Reynoso Paints Stark and Vivid Criticism of Handling of November 18 Incident

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Task Force Presentation Generates Anger and Frustration Among Students and Community Members

Former Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso was stark, critical and to the point on Wednesday afternoon during the long-awaited release of the pepper-spray report – and the Justice did not hold back when describing his frustration with the problems of portions of the Penal Code known commonly as the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights.

“I’m very pleased to be here, AT LONG LAST,” Justice Reynoso said with emphasis.  “I very much regret… the delay in getting this report to you.  I think that the best interest of the community would have been to have the report to you as quickly as possible.”

The Justice pulled no punches in his assessment: “Some of the delays were caused by the negotiations with the policemen’s union to see whether the Kroll Investigators could meet with some of the police officers – that got resolved.”  He continued, “The greatest delay happened because of the lawsuit.”

Mr. Reynoso did not blame the lawyers who brought the lawsuit, but rather the law.  “They brought it based on some legislation that has come from Sacramento.  So my blame is on the legislators who have passed legislation that sometimes is referred to as the policeman’s bill of rights.”

‘The reality is, as you can see in this case, that it does not permit the community to know exactly what happened, who’s responsible for it, what can be done to correct it,” he continued.  “I think that that’s a great disservice to the communities that deal with police officers who, after all, are public servants.  And I personally think it’s a disservice to the police.”

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Cruz Reynoso expressed appreciation for the work of both the members of his task force as well as the Kroll people, who were willing to work with the Task Force to ensure that they got all the material and information that they needed.

He noted that the task force members had agreed to the findings of the report unanimously – a remarkable feat, noting that large numbers of this committee were filled with UC Officials, many of them in upper administration.  And yet these officials, during the question and answer session, were equally pointed and critical about what happened.

Overall, he said that those in charge acted in good faith but made serious mistakes.  His bottom line comes from the first sentence in the report: “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented.”

Much of his presentation went over the findings of the report and discussed some of their recommendations.

“With respect to the pepper itself, objectively there was really no reason we concluded to have used the pepper spray,” he said.reynoso-tf-4

Some of the officers said they were scared because they were surrounded, but he said, “When the Kroll people looked at the tapes we found out that they were not completely surrounded.  There was one officer who in fact took two arrestees through the students that were around.”

“Objectively speaking there was no basis for them to indeed have any fear or to have done what they did,” he said.

Following the report, Cruz Reynoso argued that the plan by the police was not only inadequate to begin with, but it was not followed by the campus police.  He noted that some of the problems were perpetuated by the lack of any plan for what do with the arrestees.  They ended up, in fact, getting surrounded by onlookers who had nothing to do with the demonstration, because of this.

“Sworn officers have a special responsibility, they can’t just go out and arrest anybody,” he said.  “They have to have a good basis for it and” it is safe “to say there was confusion in terms of even the basis for any possible arrest.”

reynoso-tf-5He questioned whether the rule against overnight camping was a sufficient basis to arrest demonstrators during the day.  “Obviously the regulations could be enforced by somebody, but could they be enforced by sworn police officers?” he asked.

“The role of police officers on the campus,” he said, “is very different from that of a city or a county.”  He thus suggested that the campus may look into whether they have the right number of sworn police officers as well as the need for officers to undergo special training when they work on campus.

Alan Miller from Davis was the first member of the public to speak, in a lengthy and often heated question and answer session.  He noted that he had gone down to the police station following the incident and was told that there were a lot of rocks and bottles and large numbers of non-students and “all of this would come out in the following weeks.”

But, as he noted, this turned out to be false – the rocks were there to hold down the tents in the wind and the bottles were there for recycling.  He said pointedly, “The police lied to us.  The police lied to protect themselves, to protect their fellow officers.”

One of the members of the task force (and unfortunately they were bad at stating their names before speaking) responded, “I think it’s clear that the officers were wrong, but to delve into their intent, I’m not in a position to do that.”  But he added, “If they were basing their decisions on being surrounded by protesters, that was factually incorrect.”

He added, “If there were rocks, those rocks were being used to pin down the tents.”

Cruz Reynoso spoke to the “bunker mentality” of the police – an effort to protect one another.  “What concerns me is that, but for the reality of the Kroll report finding something like 60 tapes about what happened so they could really analyze what factually happened – without that, I think folk would have a tendency to believe exactly what was said.”

