Kamran Loghman, who helped the FBI develop pepper-spray in the 1980’s, said he was shocked and bewildered that it was used against non-violent protesters at the University of California at Davis.
In mid November, two campus police officers hit a group of “Occupy” protesters who had locked arms and refused to move directly in the face with a stream of pepper-spray.
Video of the scene immediately went viral, getting over a million views within 24 hours, and the main officer responsible for using the chemical irritant on peaceful student protesters has since become an Internet meme.
“I mean, I saw it and the first thing that came to my mind wasn’t police or students but my own children sitting down, having an opinion, and their being shot and forced by chemical agents,” Logham told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now.
He co-authored the original pepper-spray training manuals used by law enforcement agencies across the country, and described the incident at UC Davis as “a completely improper and inappropriate use.”
“Normally pepper spray is used when there is a physical threat to the police officers or bystanders or there is a possibility of property damage and you see that things are going haywire,” Logham explained. “In that situation, police officers are justified to bring things under control by using a force that is not deadly, such as pepper spray.”
“In the case of UC Davis, individuals are totally quiet. They are not saying anything and they are not harming anybody and they are not being aggressive to police officers. So the use was just absolutely out of ordinary and was not in accordance with any training or policy of any department that I know of.”
Watch video, courtesy of Democracy Now, below: