video:
  5. video:
  6. In this video:
  7. Proposition 30:,_Sales_and_Income_Tax_Increase_(2012)

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