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Pepper Spray Report Has Solutions But Raises Questions

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(Davis, CA)
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The report says police and school administrators failed to properly plan for their reaction to the protest, and then didn't follow the plan they had.  Task force leader Cruz Reynoso says the school needs to develop policies on how to legally respond to protests.

REYNOSO: "It has to be very clear who has made what decision and what the action is going to be.  The structure, sad to say, of that informal approach simply did not meet the requirements of a crisis like the crisis we saw."

Additional recommendations call for an independent review of UC Davis Police procedures and for training for all police departments in the UC system. 

The report also recommends the campus adopt rules that require protestors to behave in such a way that does not coerce or interfere with the education of students who are not protesting. 

Chancellor Linda Katehi has been directed to come up with policy changes and to recommend them to the school president.

Most of the UC Davis students and faculty who spoke following the presentation of the report Wednesday agreed with its contents.  But, for many the report raised more questions.  Bob Ostertag is a professor at the university.

OSTERTAG: "How did a weapon they're not approved of and that they're not trained in using end up in their hands.  And, two, do they have other weaons over there at the police department readily available that they're not trained in and that they're not approved?"

Reynoso told Ostertag his concerns are valid, but Reynoso couldn't answer the question.

REYNOSO: "Because of the policeman's bill of rights, we didn't have a subpoena, so we did not interview Lieutenant Pike, so we don't know his story."

An internal affairs investigation was initiated a week-and-a-half after the pepper spraying incident.  But the school says it cannot release any findings of the investigation or any changes that come from it.

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