Officers in pepper spray incident at UC Davis placed on leave

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Some of the most notorious instances went viral online, including the use of pepper spray on an 84-year-old activist in Seattle and a group of women in New York. Seattle’s mayor apologized to the activist, and the New York Police Department official shown using pepper spray on the group of women lost 10 vacation days after an internal review.

In the video of the UC Davis protest, the officer, a member of the university police force, displays a bottle before spraying its contents on the seated protesters in a sweeping motion while walking back and forth. Most of the protesters have their heads down, but several were hit directly in the face.

Some members of a crowd gathered at the scene scream and cry out. The crowd then chants, “Shame on You,” as the protesters on the ground are led away. The officers retreat minutes later with helmets on and batons drawn.

Nine students hit by pepper spray were treated at the scene, two were taken to hospitals and later released, university officials said.

UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza has said the decision to use pepper spray was made at the scene.

“The students had encircled the officers,” she said Saturday. “They needed to exit. They were looking to leave but were unable to get out.”

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Associated Press reporters Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco, Nigel Duara in Portland, Ore., and Meghan Barr in New York City contributed.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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