Report On UC Davis Pepper-Spray Incident: Delays, Delays & Final Release

On March 6 2012 a Judge prevented the release of a report about the 2011 incident in which police acting on what they believe to be orders from the University Chancellor Linda B Katehi, pepper-sprayed students who were doing nothing more than peacefully sitting on the ground.

“The report, which had been set for release Tuesday, now remains in the hands of the task force assigned to investigate the Nov. 18 incident and a select few others….setting up a legal fight over how much protection police officers can receive from public scrutiny.

The Judge decided a case before him by lawyers representing the UC Davis Campus Police requesting to quash the report from public review.
The dispute marks the latest twist in an episode that dates to November, when UC Davis police officers used pepper spray against students and supporters gathered on the campus quad to protest rising education costs. Video clips that went viral on the Internet showed an officer methodically spraying students seated in passive resistance after they failed to obey orders to disperse.Three campus police officials were placed on paid leave following the pepper spraying, including Chief Annette Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike, the officer shown in the video.”The task force that prepared the report task force was “headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, a retired law professor at UC Davis who also has said the report should be released in its entirety.”

Read more here.
March 12th:
This week there will be a hearingon the Judge’s decission to not release the report and findings on the UC Davis pepper-spraying incident as explained above.
A hearing on the matter is set Friday  in Alameda Superior Court. The report had been scheduled for release March 6, but Judge Evelio M. Grillo granted the union’s request for a temporary restraining order.The union cites concerns that the report will name individual police officers and could contain confidential personnel information.       Three campus police officers were placed on paid leave following the pepper-spraying, including Chief Annette Spicuzzaand Lt. John Pike.”

Read more at the above link.
March 16th:
Yesterday a judge rejected the previous decision to keep the report on the cops and administrators actions that led to the pepper-spraying of docile students at UC Dais.
But if the cops Union appeals the new decision the actual release of the report will e delaed until at least April.
“…Judge Evelio Grillo said in his 16-page tentative ruling that the report does not contain any confidential information regarding campus officers and that it does not recommend disciplinary action against any of the officials involved in the Nov. 18 incident.    

“The report is a compilation of public information that would have been available to an investigative journalist or member of the public who took the time and expended the effort to make a Public Records Act request, review videos posted on YouTube and elsewhere, and locate and interview witnesses,” the judge wrote.”
Read more in the Sacramento Bee article.
March 9th:
The  UC Davis Pepper-spray report should be released on Wednesday April 11th after months of delays and legal wranglings and attempts to permanently block the contents of the report from the eyes of the public.
UC officials announced plans today for the release of the report online at noon Wednesday and at a public meeting on the UC Davis campus from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in Freeborn Hall.That will follow a court hearing in Oakland on Tuesday where the university system and the attorneys for campus police are expected to announce they have agreed to have the report issued without naming most of the police officers interviewed for the investigation.”

Hopefully the campus police won’t decide to file yet another appeal or legal attempt to further block the report.
You can read more from the Sacramento Bee here.
April 11th:
The report will finally be released.

The 190-page pepper spray report is now on the UC-Davis website,, and comes to a stark conclusion:

The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented.”

The Reynoso reports finds fault with the UCD leadership and the actions of the police, but finds no fault.  No one will get in trouble.  No one will go to jail even though the actions were indefensivle and the treacherous lies that led up to the actions and supported the finally pepper spraying were filled with lies.

Read the Reynoso report at the UCD website and more from the Bee here
April 12th:
The UC Davis Chancellor will “respond quickly” to the Reynoso report issued yesterday.  The report, about the pepper-spraying incident on campus last November, was critical of UC Davvis management and police but found no fault.
Chancellor Linda Katehi must meet soon with task force members who prepared the report, as well as faculty, students and other campus groups before presenting reforms in the coming days, said Peter King, a spokesman for UC President Mark Yudof.“The expectation is that fairly soon she’ll come to him with a plan to deal with this mess and make this right,” King said. “She’s going to have to work with her community, her faculty and all that, in a fairly expeditious way.”   according to an article in the Sacramento Bee on this afternoon.”On Wednesday, a task force led by a retired California Supreme Court justice blamed the November incident on poor planning, communication and decision-making at all levels of the school administration.It particularly criticized Katehi, campus Police Chief Annette Spicuzza and Lt. John Pike,whose pepper-spraying of seated students was videotaped and watched online around the world.”

It is unbelievable that no one will go to jail for violating the civil rights of tthe students who were in a peaceful protest on their own campus.

April 14th:

Chancellor Katehi outlines steps for UC Davis police, administration reforms in light of peper-spray incident reform which laid blame at the feet of the administration & police.

Many people still would like to see additional blame for Katehi herself and legal consequences for the primary police leaders in the incident.  The report does not go that far.

Remember…this incident occured in November 2011, fivve months ago and today Katehi is claiming she is “moving swiftly” to enact reforms.  The reform that should be enacted?  A new Chancellor should be named by the UC system.

April 17th:

Chancellor Kathei now says that she takes “full responsibility” for the UC Davis pepper-spraying incident back in mid-November 2011.
Of course this is after she was able to keep her job and after the report faulted her but did not give her full responsibility that could have ended in jail time.
Now she wants to accept responsibility.
Reynoso’s report found communication failures within the police department and all the way through the administration to her own office, and found those failings led to the pepper spraying of students last fall…”I just want to say that despite the many challenges wse face, the state of the campus is very strong,” she said.”
Read more here.

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