Interview with Former Temple City Student Pepper-Sprayed at Davis

Temple City High School alum Ian Lee speaks talks about his involvement with the Occupy Movement and the pepper-spray incident on campus.

Written by AMY FAN / Published January 6, 2012  

On November 18, during a UC Davis Occupy movement protestation, a group of students were pepper-sprayed by a policeman, after the police failed to break up the crowd.

Ian Lee, an alumnus of Temple City High School was one of the students. He recently spoke to the Temple City Voice the movement and the pepper-spray incident.

A first-year student, Lee joined the Occupy movement because he believed in restructuring the economic structure and stopping police brutality.

“In terms of the University, I want to see police un-armed, and I want the money to be spent on education and research,” says Lee. “I fight for the Occupy movement because it’s something I believe in.”

At the day of the incident, the students were gathered to protest the violence used by the police in a prior protestation.

After refusing to budge when the police warned them, Sergeant John Pike pepper-sprayed Lee and his sitting classmates at point-blank.

Lee, like other protestors expressed strong discontentment with the conduct of the police.

“It’s ironic that at a protest partly against police brutality, police brutality happened,” says Lee.

Lee was not severely hurt by the pepper spray and gave a speech about the incident shortly after.

“After the riot cops left, we agreed to rally and re-occupy the quad the following Monday,” said Lee. “That’s when I made the speech.”

When asked about the popular “Pepper Spray Cop” internet meme, Lee was unsure on how to answer.

“I don’t know what I feel about the Pike meme. I will say, however, that seeing my face in so many news reports and articles bothers me a little bit.”

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