UC Davis to pay $1 million to Occupy pepper-sprayed protesters (Video)

Occupy Pepper Spray

Wayne Tilcock / AP

File: In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif.

The University of California has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit with students who were pepper-sprayed during an Occupy protest at UC Davis last fall.

UC and plaintiffs represented by the American Civil Liberties Union filed the preliminary settlement in federal court in Sacramento on Wednesday. The agreement is subject to the approval of a federal judge.

Each of the 21 students behind the suit will receive $30,000.

The settlement also calls for the UC to set aside $100,000 to pay other individuals who can prove they were arrested or pepper-sprayed during the Nov. 18, 2011, incident. The lawsuit has turned into a class-action suit, so others who were sprayed can submit claims of up to $20,000.

The deal also allocates money to pay for the students’ legal fees — $250,000 — and calls for a personal written apology from Chancellor Linda Katehi to each student who was pepper-sprayed.

The chemical crackdown prompted campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after online videos shot by witnesses went viral.

Images of an officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying point for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

A task force report released in April blamed the incident on poor communication and planning throughout the campus chain of command, from the chancellor to the pepper-spraying officers.

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