“The incident that occurred at Santa Monica College last night merits a thorough investigation by college officials.
The college must respect the right of students to make their voices heard, especially when they are expressing profound concern about college policies that will impact them and their studies. Free speech means being able to speak freely without being doused with pepper spray, which has excruciating effects that can last for days.
When campus police respond with excessive force, it makes students afraid to speak out and that undermines the very purpose of a college campus: a community of ideas where students are encouraged to express their opinions and engage in robust debate.
The college must closely investigate the actions of its campus police, as well as its policies of training protocols, to determine whether the use of force was justified.”
–Hector Villagra, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California