The strutting policeman walking down the line of students with a canister of pepper spray reminded me of Percy Grainger's "In a Country Garden." A more casual application of cruelty and police misconduct would be hard to imagine.
The iconic John Pike has spawned an internet meme: Casually Pepper Spray Everything.
Update: Here is a post by John Quiggan (Australian economist who writes at Crooked Timber) about the background of U.C. - Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.