UC Davis To Release Long-Awaited Report On Pepper-Spraying Incident
DAVIS (CBS SF) — A long-awaited report on the pepper-spraying of protesters at the University of California at Davis by campus police officers last November will be released on Wednesday.
At a hearing in Oakland on Tuesday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo cleared the way for releasing the report by lifting a stay that had temporarily blocked it.
UC Davis appointed a 12-member task force headed by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso to investigate an incident at an Occupy protest Nov. 18 in which campus police officers doused pepper spray on sitting protesters who had set up an encampment on the Davis campus.
The report was scheduled to be released on March 6, but attorneys for the Federated University Police Officers Association, which represents officers at UC Davis and other UC campuses, filed a suit to try to block it from being distributed.
They cited state laws that protect the confidentiality of peace officers’ personnel records and concerns for the safety of officers mentioned in the report.
Grillo issued a temporary restraining order on March 6 which blocked UC from releasing the report at that time, but after several subsequent hearings he ruled on March 28 that most of the report could be released.
However, he issued a stay that gave lawyers for the police union time to appeal his ruling. But the union never filed an appeal.
Grillo Tuesday approved a settlement between UC and the union that calls for the entire report to be released except for the names of about 10 officers who are mentioned in the report but haven’t yet been publicly identified.
Grillo said on March 28 that the police union has demonstrated that there’s a reason for concern about the safety of the officers who are being investigated.
However, the report will include the names of Lt. John Pike, the incident commander whose pepper-spraying of students was shown on national television and posted on the Internet, and UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza because their names are already in the public domain.
Pike and Spicuzza are both on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
UC Davis will release the report at noon on Wednesday on its website, www.ucdavis.edu.
Reynoso and the task force will outline their findings and recommendations at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Freeborn Hall at the UC Davis campus.
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