Anonymous posts UC Davis cop details after pepper-spray incident

By Lee Kaelin on November 23, 2011, 10:30 AM

The online hacktivist group Anonymous is once again in the news, this time for the naming and shaming of a University of California Davis Police officer for what it says was total brutalization of the Occupy campus protestors. The incident caught in its entirety on camera, ended up on YouTube just hours later.

It shows the Police officer later identified as Lt. John Pike calmly stepping over the sat down protesters before turning around and then spraying all of them with pepper spray.

The incident on Friday resulted in nine students being treated at the scene by medical personnel, with two of them hospitalized. The Occupy protesters who were blocking a pathway had previously refused to move, despite calls by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to have the encampment's tents peacefully removed by 3pm due to health and safety concerns.

The resulting backlash as the videos and details spread across the internet over the weekend resulted in UC Davis authorities' apologizing on Monday, announcing that its police chief as well as both of the officers involved had been placed on administrative leave while the matter was investigated.

Anonymous responded by releasing a ten minute long video detailing the incident along with the posting of the police officer's personal details, which included his home address, email, and telephone numbers as well as his full name. The hacker collective spoke directly to the shamed officer in the first minute of the video, proclaiming he should expect their wrath, as well as promises to make him "squeal."

YouTube promptly removed the video, but a follow-up two-minute video remained with a warning for the Police. "The law is clear, and we, Anonymous, have been sending formal complaints and will continue to do so in the future. We also warn you, if you or the rest of the UCD Police continue to use mindless violence on peaceful protesters, more severe countermeasures shall follow," the video said.

UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell responded by saying the release of the officer's personal information was "completely inappropriate." Mark Yudof, UC president also issued a statement, pledging the need "to take strong action to recommit to the ideal of peaceful protest." A little late perhaps, given the damage already caused to those brutally treated whilst peacefully protesting.

Anonymous was recently in the news after publishing the personal details of 16,000 Finnish residents in a bid to embarrass the Finnish government into improving its weak data security.




User Comments: 32

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MilwaukeeMike said:

You know who's getting screwed in this whole Occupy nonsense. The Cops. seriously. They're union men and women of the '99%', whose job it is to protect the rights of the protesters, while protecting the rights of the citizens of the city who's tax money paid for the roads the protesters are blocking.

They have to hold back angry citizens to let the protesters exersize their right to protest, and then they have to upset the protesters when it's time to clear the roads so the working class can get home at night. The protesters have no common sense and refuse to cooporate until they're sprayed.

Cops have the impossible job of keeping the peace between the 99% and the people protesting on their behalf.

Guest said:

The last line states that they were "Brutally treated"......Really? I watched the video and saw nothing of the sort. There was no beating, not brutality. They used OC - which is a chemical deterant. You stick your head in a tub and it washes off......big deal. People need to review the use of force continuum and then write inteligently about things like this. It was followed to the T. The next step would have been to use stricking instruments. The officers backed off as the crowd became very agressive toward them and they were greatly outnumbered. They would have been justified in using battons to break up the group, but decided for their own safety to back off. The admin sent letters to the group letting them know whey would be forcibly removed if they failed to peacefully leave. This is private property. The first amendment does NOT give them the right to obstruct, just the right to assemble. There is a HUGE difference.

Guest said:

mob mentality is a dangerous thing... precautions should be taken. Stupid crowd.

lipe123 said:

For the most part I agree, being a cop is a really crappy job. I'd have to say that there are some cops that take things to far and abuse their position but in general all these occupy this or that movements are pretty stupid.

Whats going to change from protesting about it? get the facts and prove your case in court instead of being a lazy bum somewhere complaining about everything with no proof.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Thats no the real Anon that we knew a year ago, the voice they used sounds stupid and i'm sure the same "anon" we knew a year ago would keep the same vioce.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, at least this time Anon targeted the actual person responsible in a direct reprisal, rather than just posting a bunch of personal info of an entire group to punish them as a whole.

But, really, I have to laugh at calling the pepper spraying "brutalizing" here. If they want to see brutality, they should try watching the Rodney King videos. Or, check out any number of videos depicting how OTHER countries handle uncooperative protesters. Rather than whipping out the batons and beating these people, or using tazers on them, they pepper sprayed a group that put themselves in the position they were in. It's called consequences - they knew the score, what could happen to them, and made a conscious decision to force the police personnel to use some sort of physical force to remove them. The fact that it was just pepper spray shows quite a lot of restraint on the part of a continually harassed, demonized and overworked police force during this Occupy movement.

Guest said:

What the hell guys? I am astonished by the above three commenters.

First of all, Mil. It is actually possible to police effectively without harming the protesters. You ask them to move, then if they refuse you restrain them and escort them off the site. Note, this does NOT include slamming them on the ground. If they begin to get violent, then by all means they should use the necessary force, but they should never instigate it.

Guest #1, if this stuff is so easy to get rid of then why did two people get hospitalised? If it's not so bad, then go rub some chilli in your eyes right now to prove it.

