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UC agrees to pay $1 million to settle pepper-spray suit

  • FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. The University of California has agreed to pay nearly $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by demonstrators who were pepper-sprayed in the face during an Occupy protest, an incident that became a defining moment in the short-lived movement against economic inequality. (AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit filed by demonstrators who were pepper-sprayed during an Occupy protest at UC Davis last fall, according to a preliminary settlement filed Wednesday.

The Nov. 18, 2011, incident prompted national outrage, angry campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after online videos shot by witnesses went viral.

Images of a police officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying symbol for the Occupy Wall Street movement. The demonstrators had been protesting steep tuition hikes and police brutality.

Under the proposed settlement, UC would pay $30,000 to each of 21 plaintiffs named in the complaint and an additional $250,000 for their attorneys to split.

Katehi, who has publicly apologized for the incident, would be required to issue a formal written apology to each of the plaintiffs, who are current students or recent alumni


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