Campus Police Pepper Spray Dozens Of Students Outside Meeting
[NOTE: Clip used in video above is from the Santa Monica Patch, not YouTube]
SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Campus police at Santa Monica College pepper sprayed a crowd of students Tuesday after they disrupted a Board of Trustees meeting.
Roughly 100 students began chanting “Shame on you!” at the board members from outside the meeting, which took place in the Business Administration building.
The group reportedly caused a campus police officer to lose his balance, which apparently led to the use of pepper spray.
As seen on this video on the Patch’s Web site, students began running out of the hall as it filled with vapor.
The board was forced to end the meeting when paramedics were called to treat nearly 30 people.
Two people were taken to the hospital, according to the Santa Monica Fire Department.
Students told CBS2 reporter Suzie Suh that the incident should not have escalated to that point.
They said they were demanding to have a say in a new course program that could begin as early as this summer.
The program, which would be funded privately, would offer core courses at prices that would be three times the cost of state-funded courses.
School officials argue that it would offset major cuts in state funding.
The students, with the exception of a few student delegates, were not allowed inside the room where the meeting was held.
“It was a mixed crowd. There were elderly members, there were students, and there were children as well,” according to a student at the protest.
She added that one student delegate inside the meeting, upset after being pepper sprayed, pointed her finger at an officer when she was “grabbed by her neck and thrown down to the ground by her neck.”
“Right now we don’t even know what condition she’s in. I’m sure she’s in the hospital,” the student said.