UC Davis Spent Over $175K to Hide Pepper-Spraying Search Res

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UC Davis Spent Over $175K to Hide Pepper-Spraying Search Res

Postby admin » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:45 pm

UC Davis Spent Over $175K to Hide Pepper-Spraying Search Results on Google
by Andrew Emett
April 14, 2016

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Instead of accepting its tarnished reputation, UC Davis chose to remove as many search results of the incident as possible while continuing to increase the tuition of its students.

In an attempt to minimize the negative publicity surrounding the November 2011 pepper-spraying of nonviolent students, UC Davis paid public relations consultants more than $175,000 to reduce search results of the notorious incident on Google and YouTube. Although consultants were paid to improve the deteriorating reputations of UC Davis and Chancellor Linda Katehi, newly released documents confirm the administration nearly doubled its PR budget while drastically raising tuition.

On the afternoon of November 18, 2011, campus police Lt. John Pike was caught on video pepper-spraying multiple unarmed students directly in their faces as they sat on the ground peacefully protesting during the Occupy movement. After receiving more than 17,000 angry or threatening emails and 10,000 text messages, Pike was awarded $38,055 less than two years later for his mental anguish.

According to a recent Sacramento Bee investigation, documents recently released under the California Public Records Act revealed that UC Davis hired a Maryland company called Nevins & Associates in January 2013, and paid them $15,000 per month over a six-month contract. The contract also included consultation services from David Nevins, founder and president of Nevins & Associates, to enhance the reputations of UC Davis and Chancellor Katehi.

The contract states, “Online evidence and the venomous rhetoric about UC Davis and the Chancellor are being filtered through the 24-hour news cycle, but it is at a tepid pace. Our campaign will expedite this process through strategic placement of online content and an increased adoption of Google platforms that will serve to specifically target viral content found on YouTube and in search results on Google.”

Including the travel and lodging expenses for Nevins associate Molly White, the university ended up paying Nevins & Associates $92,970.73 through July 2013. Less than a year later, UC Davis hired Sacramento-based ID Media Partners (aka IDMLOCO) in an $82,500 contract to manipulate search engine results and social media.

“We have worked to ensure that the reputation of the university, which the chancellor leads, is fairly portrayed,” stated UC Davis spokeswoman Dana Topousis. “We wanted to promote and advance the important teaching, research and public service done by our students, faculty and staff, which is the core mission of our university.”

At least four state legislators have recently called for Katehi’s resignation after learning that she posed a conflict of interest by accepting paid corporate board seats, including a textbook publisher and a for-profit university under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission. Since March 11, students have occupied the reception area outside of Katehi’s office in a sit-in scheduled to last until she resigns.

“It is troubling that the administration chose to spend scarce public dollars and to nearly double its PR budget when tuition soared, course offerings were slashed and California resident students were being shut out,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty
, who chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. “These findings just raise more questions about university priorities.”

Although no students were killed during the UC Davis pepper-spraying incident, the image of law enforcement officers assaulting nonviolent protesters echoed back to scenes from Kent State University in 1970. Instead of accepting its tarnished reputation, UC Davis chose to remove as many search results of the incident as possible while continuing to increase the tuition of its students. Propagating lies of omission, UC Davis evokes bitter memories of the Chinese government removing Google references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
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Re: UC Davis Spent Over $175K to Hide Pepper-Spraying Search

Postby admin » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:01 am

Occupy pepper-spray cop John Pike banks $38,000 for ‘psychiatric’ trauma: The University of California Davis settled the former campus police lieutenant's worker compensation claim. Pike became a symbol of police aggression when he maced peaceful college students as anti-Wall Street protests spread across the country.
Reuters
October 24, 2013

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


A former University of California policeman who stirred public outrage by pepper-spraying peaceful student protesters has been awarded $38,000 in worker's compensation for psychiatric damage he claimed to have suffered from the 2011 incident, the university said on Wednesday.

Then-campus police Lieutenant John Pike came to symbolize law enforcement aggression against anti-Wall Street protests at the time when video footage widely aired on TV and the Internet showed him casually dousing demonstrators in the face with a can of pepper spray as they sat on the ground.

Pike was suspended from his job at UC Davis and ultimately left the force in July 2012, but university officials did not disclose the circumstances of his departure.

A scathing 190-page report on the incident found that university officials and UC Davis police used poor judgment and excessive force in the confrontation. And the incident was widely mocked in satirical messages posted on the Internet in which still photos of Pike wielding his pepper spray were inserted into famed works or art or pop culture images.

The university last fall agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of the 21 students who got sprayed and later reported suffering panic attacks, trauma and academic problems as a result.

In June of this year, Pike himself filed a worker's compensation claim with UC Davis over the incident, saying he suffered unspecified psychiatric and nervous system damage, though the document did not explain how he claimed to have been harmed, records show.

On October 16, the state Division of Workers Compensation Appeals Board agreed to resolve his claim by paying him a settlement totaling $38,055, UC Davis spokesman Andy Fell said on Wednesday.


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Former University of California Davis police Lt. John Pike is filmed in 2011 as he pepper-sprays students during their sit-in at an ‘Occupy UCD’ demonstration.

"This case has been resolved in accordance with state law and processes on workers' compensation," Fell said in a written statement. "The final resolution is in line with permanent impairment as calculated by the state's disability evaluation unit."

Fell said he was not at liberty to elaborate on Pike's claim or the circumstances behind it.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Pike had earned more than $110,000 from his job in 2010, citing a database of state worker salaries from the last year for which figures are available.

The newspaper said he had received more than 17,000 angry or threatening emails, 10,000 text messages and hundreds of letters after the video of the pepper-spraying went viral.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi had asked prosecutors to look into possible criminal charges against the police officers involved in the pepper-spraying. But the Yolo County District Attorney's office determined there were no grounds on which to bring a case.
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