Police use pepper spray on protesters at UC Berkeley

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Protesters and police clash at Tolman Hall.


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SEPTEMBER 22, 2011

Police used pepper spray against protesters at Thursday’s protest outside of Tolman Hall. UCPD Lt. Marc DeCoulode said during the course of an entrance attempt at the hall, a number of protesters tried to pin officers, and one protester grabbed a magazine clip off of an officer’s gun belt, leading two officers to use the spray.

He could not say exactly how many protesters were sprayed but estimated it was “a couple.”Michelle Ty, a UC Berkeley graduate student who was at the protest, said at least three protesters were pepper-sprayed. According to Ty, the spray was used in two instances not far from one another outside the hall. She estimated the sprayings occurred two to three minutes apart.

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A protester standing outside Tolman — who refused to give his name out of fear of criminal allegations if his name appeared in print — said he was pepper-sprayed and that many of the protesters in the crowd where the sprayings occurred felt the impact of the pepper mist even if officers did not spray them individually.

“It still burns,” he said, approximately three hours after the spraying occurred.

DeCoulode said the size of the crowd prevented police from taking any protesters into custody and that, to his knowledge, officers did not use any other forms of force beyond the pepper spray.

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SEPTEMBER 23, 2011