We are publishing this anonymous account from a UNC professor. We have verified the identify of the professor, who would like to remain anonymous.

Today, as I was walking back to my office after teaching my last class of the semester, I sat down for a minute on a bench in front of the UNC Campus Y. I was hoping to get a glimpse of the demonstrations on Polk Place, but wanted to keep a safe distance from the action.

A few seconds after I sat down, however, a column of cops walked my direction, heading away from the demonstration and into Gerrard Hall. I assumed they were standing down, so I kept my seat.

Several cops passed right by where I sat. They looked scared. The one right in front of me yelled, “Who has spray?” I saw his hand reach for his belt.

I jumped up and scrambled out of the way. A split second later, he was pepper spraying a student in the face, exactly where I had just been sitting.

From only a few feet away, I watched the stream of spray hit this student in the eyes and then watched the student fall backwards, clutching his face. Then I felt the burn in my own throat.

I backed up several more feet and pulled out my phone to start recording, but I had started coughing, and my hands were shaking too much to unlock my phone anyway, so I left and headed back toward my office.

When I got to my building, I learned that several of our own students had sustained direct hits and were begging for saline, the university cancelled all remaining classes, and campus police were gearing up to use force against remaining demonstrators.

To be clear: I, a member of the UNC faculty, was nearly caught in a line of pepper spray being fired at UNC students, by UNC police, working under direct orders of UNC administration, as I left class on the last day of the semester.

These cops were in a blind rage, with zero care for bystanders. They were out of control, pepper spraying the people they were hired to protect.

My throat is still itchy, but I’m physically ok. I don’t think I will ever get over what I saw my employer do to its own students and faculty today, however.

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