“The first thing the chief said was that the officers used pepper spray because they were surrounded and they were fearful for their lives…  without those rather dramatic pictures thatreynoso-tf-7 we saw, I think folk would have believed that and that would have been the end of it,” he added.

One of the ten people arrested on November 18 spoke and asked about how much coverage there was about “misconduct that may have happened in the police station involving people who were arrested.”

Robert Ostertag, a UC Davis professor said, “One thing that jumped out at me in the report was the finding that the pepper spray that was used was not an approved weapon.”  He added, “they said they were also not trained in its use.”

He asked, “How did a weapon that they’re not approved of and not trained in using end up in their hands?”  He further asked, “Do they have other weapons over there at the police department, readily available that they’re not trained in and are not approved?”

Cruz Reynoso responded that there are requirements that they be trained on the weapons they use.  Moreover, there are different types of pepper spray and “this was a more [powerful form] and in their protocol they did have some training in using the pepper spray, but it wasn’t as strong a pepper spray as the one that was used.”

He indicated that he could not interview Lt. Pike to find out why he had that type of pepper spray.

Professor Ostertag commented, “If safety of students is the primary concern… and according to the university administration, the whole reason they went out and took down the tents is concern for safety… the idea that an unapproved [weapon] in which people have no training [is] being used is a very very serious matter.”

Cruz Reynoso responded, “The irony, as you’ll note in the report, [is] it wasn’t even used properly.”

reynoso-tf-9Geoffrey Wildanger was one of the people pepper sprayed and is currently being prosecuted for the bank blocking protests.  He noted that they were, ironically enough, pepper sprayed with military grade pepper spray but pepper spray has been banned under the Geneva Convention as a chemical weapon.

He noted that, following the incident, there was a large mobilization for people who wanted Katehi to resign “because Katehi as chancellor of the university bears ultimate responsibility for what happens on campus.”  He added, “The delay and delay and delay of the report has effectively dispersed  a lot of this energy and a lot of this anger and caused a situation in which” they have been repeatedly told to be patient as there are ongoing investigations.

He asked, “Why when the reports are being delayed are we still being harassed by the same administration… and the same police force and now being prosecuted and arrested by them?”

He expressed his frustration because, as he said, this wasn’t the first time these types of incidents have occurred and he argued in each protest he has been beaten up by the police and has the bruises to show for it.

Dan Dooley, Senior Vice President in the UC Office of the President responded, “The report acknowledges both in the findings the mistakes that were made…”  He continued, “With respect to the police department,” he said they asked the same question as earlier why was this weapon available that was supposedly not authorized and the officers untrained on, “how can this happen?  The bottom line is, we think, there needs to be a complete review from top to bottom of the police department, of the training that’s required, the procedures and protocols…”

He said that their objective is “a university public safety operation that is a model for university campuses around the country and not one that is designed around the… [traditional] model .”

Later, a member of the task force responded to the question about whether the police have too much power.  A task force member argued that their report does look at the question of “what is the right level of police,” and the right level of sworn officers versus non-sworn officers.

He added, “There is some disagreement here with the policeman’s bill of rights in that it doesn’t properly serve the police force and doesn’t properly serve the community.  There’s consensus agreement on that belief.”

Shawn, a graduate student in sociology, said, “This isn’t an isolated incident…  The committee has focused a lot on finding individual fault and that might be taken by some people to think that this is an isolated incident, when, rather, this is something that has been going on at all of the University of California campuses, including this one, since at least 2005.”

He referenced the findings of the Berkeley report on their November 9 incident, that argued that pepper spray was a better alternative to the use of batons.

A task force member indicated that the UC Berkeley report was “an internal affairs investigation report,”  and continued, “I don’t think that review under the Berkeley internal affairs has any bearing on what we’ve recommended.  Our recommendations are far more comprehensive and address a far broader set of circumstances than that report did.”

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He added, “Quite candidly, I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to the Davis circumstance.”

Alan Brownstein, a Constitutional Law Professor who sat on the task force, addressed free speech issues that arise in this matter.  He said, “There are really serious questions about the what the rule should be in our community and how the first amendment applies.  Some of the rules are designed not to suppress speech but to protect speech.  A lot of time, place and manner rules exist to make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to speak and the people who shout the loudest aren’t the only people who have the floor and have the ability to be heard.”

