Friday afternoon at University of California, Davis, police pepper sprayed non-violent sitting protesters.
As videos of the event go viral, people are asking whether this will be a Kent State moment that catalyzes protest movements across the country. What matters first, however, is determining exactly what happened and whether the police were justified. In their defence, the police warned the protesters that they would be pepper sprayed if they did not disperse.
UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi has not condemned the police tactics, though she said the incident would be reviewed.
But the students saw it different. After the pepper spray incident hundreds of students started jeering at the police and taking pictures, and within minutes forced the police to retreat.
We’ve posted chronological pictures of the event.
Occupy Davis protesters encircled the tents that the school had asked them to remove on Friday afternoon
University of California Davis police officers, Ryan Terry, left, and Manny Guerrero, right, watch as students remove their tents from the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Davis, Calif., Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Others sit on the ground in protest. Police warn them if they don't move they will be pepper sprayed
Lieutenant John Pike holds a can of pepper spray in the air and announces that he will spray the students
A smiling policeman seems to be saying the situation is under control. In the back you can see students being put into handcuffs
Suddenly the police, who are armed with paintball guns and pepper spray, seem to become aware of the cameras around them and the significance of what just happened. They pull back into a circle
University of California, Davis, student Mike Fetterman, receives a treatment for pepper spray by UC Davis firefighter Nate Potter, after campus police dismantled an Occupy Wall Street encampment on the campus quad in Davis, Calif., Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. UC Davis officials say eight men and two women were taken into custody. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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