Guest #2, mob mentality? They were making noise, sure, but I saw no threatening movements towards the police in that video.

I am lucky to live in a country where protesting is publicly supported by the government, and the police are respected by most of the population. In turn, the police do not even carry firearms and carry out their duty peacefully. I think that the US has forgotten, or perhaps never known such a relationship with their law enforcement of government.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

+1 Vrmithrax

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

While I strongly disagree with much of what occupiers are saying, I agree with guest #3 (comment #7) in this case. The use of force by police MUST ALWAYS be justifiable. A 2002 appeal from a California court determined that recklessly using pepper spray on non-violent protesters constitutes "excessive force" and would not provide police with qualified immunity.

This incident clearly displays "excessive force", as defined under California's law.

Guest said:

lipe, you protest to bring awareness about an issue. Not everyone can afford to go to court, and you can protest about things that aren't even legally wrong but that still need to be corrected.

Again with people supporting pepper spray. Yeah it's great for stopping violent offenders and preventing police from being hurt. But seriously, why couldn't they have just hand cuffed the protesters as they sat and then stuck them in the back of the police cars? Did it look like the police were in danger at any point?

It's lazy policing that only fosters more resentment.

Guest said:

I have been maced and then forced to run an obsticle course...it's part of police training and it DOES wash off. It sucks, but washes off. What you don't see in the videos is the BEFORE action....but why would you see that? That would only justify the OC and we can't have that. The officers tried to physically remove them and the protestors ACTIVELY RESISTED by not breaking the arm chain. At that point, officers would have been justified in using striking intruments or "heavy handed" striking techniques to force them to release and submit. Instead they used a "NON-Lethal OC spray. 2 were hospitalized....but what for? Doesn't really say. Nor does it say when they were released and what they were treated for. Some people have very low tolerance for pain. OC does cause pain......I know from personal experience, but I would rather be maced then struck with an ASP or a PR batton. I can break bones with those.....

Again, private property. If they cam to your house and were blocking you from entering your home, or from letting you leave your own home, you wouldn't really care how they were removed.....now would you?

Guest said:

To the Guests who think they should just escort the protesters out you could turn it around and ask why didn't the protesters just leave when asked to by law enforcement officers? What were the protesters trying to prove? They could have moved out of the way and continued their protest. Try being in front of a mob and keeping the peace and see how hard it is.

The trouble with Anonymous is that they are judge, jury and executioner and if anyone complains about them they attack you.

Guest said:

I love when people, that presumably have no legal education, quote case law. You should read that 2002 appeal more closely. The Pergerson decision holds that they will not grant summary judgment on qualified immunity, because summary judgment is not appropriate if the officers actions could be factually unreasonable (they compare it to the LaLonde case). They remanded to the lower court to decide whether the use of force was justified on that set of facts. In LaLonde, officers arrested a man, peppersprayed him, handcuffed him, and let him sit there for 20-30 minutes with pepperspray on his face (which is why it was held "unreasonable" and reckless (he complained of pain, and they did not administer aid)). Note that police are entitled to use force to execute an arrest, if the arrestee does not comply, to the extent that it is necessary to bring the arrestee in full compliance.(this doesn't say that using pepper spray is the wisest decision, just that police are entitled to it) In LaLonde, they exceeded that entitlement because they were essentially still "using force"(pepperspray on his face) long after he was brought under full compliance.

On the Quad, the officers used pepper spray as they were entitled to, brought the arrestees under compliance, and provided medical aid to remove the spray. I can tell you that there is no legal liability here. It may not have been the smartest thing to do (I think the UC Davis Police Chief is toast), but in terms of legal implications...the officers are not civilly or criminally liable.

Also, note that the legal definition of reckless is quite different than what people assume it to be.

MilwaukeeMike said:

The very fact that a police presence was needed is the first problem. if this were a peaceful protest there would be no cops. I see Pro-Life rallies all the time with no cops, i've seen pro-union groups protesting at construction sites and car dealerships with no police in sight.

These Occupy people are causing a rukus for attention. In Milwaukee last week they completely blocked a major bridge to protest that the bridge needed repairs....in a poor part of the city where unemployment is 35%.

You expect police to drag people out of the road, only to have them walk back in, while they're yelling about their rights. Their friends are filming the whole thing for youtube and yelling at the cops, and we expect the cops to be calm?!

Put yourself in that position...really think about it.

The police have my full support.

Guest said:

I say "shame on you" too but it's not against the police. It's against those stupid student protestors and crowd. And I bet they all voted for Obama too!

fimbles fimbles said:

EDIT: Leeky.

No, this is not the place to be posting said officers personal information. Its available elsewhere for those that insist in having it.

So please refrain from the urge to post it.

EDIT: Ahh sorry, thought people may be intrested before it gets revoved all together, wont happen again

Guest said:

Many faculty members at UC Davis agree that the biggest issue is the fact that police was brought in (since they often liberally use force), which is why some are calling for the Chancellor's resignation.

