Back in early May, the Davis City Council passed a resolution creating the position of the Ombudsman. Prior to that meeting, the student body at UC Davis (ASUCD), an elective organization that represents 25,000 students, held an emergency meeting to recommend the creation of Civilian Review Board instead of an Ombudsman.
There are two different groups in this community most impacted by the issue of Police conduct—one of those is the minority community at large and the other is the student community, especially the minority community within the student population—the majority of which reside within the city proper. In other words, the ASUCD was not taking up an issue that didn’t directly affect their members. Later in May we saw 150 minority students march to the Davis Police Station to request changes in department policy regarding racial profiling.
Rob Roy, who was both a candidate for the Davis City Council and a member of ASUCD, presented the resolution to the Davis City Council that evening during public comments about the Ombudsman. The Council could have easily accepted the recommendation and then acted as they were going to act anyway. That would probably have been the professional way to respond.
Instead, Don Saylor in very stark and direct language tore into Roy and the ASUCD, blasting the process, blasting their knowledge of the issue, he did so in his trademark measured tone, but it was no less abusive. He called it “at best ill-informed” and at worst “cynical” and “politically motivated.” Further he called them “misinformed” and “misguided.”
It was stunning to see of member of the Davis City Council castigating an independent elective body that was acting to represent the needs of their members. It would be one thing to disregard the recommendation, to disagree with it, but to angrily denounce them seemed well out of bounds.
Like most things said in the late night (this was at around 10:45 PM)—the audience in the chamber was non-existent and the audience on the TV was probably just as small. It was not covered in the paper and unless you happen to watch it, you would have missed it completely.
Here’s a clip of Saylor’s statement…
—Doug Paul Davis Reporting