UC Davis Spent $175,000 to Scrub Infamous Pepper Spray Photos from the Web

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The UC Davis pepper spray incident was national news, November 18, 2011, during an Occupy UC Davis demonstration. Peaceful protesters, who were sitting on a path in the quad, were pepper sprayed by university police after refusing to leave when asked. The video racked up millions of views and memes were even created from the resulting photos.

The video and UC Davis is now back in the spotlight, according to new reports, UC Davis has since spent tens upon tens of thousands of dollars to try and scrub that event from Internet history.

Here’s the video of the incident:

Over the past 5 years, the university tried to control their image, in fact, they have spent over $175,000 to scrub references to the controversy from the Internet.

But last week, the PR campaign backfired. On the afternoon of April 14, the top search result for “UC katehi_originalres (2)Davis” was the headline from The Sacramento Bee, the paper that broke the story: “UC Davis spent thousands to scrub pepper-spray references from Internet.”

Now students are calling for Chancellor Linda Katehi’s resignation. They see the spending as unethical breach and spending that much to cover up the truth is definitely not a good look.

“As an institution, our goal is to educate students about the past,” said Brandon Buchanan, a sociology graduate student and participant in the student movement #firekatehi. “This incident reveals that the university has made it its goal to try to forget the past.” http://www.sacbee.com/

 

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