Friday, April 15, 2016

UC Davis' Greatest Hits: Pepper-Spray the Kids!

Yes, we remember this, and so does the Internet. Pay someone $175,000 to scrub the scandal from the webs? Ridiculous.

Yes, his name was Lt. John Pike, and, yes, after he was fired for being
a monster, he sued for pain and suffering, and won! Not joking.

And, yes, the chancellor of the university, Linda Katehi, did not lose her job, even though she had to undergo this as some modicum of punishment:

A perp walk for the ages, eh?

So taxpayer money is wasted to try to bury the memory of something absolutely horrid. Hah. The funny thing is that when this came out yesterday -- as someone should have known that it would -- the internets blew up all over again like it always does, and guess what? I typed "linda" into a Google search line and "linda katehi" auto-completed at the top. I typed "lt" and it auto-completed "lt john pike" at the top. When I went to search for photos, they were all still available. It took me a few seconds to find the video of the infamous perp walk on YouTube. How dumb, or outrageous, are these fuckers?

Here's a link to Will Bunch's take on it all, hat tip to Atrios.

As Bunch points out, Linda Katehi remains chancellor of UC Davis to this day. As for Lt. John Pike, who knows? Another, Officer Alex Lee, who also pepper-sprayed the kids at Pike's direction, has disappeared from a database of state workers.

Here's some interesting stuff from the event's Wikipedia entry, which includes the new information about the negative-image campaign:

Internet meme

The image of John Pike using his pepper spray on the occupy protesters has become an internet meme. Images have been manipulated to depict him pepper spraying various famous people, works of art and other objects.[87][88]
The incident sparked public debate regarding the appropriate use of pepper spray. On Monday, November 21, 2011, Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly appeared on political talk show The O'Reilly Factor saying of pepper spray "it’s like a derivative of real pepper. It’s a food product essentially."[89] The meme was also reported in the British press.[90][91]

Anonymous response

The Internet group Anonymous responded by releasing Pike's personal information online.[92] The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pike subsequently received 17,000 angry or threatening emails, 10,000 text messages, and hundreds of letters, causing him to suffer from depression and anxiety and winning him a workers compensation claim settlement of $38,056.[16] The three dozen student protestors, meanwhile, were collectively awarded US$1 million by UC Davis in a settlement from a federal lawsuit, with each pepper-sprayed student receiving $30,000 individually.[93]

University PR response

On April 13, 2016 the Sacramento Bee reported that it had obtained UC Davis documents through the California Public Records Act that showed that the University had paid at least $175,000 to public relations companies for work related to the negative image of the University that was circulating on the Internet.[94][95][96][97][98] A proposal from Maryland company Nevins & Associates that was obtained by the newspaper showed that the company had been hired on a six-month contract that paid $15,000 a month, starting in January, 2013.[99] The proposal prepared by Nevins & Associates offered to create an online campaign to clean up the negative attention on the University, and to advise the UC Davis administration in the use of Google platforms to eliminate search results that reflect negatively on the University. The company stated that the overall goal was the “eradication of references to the pepper spray incident in search results on Google for the university and the Chancellor.”[99] After the Nevins & Associates contract ended, the University hired Sacramento-based ID Media Partners in an $82,500 contract in 2014 to “design and execute a comprehensive search engine results management strategy" aimed at improving the reputation of the University and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.[99]
Please note that another $82,500 was wasted in 2014.

These jerks need to go. Maybe this new bullshit will help.

No comments:

Post a Comment