Lt. Pike is seen pepper-spraying students in this still from the Occupy UC Davis protest on Nov.19, 2011.
After UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi’s handling of last fall’s crackdown on Occupy protesters by campus police—the one that inspired an artful meme drawn from shameful circumstances—drew fire, university officials ordered a task force to investigate the pepper-spraying incident of Nov. 18 and issue a report. The results of that effort were released Wednesday, and it came down on the side of the protesters when it came to that fateful, and viral, event. —KA
U.S. News on MSNBC:
The UC Davis report, which accompanies a 150-page assessment by Kroll, a risk management group based in San Diego, found that the officers’ claims that they were trapped was mostly unfounded.
“On balance, there is little basis supporting Lt. Pike’s belief that he was trapped by the protesters or that his officers were prevented from leaving the Quad,” the report said. “Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police.”
[...] The task force, headed by retired state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, was commissioned by University of California President Mark G. Yudof. Chancellor Linda Katehi, who heads UC Davis, had asked the president to put together the task force after she came under fire for the pepper spray incident.
The report criticizes Katehi, however, for being vague in her instructions to campus police before they went to take down the encampment.