Also please note that while the overarching theme of the UC Davis protests is in line with the Occupy movement, the students are protesting tuition rate hikes, which have occured every year for the past 4 years. Apparently undergraduate tuition was 4K a semester in 2009, and its going to be 10K+ a semester in 2013. I would be pissed if I paid that much for an undergraduate education, but then again, I'm paying UC Davis 25K+ a semester for my legal education (and they are worth it)

Also, please do not make this appear to be a politically motivated protest. If they voted for Obama, its none of your business, they are upset that their tuition will have gone up threefold in less than 5 years.

Guest said:

"You could turn it around and ask why didn't the protesters just leave when asked to by law enforcement officers?"

No one is saying that the protesters aren't being idiotic assholes. They obviously don't realize that you can make a point without causing trouble and disobeying the police.

In saying that, one would expect the police to be detached and professional when going about their job. If they refuse to unlink their arms then you get a police officer per arm.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Vrmithrax said:

Well, at least this time Anon targeted the actual person responsible in a direct reprisal, rather than just posting a bunch of personal info of an entire group to punish them as a whole.

Totally agree with this. Whether or not the cop deserved this is another story, but at least they didn't use their typical "kill 'em all, let God sort them out" approach.

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

I basic you HAVE to walk into a closed room and suck back CS gas, which makes the stuff these rent-a-cops use look like tossed jello. and frankly, except for the few ' candidates' that eventually washed out anyway, CS can be walked off over the period of 10 min or less..

Be that as it man, I cannot validate that rent-a's behaviour, the callousness of it smacks the same as what I used to see from ill trained and ignorant toops in Afghanistan and just like those troops, a few bad apples make the job for the remaining bulk of us that much harder to do. Good cops are great, bad cops are not.. if a good cop says nothing to stop or remove a bad cop from duty, is he still a good cop? no.

Guest said:

The students that were protesting were said to be engineering, medical, and law students.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Not a fan of the use of pepper spray here and it definitely feels excessive from all the videos I've seen, but "brutality treated" is a bit harsh especially considering our past.

milwaukeemike said:

The very fact that a police presence was needed is the first problem. if this were a peaceful protest there would be no cops.

From my understanding they were called in because the Chancellor wanted them gone, which is what lead the peaceful crowds to become louder in the first place. This is also one of the reasons people are calling for the Chancellor's resignation as pointed out above, as I'm not seeing why they were needed.

Guest said:

I say "shame on you" too but it's not against the police. It's against those stupid student protestors and crowd. And I bet they all voted for Obama too!

Ya! Shame on people for having different opinions than yourself!

Guest said:

Oh my god, I had no idea there was such low IQ on techspot.

Have any of you ignorant stuck-up people has taken pepper spray to the face? Think of somebody taking a extremely hot chilli and rubbing it into your skin, your eyes, your mouth. It hurts like HELL and you guys say this isn't brutal...

Your economic and politic system is messed up america so stop hating these people, they're the ones who try to keep you from becoming an uneducated mass of easily manipulated sheep.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For god sake, I was writing something but page refreshed and lost it.... oh for crying out loud .... lame

jeffz6 said:

Did protesting ever actually change anything?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

jeffz6 said:

Did protesting ever actually change anything?

Well, it worked for women's rights activists, and MLK... Not sure how many examples you were looking for...

BrownPaper said:

jeffz6 said:

Did protesting ever actually change anything?

India got their country back from England.

Guest said:

These protesters should just deal with it.

In some countries you get shot for less.

TJGeezer said:

Guest said:

Oh my god, I had no idea there was such low IQ on techspot.

Have any of you ignorant stuck-up people has taken pepper spray to the face? Think of somebody taking a extremely hot chilli and rubbing it into your skin, your eyes, your mouth. It hurts like HELL and you guys say this isn't brutal...

Your economic and politic system is messed up america so stop hating these people, they're the ones who try to keep you from becoming an uneducated mass of easily manipulated sheep.

Thank you. It's about time somebody said something sensible.

The pepper spray attack was completely unprovoked, but not brutal because nobody actually died or got bludgeoned? A public university is private property?

Good lord. No wonder America is going totalitarian, if its citizens think that way.

Guest said:

I've been visiting the UCD campus (for business reasons) for almost 30 years, and it's common knowledge around these parts that the UCD Police won't be confused for "intellectuals". They have a well established reputation for being overzealous.

In watching the full video I keep coming back to the same question... why did the Police pepper spray a few students and then immediately surrender the ground they placed so much importance on that they had to provoke a confrontation?

In the end the incident has created quite a fervor locally. Katehi has shown herself to be a complete and utter fool, and not just Pike but all the UCD Police are keeping a low profile until this blows over.

Guest said:

If cops dont overstep the line, anon does not seem to target them. This cop was excessive and now it's his problem for once. I don't think this is good for the individual but at least they made him an example.

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