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Univ of California to Pay $1 Mil to Students Pepper Sprayed During Protest

The University of California has been ordered to pay almost $1 million in damages to UC Davis students that were pepper sprayed during a peaceful protest last year. On Wednesday, the university system announced the settlement of a class action lawsuit against UC that was filed after a video surfaced of campus police spraying pepper spray directly into students’ faces as they sat on the ground during an Occupy rally. The video sparked national outrage and the university launched an investigation.

Now after nearly a year, the students will be paid $30,000 each and money from the settlement will be set aside for the plaintiffs’ legal fees. The settlement was agreed by the UC Regents during a closed meeting and the settlement is waiting to be approved by a federal court. For the students involved, this is probably a relief after the strife caused by the incident. “Since Nov. 18, students have been afraid of the police. The university still needs to work to rebuild students’ trust and this settlement is a step in the right direction,” said Fatima Sbeih, one of the protesters and a recent graduate.

This incident is one of many instances of police brutality since the Occupy Movement began its crusade against corporate and governmental greed. The media coverage of Occupy protests and rallies was constant and pictures of beat-up, bruised and bloody protesters getting manhandled by the police were plentiful. Occupy brought police brutality, a problem that has been rampant in the black community, to America’s living room. As the Occupy movement spread outside of the United States, so did the strong police response. On Tuesday, Occupy Spain hosted a huge rally and protesters were met with batons and barricades. Like other Occupy rallies, the media coverage has been massive and pictures of bloody people have surfaced.

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