Two years before they pepper-sprayed protesting students, University of California Davis police arrested 50 students in another incident as helicopters buzzed overhead, German shepherd police dogs barked, and officers clad in riot gear marched students out of a building, the Sacramento Bee reports. “They made a mistake once and they couldn’t learn from it,” said one of the 2009 arrestees.
Steep tuition hikes have fueled systemwide protest efforts by UC students that have included the occupation of administration buildings, marches, and disruption of regents meetings. In the wake of the pepper-spraying uproar, chancellor Linda Katehi says the University of California system must has to update the protocols police follow, something that has not been done for decades. She has ordered campus police to remain largely out of sight of the protesters now camped out on the quad unless they are needed to assist students. The original police action was designed to remove about 25 tents. In the ensuing backlash, the tent city swelled to 80 tents.