UC Davis pepper-spraying: Judge OKs settlement to release report
An Alameda County Superior Court judge has approved a settlement between the University of California and its police union that will allow the release Wednesday of an investigative report about the pepper-spraying of student protesters at UC Davis.
As a result of the agreement, officials will omit the names of most of the campus police officers involved in the November incident but will not redact any policy findings.
The judge’s approval Tuesday morning in an Oakland courtroom put an end to a monthlong legal fight. It also means that plans will proceed to release the report online at noon Wednesday and at a campus forum later Wednesday afternoon. Retired state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, who headed the task force that examined the pepper-spraying of Occupy demonstrators, is expected to present his findings to students and faculty.
John Bakhit, the attorney for the Federated University Police Officers Assn., said the union achieved its major goal of protecting the identities of most of the officers and shielding them from possible harassment and danger. Only the names of Lt. John Pike, the officer shown spraying students in a much-viewed online video, and that of UC Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza would be included in the report. The union also agreed not to appeal a previous court ruling that mainly went against its goal of keeping portions of the report confidential.
UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said the university was pleased that the settlement will allow the original report, except for those names, released with all its policy findings intact. “This compromise was in the public interest,” she said. “We are getting it out and that’s what we wanted from the get-go.”
-- Larry Gordon
Photo: In this Nov. 18, 2011, file photo, UC Davis police officer Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray on Occupy UC Davis protesters on the school's quad in Davis. Credit: Wayne Tilcock, The Enterprise / Associated Press