Senator Lowenthal Calls Treatment of UC Protestors "Outrageous and Disturbing," Calls for Hearing

Video capture of a UC Davis police officer pepper spraying protesting students.

8:05am | State Senator Alan Lowenthal, chair of the Senate Education Committee, has "called for a joint hearing into the UC system policies and procedures regarding non-violent protests," according to a press release.

“The pepper spraying and bludgeoning of students by UC campus police is outrageous and disturbing," Lowenthal said. "It is clear from these shameful actions that the UC system needs a single unified policy on the appropriate response to peaceful campus protests and on the use of force by campus police.”

Lowenthal's statement comes in the wake of widely disseminated video showing, among other acts, UC Davis police blasting a line of seated protestors in the face with heavy amounts of orange pepper spray.

“The constitutional right to peacefully protest is part of our American character," said Lowenthal in his statement. "It is critical that the public be assured that the rights of our students are not being abused or infringed."

The press release announces that the hearing, to be held by the state Senate and Assembly on December 14, "will focus on UC system rules, regulations and policies regarding student protests on UC campuses and facilities; the UC campus police use-of-force-policies; and the training procedures of UC campus police in crowd control techniques. In addition, the committee will receive updates on the ongoing investigations into the UC Davis incident."

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