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UC Davis chancellor apologizes in pepper-spray incident

November 21, 2011 |  1:55 pm

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi on Monday apologized to students and faculty after campus police officers pepper-sprayed a group of student protesters, an incident that has cast the university in the national spotlight.

"I am here to apologize," Katehi told hundreds of students and faculty who gathered for a rally on the campus quad. "I feel horrible for what happened on Friday."

Campus police sprayed a group of students who were sitting down and protesting peacefully as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Eleven students were treated for the effects of pepper spray, including two who were taken to an area hospital, where they were treated and released.

PHOTOS: Protests at UC Davis

"I don't want to be chancellor of the university we had on Friday," Katehi told the crowd. "Our university has to be better than it is. And we need all of the community to come together to do that. We need to work together. ... I know you may not believe anything that I'm telling you today, and you don't have to. It is my responsibility to earn your trust."

Katehi left the podium to chants of "Resign, Resign!" and "Not Enough!"

A UC Davis professor who started an online petition calling for Katehi to resign said he has so far collected 60,000 signatures.

Since Friday's incident, two campus police officers and Police Chief Annette Spicuzza have been placed on leave while UC officials investigate the officers' actions.


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-- Maria L. La Ganga at UC Davis