November 25, 2011
The criticism over UC Davis’ police dousing non-violent protesters with pepper spray has extended to the man who invented the crowd-control device.
Kamran Loghman helped develop pepper spray into a weapons-grade material while working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the 1980s. After seeing how his invention was used against student demonstrators in Davis, Loghman said police violated his original intent.
“I have never seen such an inappropriate and improper use of chemical agents,” Loghman told The New York Times.
Having helped police departments develop guidelines for using pepper spray, Loghman said pepper spray is appropriate only if a person is physically threatening a police officer or another person.
Some of the Davis students who were subjected to the spray are considering suing the university, and there have been widespread calls for the school’s chancellor, Linda Katehi, to resign. The university police chief, Annette Spicuzza, has been placed on administrative leave, as have pepper-spraying policeman John Pike and another officer.