UC Davis police chief placed on leave after pepper spraying Occupy protesters

UC Davis video

YouTube screenshot from asucd video

Police at the University of California, Davis campus used pepper spray on a group of protesters as they attempt to clear an Occupy encampment from the school. Now, the chief of police at the school has been placed on administrative leave.

The chief of police at University of California, Davis has been placed on administrative leave after peaceful protesters were pepper sprayed by campus officers on Friday as they broke up an Occupy encampment on campus.

The university said in a news release early Monday that it was necessary to place Chief Annette Spicuzza on administrative leave to restore trust and calm tensions over Friday's pepper spray episode.

It was announced earlier that two police officers who were videoed using pepper spray against seated protesters were also placed on administrative leave.

Ten protesters were arrested Friday for an illegal campus encampment. The protesters were cited and released on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi has asked the Yolo County district attorney's office to investigate campus police use of force.

On Saturday, demonstrators responded to the pepper spraying by staging a silent protest as the school's chancellor walked three blocks from a school building to get in her car. As of Sunday, a video of this protest had been viewed half a million times.

University of California President Mark Yudof also responded to the pepper spraying incident by publishing a statement Sunday saying he was "appalled" by the officers' actions. In the statement, Yudof said he would do everything in his power to "protect the rights of our students, faculty and staff to engage in non-violent protest."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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