So he argues, “I think it’s a mistake to view rules as only suppressing expressive activity.”  He also noted that no matter what people’s views are there are people who disagree with those views “and they will insist that their interest be respected as much as your interests are respected.  We have to develop a framework where people who disagree can coexist in our community.”

In response to the pepper spray versus baton question, Professor Brownstein said, “I think we want to develop a community where the police don’t use either.”

A member of the task force said, “There were basic errors that were made and that shouldn’t happen…  Our police department at UC Davis should be a model, a model that all universities come to and look to say how should we do it.”  Hereynoso-tf-91 added, “We’re a ways from there.”

He said the task force recommends, “We follow the latest evidence-based practices and where the evidence-based practices don’t exist, we develop them.  We’re a research institution, let’s take the steps necessary to be a model for other institutions.”

Professor Brownstein probably made the most pointed and poignant comment when he said, “Kroll people who were experienced police officers were aghast…  They had worked for decades with municipal police departments, they were shocked at the way that our police department operated.”

He added, “Experienced police officers looked at our department and said that’s not what well-trained experienced police officers do in similar situations.”

“Some people said the police appeared to be surrounded and threatened,” he added.  “I think the opinion of the Kroll investigators was that’s ridiculous.  Any trained and experienced police force could have handled that situation without resorting to violence or pepper spray.”

“We agree as a task force,” he added.

Another commenter who was pepper sprayed and is also facing charges at the bank protest asked, “If the police are not trained, why are they still walking around with their weapons on this campus?”

She added, “Why are these police officers still around – that’s unacceptable.”  She asked if they took recommendations, then said, “Then why did you ignore over 100,000 people who called for the resignation of Chancellor Katehi?”

“This report has done its work, right, it was to buy Katehi time and let this uproar die away, now there are no mechanisms to hold her accountable despite the contents of the report.  These same administration and these same police are now prosecuting some of the pepper spray victims and trying to imprison them for up to 11 years,” she continued.

“This report should have changed something, it hasn’t changed anything, how can this be?” she asked.

reynoso-tf-92Cruz Reynoso noted that President Yudof asked the task force not to make recommendations about punishment.

The commenter responded, “Because no one gets punished then.”

Cruz Reynoso indicated that they would be meeting with the chancellor to go over the mistakes that were made and the lack of judgment.

But the commenter was clearly frustrated by the delays in this process, which Cruz Reynoso acknowledged were outside of their control and again laid the delays at the hands of the lawsuit and the police bill of rights.

“We called these things are we saw them and we’re not apologetic about it,” Mr. Reynoso said.

She responded, “And on April 27, I’ll meet with the District Attorney’s Office, so the same violence against me of this university, and nobody is being held accountable for that.”

One of the students on the task force said bluntly that, while most of what the student said was true, the employee contracts did not permit them to make those kinds of findings.

However, the student on the task force said, “Katehi’s not going anywhere.  She is our chancellor and she will remain our chancellor unless she does something horrendously illegal.  As it stands right now, that’s not what happened.”

So, the student on the task force added, “The answers that you’re looking for are not going to be found on this task force report because we’re not allowed to do those things.”

“Our job was to point fingers and say what happened, we can’t really do more than that,” that student added.

Another female student came forward and spoke on behalf of someone not allowed to speak up, “The majority of the people who were pepper sprayed that day are now, as you all well know, unable to comment on this report because they’re being pursued, prosecuted by the university for the very same thing, but by the Yolo County Court.”

“They no longer have a voice,” she said.  “The majority of the people cannot even comment on the Reynoso report because on April 27 they’re being called to the Yolo County Superior Court to appear for protesting the privatization of the University.”

Cruz Reynoso closed by noting that he disagreed with an issue that happened at UC Irvine in the past: “I disagreed with what happened there in terms of bringing in the law enforcement people, and I confess that I disagree with what this campus has done.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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47 Comments

  1. J.R.

    Very selective summary. You managed to omit the undergraduate student who spoke to criticize the occupiers and asked about why the report didn’t mention their anti-student actions. He mentioned the occupation of Dutton Hall that interfered with his financial aid and the closing of US Bank where he had his account.

