The settlement reached by the University of California and victims of a pepper-spraying incident at the UC-Davis campus last fall should be a “wake-up call for other universities and police departments,” ACLU of Northern California attorney Michael Risher said in a statement Wednesday. His full statement:
“If the First Amendment means anything, it’s that you should be able to demonstrate without being afraid of police violence. What happened on November 18 was among the worst examples of police violence against student demonstrators that we’ve seen in a generation. The settlement should be a wake-up call for other universities and police departments,” said Michael Risher, staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. “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.” The ACLU-NC will use the attorneys’ fees awarded to it in the case to advocate for free speech rights and other fundamental civil liberties.