UC Davis chancellor admits mistakes in handling of campus protesters

May 16, 2012
Linda Katehi testifies before California legislative committee about pepper-spray incident.

From The Sacramento Bee: University of California Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi has detailed for lawmakers specific mistakes she made in a 2011 campus pepper-spraying incident that sparked national headlines and outrage. Katehi says she erred by setting a deadline to crack down on protesters camping on campus and by having officers intervene in late afternoon. About a dozen protesters needed medical treatment in November after police used pepper spray to try to break up their demonstration.


APRIL 2012...from The Sacramento Bee: Annette M. Spicuzza, chief of the University of California, Davis, police force has decided to retire after her actions were criticized in last week's report on what led to the Nov. 18 pepper spray incident on campus. Spicuzza was suspended after campus police sprayed demonstrating students with pepper spray. She has been on paid leave while an internal affairs investigation was conducted.

UPDATE: Matt Carmichael, who has been acting chief campus police force at the University of California, Davis, since November, has been appointed to lead the department. Carmichael is replacing Chief Annette M. Spicuzza, who announced her retirement earlier this week. She had been suspended while investigations of the Nov. 18 pepper-spray incident remain under way. Carmichael has been in law enforcement for 27 years, serving the last 10 years as a lieutenant at UC Davis. (Sacramento Bee)


TASK FORCE REPORT: From The Sacramento Bee: The pepper spraying of student protesters at the University of California Davis in November 2011, " should and could have been prevented," according to a 190-page report just released. The report from a task force found finds fault with many administrators from chancellor Linda Katehi on down for failing to specify what actions should be taken, leaving orders that it was "not to be like Berkeley," where an earlier demonstration had turned ugly.

View the entire task force report (PDF file)

REACTION:...from The Sacramento Bee: The chancellor of the University of California, Davis, says the institution is moving swiftly to enact major reforms to campus police and administration operations following the release of a report on last November's pepper-spraying of students by campus police. Linda P.B. Katehi says independent, top-to-bottom audits will examine campus police operations, including department policies and training methods. A task force blasted the university's response to student protests of tuition hikes last fall. Campus police officers' use of pepper spray on a group of seated protesters sparked international outrage and prompted the task force's investigation.

FEBRUARY 2012: from The Sacramento Bee: Nineteen students at the University of California, Davis, have sued the university over the pepper-spraying of protesting students by police last year. The suit contends that the university used excessive force to break up the demonstration. The Occupy UC Davis students were sprayed as they sat on the ground. Among those named as defendants are university chancellor Linda Katehi and the campus police chief.

EARLIER....from The Los Angeles Times: Faculty at the University of California, Davis, have voted by a large margin to support the continued leadership of Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, who has faced criticism about last year's pepper-spraying of peaceful student demonstrators by campus police. In an online referendum, professors voted 697 to 312 to defeat a no-confidence measure that sought to censure Katehi's handling of the police action.

November 2011.....

From The Los Angeles Times: Former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton is heading an investigation into the pepper-spraying of student protesters at University of California, Davis. University of California President Mark G. Yudof says Bratton is to report his findings within a month.

Earlier...From The Los Angeles Times: Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor of the University of California, Davis, speaking before more than 1,000 students and faculty, ignored calls for her resignation and apologized for the police use of pepper spray on nonviolent student demonstrators. Katehi has said that she ordered protesters' tents removed from campus, but had not authorized police to use the chemical spray in the manner seen on numerous videos.


UC Davis Chancellor Apologizes from Joe Boydston on Vimeo.

Earlier...from The Sacramento Bee: The campus police chief at the University of California, Davis, has been placed on administrative leave, and the university chancellor is calling for the Yolo County district attorney to review the campus police's pepper spraying of protesting students. University officials say they hope placing Chief Annette Spicuzza on leave would help calm the campus. The action came as national attention is focusing on the police response to what appeared to be a peaceful protest. Video has been broadcast that showed a UC Davis police officer spraying a line of students who were seated and providing no active resistance.

Video from YouTube.com:

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