Police violence uncalled for

Police have reacted with unnecessary violence to Occupy protests.

Editorial board

In several recent nonviolent student protests, police officers have been treating student protesters with hostility and violence, which must stop immediately.

Recent protests at University of California-Davis demonstrate this unacceptable behavior: They pepper sprayed nonthreatening, immobile, seated students. There is no need to take the situation to that level if the protesters are being nonviolent.

Just days before the UC Davis incident, police acted similarly at the University of California-Berkeley. At an Occupy Cal protest there, police beat student protesters with billy clubs.

Police officers must not overreact and turn straight to violence and pepper spray when dealing with nonviolent protesters. The violent reactions are unnecessary and will only cause more trouble.

Police officers dealing with protests throughout the nation must remember their real duty, which is to protect constitutional freedoms. Police are here to protect and serve the public, not treat them with unnecessary excessive force.

In both cases in California, police chose to use violence and force against student protesters who were not threatening. Instead of protecting the public, these police officers are repressing the public.

The police are not the only problem; UC DavisâÄôs chancellor ordered police to clear the student protesters from campus, which resulted in the use of unnecessary force. We support the demand of an assistant professor at UC Davis who wrote an open letter demanding the resignation of the chancellor.

As Occupy protests continue across the country, protesters must remain peaceful but so must police.