Proud day for police?
As soon as the pepper spraying ends, as the remaining video shows, the officers gathered in a circle as the students had become truly enraged, yelling, SHAME ON YOU. It's almost comical, these overdressed goons not incurring any violence, just a chant that rang so true. One officer smiled at a news cameraman, not relying on a helmet and face shield. He seemed to know his audience, his community.
However, the sprayer, Lt. John Pike, has now been targeted by the hacking group Anonymous, looks like a thug by spraying the pepper spray onto the sitting students, who made no move to escape or fight. They simply had arms linked. They had gathered, assembled peacefully, much as our Bill of Rights promises us the freedom, the right to do. Now Pike looks like the posterboy for police who do not represent the community they are supposed to protect. He looks like a hired goon.
In fact, if the police wanted the protest to continue, only expanded, then the police actions accomplished their goal. What kind of training tells an officer to shoot a chemical weapon at a sitting person when there is no violence occurring?
Other police agencies have refused to remove protesters, fearing accurately that they would cause more problems than they would solve, such as happened in Albany, NY. That seems like reasonable thinking: Why start a riot if I have a crowd out here not yet rioting?
At U-C Davis, first the officers, if you continue watching the video, realize they are outnumbered and they gather into a circle and walk backwards away. Still, no violence, even though they could accused of inciting it if it had occurred. Later, another protest occurred, this one bigger, louder and clearly calling for university heads. Heads should roll.
And if the police want these protests to expand, then they know what to do.