UC Davis used $175,000 to cover up the horrendous response of campus police to the Occupy protest that took place November 2011. You may be able to recall a video that surfaced of Police Lt. John Pike releasing pepper spray onto the sitting protesters, which sparked worldwide controversy.
The campus wanted to resolve the hostility that was ignited from the footage that was released online, in order to preserve the integrity and image of the University. The uproar resulted in numerous lawsuits, one which UC Davis agreed to compensate a sum of $1 million to all the victims.
Freedom of information documents which were requested by The Sacramento Bee Newspaper revealed that UC Davis separately paid two consultant firms to erase all the bad publicity generated from the video. The first company which was Maryland state PR firm Nevins & Associates, was paid $92,970 back in 2013. A year later ID Media Partners was signed to develop a “search engine results management strategy.”
#UCDavis Chancellor Linda Katehi said today she doesn't need to resign over pepper spray incident. Three separate investigations underway.
— CBS Sacramento CBS13 (@CBSSacramento) November 23, 2011
Chancellor Linda Katehi's reaction to the Occupy Wall Street caused criticism from students on campus whom demanded for her resignation.
“We have worked to ensure that the reputation of the university, which the chancellor leads, is fairly portrayed,” UC Davis spokeswoman Dana Topousis told the Bee. “We wanted to promote and advance the important teaching, research and public service done by our students, faculty and staff, which is the core mission of our university.”
"It is troubling that the administration chose to spend scarce public dollars and to nearly double its PR budget when tuition soared, course offerings were slashed and California resident students were being shut out." Kevin McCarty (D-California), said on Facebook. "These findings just raise more questions about university priorities."
Whether or not it was right for Officer Pike to pepper spray the students, or for the video to be released online, it is troubling to discover that UC Davis utilized $175,000 of tax payer's money to quell the hostility created from Occupy Protest on campus.