A menacing crowd of protesters had encircled police and they had no choice but to defend themselves with pepper spray. Or at least, that is the story campus cops at UC Davis initially told.
Video of the Nov. 18 incident tells a different story. It shows a group of Occupy Davis student protesters sitting peacefully with arms interlocked while a police officer walks back and forth, dousing them at close range with liberal amounts of pepper spray. There is an awful contemptuousness in his bearing. He could be spraying weeds in his garden or roaches in his kitchen.