    Can’t say I’m surprised by your omission.

  2. Ryan Kelly

    I carefully read the entire report and also watched the briefing by Cruz Reynoso and his team. At the briefing a student wanted to know if the team looked into how the students who were arrested were treated on that day. Per the report, students were unwilling to participate in the Kroll investigation, so these issues were never brought up nor addressed in the report. I wonder if there is a sense of regret over this now that the report has been released and appears to be fairly balanced. Cruz Reynoso responded that he knew that there was a lawsuit pending, but I wonder what other investigations are still being done that these students could participate in and have this element of what happened that day addressed.

    Students also claimed at the briefing that UCD Administration was continuing to punish the students by pressing charges. I think that the DA has filed charges for the blocking of US Bank, which is viewed by the Administration as a separate issue. However, it seems for these students that the US Bank protest is just an extension of the protests starting 2 years ago. The Administration views each incident as separate and clearly does not see the protests as a continuation. Both sides are not reaching each other

  3. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “Overall, he said that those in charge acted in good faith but made serious mistakes.”

    So we should exact a “pound of flesh” for serious mistakes made in good faith (assuming it was not a pattern of conduct)?

    dmg: “Some of the officers said they were scared because they were surrounded, but he said, “When the Kroll people looked at the tapes we found out that they were not completely surrounded. There was one officer who in fact took two arrestees through the students that were around.”

    “Objectively speaking there was no basis for them to indeed have any fear or to have done what they did,” he said.

    Following the report Cruz Reynoso argued that the plan by the police was not only inadequate to begin with, but it was not followed by the campus police. He noted that some of the problems were perpetuated by the lack of any plan for what do with the arrestees. They ended up in fact getting surrounded by onlookers who had nothing to do with the demonstration because of this.”

    Notice the contradiction here:
    1) “Some of the officers said they were scared because they were surrounded, but he said, “When the Kroll people looked at the tapes we found out that they were not completely surrounded.”
    2) “They ended up in fact getting surrounded by onlookers who had nothing to do with the demonstration because of this.”

    It seems pretty clear the police felt surrounded…

    dmg: “”The role of police officers on the campus,” he said, “is very different from that of a city or a county.” He thus suggested that the campus may look into whether they have the right number of sworn police officers as well as the need for officers to undergo special training when they work on campus.”

    Read this to mean: more $$$ to pay for more officers + more $$$ to pay for training = higher tuition

    dmg: “[Geoffrey Wildanger] asked, “Why when the reports are being delayed are we still being harassed by the same administration… and the same police force and now being prosecuted and arrested by them?””

    Wildanger is being prosecuted for illegally blocking a business/vendor on campus. Anarchy cannot be allowed to prevail on campus for the safety and protection of everyone on campus.

  4. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “The bottom line is, we think, there needs to be a complete review from top to bottom of the police department, of the training that’s required, the procedures and protocols…”

    [Dan Dooley, Senior Vice President in the UC Office of the President ] said that their objective is “a university public safety operation that is a model for university campuses around the country and not one that is designed around the… [traditional] model .”

    Spot on!

    dmg: “Alan Brownstein a Constitutional Law Professor who sat on the Task Force addressed free speech issues that arise in this matter. He said, “There are really serious questions about the what the rule should be in our community and how the first amendment applies. Some of the rules are designed not to suppress speech but to protect speech. A lot of time, place, and manner rules exist to make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to speak and the people who shout the loudest aren’t the only people who have the floor and have the ability to be heard.”

    So he argues, “I think it’s a mistake to view rules as only suppressing expressive activity.” He also noted that no matter what people’s views are there are people who disagree with those views “and they will insist that their interest be respected as much as your interests are respected. We have to develop a framework where people who disagree can coexist in our community.”

    Again, spot on!

  5. David M. Greenwald

    “Very selective summary. You managed to omit the undergraduate student who spoke to criticize the occupiers and asked about why the report didn’t mention their anti-student actions. He mentioned the occupation of Dutton Hall that interfered with his financial aid and the closing of US Bank where he had his account. Can’t say I’m surprised by your omission.”

    Yeah I mean it only took 6 hours to write this up. No less than 15 spoke, I think I covered half. One of them was opposed and I didn’t include that one. Post the comment if you think it helps.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine:

    I had attempted to post 33 minutes of video in this article, somehow it didn’t take.

