Judge approves pepper spray settlement

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A federal judge approved a settlement resolving the class action lawsuit filed on behalf of demonstrators who were pepper-sprayed at UC Davis in 2011.

U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez on Wednesday gave the final approval for the $1 million settlement, initially filed in September.

As part of the settlement, the university has agreed to pay $30,000 to each of the 21 plaintiffs, a total of $250,000 to their attorneys and a total of $100,000 to 15 other claimants.

The settlement also stipulates that UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi issue a formal written apology to the students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed. It also calls for the university to develop new policies regarding student demonstrations and use of force.

“The early resolution to this lawsuit means that the students can begin the process of moving on and we can work with the University to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again at the University of California,” said Michael Risher — an ACLU attorney who worked on the suit — in a press release.

Images from the Nov. 18, 2011, incident depicting campus police officers pepper-spraying seated protesters generated public outrage and led to criticism of the UC system’s police protest response procedures.

UC Davis and the UC system have since implemented administrative reforms pursuant to investigative reports compiled in the aftermath of the incident.

Justin Abraham is a news editor. Contact him at [email protected].