Judge gives tentative OK to release of UC Davis pepper spray report
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo issued a tentative ruling Wednesday rejecting nearly all attempts by a campus police union to keep portions of a report on the November pepper spraying of UC Davis students confidential.
Grillo did, however, indicate the names of officers involved in the spraying incident -- save that of Lt. John Pike -- could be redacted.
Grillo is hearing arguments Wednesday morning and could alter his tentative ruling.
Ten days ago, the judge cleared the way for the release of portions of the investigative report but the judge barred the release of other sections that deal with the conduct of specific officers.
The Federated University Police Officers Assn. had sought an injunction preventing the UC report from being released, contending some content violates privacy and other state laws designed to protect the personnel files of peace officers accused of wrongdoing.
The report has been keenly awaited by students and faculty at UC Davis.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, who chaired the UC Davis investigative task force, has said he wanted the full report released.
The November protest took place as part of the Occupy movement, and images of Pike casually spraying seated protesters in the face went viral. Afterward, UC Davis placed three officers on administrative leave and began an internal affairs investigation.
Separately, the university convened the task force headed by Reynoso to make recommendations regarding police procedures in light of the event. Kroll Associates, a security consulting firm headed by former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, was retained to collect information on the incident and make policy recommendations.
-- Lee Romney in Oakland
Photo: UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. Credit: Wayne Tilcock / Associated Press