Sacto 9-1-1
February 22, 2012
Pepper-sprayed students file lawsuit against UC Davis

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against UC Davis over the pepper-spraying of protesting students by police on Nov. 18.

Nineteen students have brought the suit that says that the university used excessive force to break up the demonstration. The Occupy UC Davis students were sprayed as they sat on the ground.

The suit said that the actions by police that day, which were broadcast around the world, had a chilling effect on free speech.

Among those named as defendants are University of California, Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi, various UC Davis officials, the campus police chief and a police officer.

"Attorneys for the university and the plaintiffs have been talking, said Barry Shiller, campus spokesman in a statement. "We hope those conversations continue. In the meantime, we've not seen the lawsuit and therefore aren't in a position to comment on details."

The students are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and other attorneys.

One of the students, David Buscho, said in a press release said the protest was his first demonstration. He participated in the protest because he was upset over a proposed tuition hike.

"We had no idea there would be police in riot gear or that we would be pepper-sprayed because we were making our voices heard," said Buscho.

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