University of California President Mark G. Yudof moved on two fronts today (Tuesday, Nov. 22) to address policing issues in the wake of the pepper spraying of UC Davis students and other incidents involving law enforcement officers and protesters.
Acting in response to a written request from UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi, Yudof agreed to conduct a thorough review of the events of Nov. 18 on the Davis campus.
As a first step, Yudof reached out to former Los Angeles police chief William J. Bratton to undertake an independent fact-finding of the pepper spray incident and report back the results to him within 30 days.
Bratton, who also led the New York City police department, now heads the New York-based Kroll consulting company as chairman. He also is a renowned expert in progressive community policing.
“My intent,” Yudof said, “is to provide the Chancellor and the entire University of California community with an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis.”
Assembly Speaker John A. Perez also had made a request to President Yudof and UC Regents Chair Sherry Lansing for an independent investigation.
Under the plan, Bratton’s report also will be presented to an advisory panel that Yudof is forming, again at Katehi’s request. The panel will consist of a cross-section of students, faculty, staff and other UC community members.
The advisory panel, whose members will be announced at a later date, will review the report and make recommendations to Chancellor Katehi on steps that should be taken to ensure the safety of peaceful protesters on campus. She will present her implementation plan to President Yudof.
On a second track, Yudof appointed UC General Counsel Charles Robinson and UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley Jr. to lead a system-wide examination of police protocols and policies as they apply to protests at all 10 UC campuses.
This effort will include visits to campuses for discussions with students, faculty and staff, and consultation with an array of experts.
The review is expected to result in recommended best practices for policing protests across the 10 UC campuses.
“With these actions,” Yudof said, “we are moving forward to identify what needs to be done to ensure the safety of students and others who engage in non-violent protests on UC campuses. The right to peaceful protest on all of our campuses must be protected.”