Two people were hospitalized Tuesday night after protesters and police scuffled while the protesters were trying to get into a trustees meeting. Santa Monica College spokesman Bruce Smith said he believed it was the first time pepper spray had been used to subdue students on campus.
Two Santa Monica College police officers were apparently backed up against a wall, and began using force to keep the students out of the room, some witnesses said.
"It was the judgment of police that the crowd was getting out of hand and it was a safety issue," he said.
Trustee David Finkel called on campus officials to look into Tuesday evening's events.
"I think it gave the college a black eye which I know it didn't deserve and certainly didn't need," he said.
Marioly Gomez, 21, said she was standing in a hallway outside the meeting with several hundred other students who wanted to get into the meeting.
"I got pepper-sprayed without warning," she said.
The incident was reminiscent of another at UC Davis in November, in which an officer doused a row of student protesters with pepper spray pepper spray as they sat passively, drew worldwide attention.
Video via Santa Monica Patch.