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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

News in Brief: Pepper spray settlement finalized

A $1 million settlement concerning the Nov. 18, 2011 pepper spraying of student protesters on the UC Davis campus was finalized yesterday by a federal judge.

According to a Jan. 9 news release by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the lawsuit argues that the University’s response to protesters resulted in force that violates “state and federal constitutional protections, including the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California.

Approximately $1 million will be paid by the University of California, with $30,000 being paid to each plaintiff. Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi is also set to write a formal apology to those pepper sprayed and arrested, per terms of the settlement.

“Police should never have been called out to disperse the lawful protest against steep tuition increases, police brutality against UC Berkeley protesters, and privatization of the university,” stated the ACLU news release, written by Mark E. Merin, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs.

“The University never should have used police against peaceful protesters. Perhaps the economic costs of violating students’ First Amendment rights to free speech and free assembly will discourage similar abuse in the future,” Merin added.

— Muna Sadek

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