2 UC Davis Officers On Leave After Spraying Incident

Video shot by Occupy protesters shows people linking arms and sitting down to block a sidewalk on the campus of California Davis. A campus police officer steps up with an oversized spray can and calmly douses them with pepper spray. Two campus police officers have been placed on administrative leave, the university says.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Just a week ago, it was starting to seem like the Occupy Movement might be running short of fuel. The weather was getting colder, and the protest movement still hadn't settled on specific goals. Now that movement seems to have fresh energy after a week of police crackdowns across the country.

Confrontations with police have dramatized the protests, most recently at the University of California at Davis.

(SOUNDBITE OF A PROTEST)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, my God.

INSKEEP: Video shot by protesters shows people linking arms and sitting down to block a sidewalk. A campus police officer steps up with an oversized spray can and calmly douses them with pepper spray. That video went viral over the weekend, spreading across the country.

Later video shows the university chancellor walking to her car, a moment made eerie because she is walking past a line of people who stand in silent protest.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOOTSTEPS)

INSKEEP: The chancellor had initially appeared to support the police, saying protester, quote, "chose not to work with authorities." By Sunday, though, the chancellor put out a statement saying she had spoken with students and quote, "I feel their outrage." The campus police chief and two officers have been placed on leave as an investigation begins and protests continue.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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