    The Vanguard has launched the Vanguard Youtube channel with the help of one of our interns. You can click here and watch the 33 minutes of Cruz Reynoso’s presentation in the first two clips: [url]http://www.youtube.com/davisvanguard[/url] – he’s working on getting more in the next few hours.

  7. David M. Greenwald

    “So we should exact a “pound of flesh” for serious mistakes made in good faith (assuming it was not a pattern of conduct)?”

    I think this could be a very long answer. My view is that there were very serious mistakes made and some of them rise to the level that people should be fired. I think his comment was made less in reference to pike and more in reference to the efforts to create the leadership team and it’s failings. That’s a messy situation in my opinion.

    “It seems pretty clear the police felt surrounded…”

    except for the officer who calmly walked the arrestees through the crowd. Why don’t you ask Phil Coleman what he thinks about that. My conversations with people who understand police tactics tell me that they are trained to be able to get out of a much tighter and more dangerous situation than that. There are gaps in the crowd, the crowd only goes two to three levels deep at its thickest, and officers were walking in and out all the time. I see little to back up your statement.

  8. J.R.

    [quote]Task Force Presentation Generates Anger and Frustration Among Students and Community Members[/quote]

    You continually try to frame the issue as though a large majority, essentially everyone, supports the occupiers.
    The student who spoke against the occupiers yesterday had a lot of courage, and represented a large group on campus. My impression is that most students and community members do not support or respect the occupiers.

    They regard the faculty who led these demonstrations as pseudo-scholars, marxists trying to recreated their youth in the sixtes, and the students who follow them as naive fools who have been misled into breaking the law.

  9. medwoman

    Elaine

    “It seems pretty clear the police felt surrounded… “
    What seems pretty clear to me is that some of the officers, after the fact, stated that they felt surrounded.

    The officer who walked two arrested protesters through the students ( some probably protesters, some probably onlookers) obviously did not share this feeling. Nor did officers who on some of the u Tube posted videos were amicably talking and gently moving and directing students.
    So, what would a “reasonable” officer do?

  10. David M. Greenwald

    JR: Quite frankly, that’s why we have comments, because I cannot post everything. The comments made by that individual were not supported by the Kroll report or the Reynoso report.

  11. newshoundpm

    I’m still digesting much of what I have read and what I have heard, including Cruz Reynoso’s interview on NPR this morning. What strikes me is how true Mark Yudof’s comments about how UC Davis had a really bad day that November 18th. I believe that there are very different degrees of responsibility for went wrong that day. Each of the more eggregious errors in judgement teneded to amplify the culpability of the lesser errors by others, and depending upon one’s perspective, this could be viewed as either unfortunate, or quite fortuitous.

    Lt. Pike appears to have committed the gravest error in judgment, and as far as we know, he appears to have acted on his own without consultation with or orders from superiors as to his actions. (We should remember that the scope of this task force did not have the ability to obtain significant testimony from any member of the UCDP on this matter, so new information could arise in the future.) Had Lt. Pike not used the pepper spray, all of these other errors in judgement by the Incident Commander, Chief Spicuzza, Vice Chancellor Meyer and Chancellor Katehi would not have resulted in any serious consequences that day.

    Another observation is that we are in many ways fortunate that what happened on November 18th did occur. That occurence has made public the deficiencies in the UCD Police and the UCD Administration that I believe will compel real changes to be made. While the incident was unfortunate (let’s not quibble as to whether this is an understatement or not), no one was seriously injured and this will help to ensure that changes are made to the structure, training and leadership within the UCD Police organization and to how the UCD Administration handles protest situations, particularly helping to ensure that they utilize SEMS protocols in the future.

  12. newshoundpm

    The last observation that I want to make for the moment is that those at the top rely upon those that are subordinate to them to provide them with appropriate and accurate information, and to carry out and oversee numerous tasks. It appears that the chain of command is as follows, starting from the bottom: 1) Lt. Pike, 2) Incident Commander, 3) Chief Spicuzza, 4) Vice Chancellor Meyer, 5) Chancellor Katehi, 6) UC President Yudof. Within this chain of command, there are two forms of problems that could exist at each of the links in this chain. There could be a lack of good leadership or there could be a lack of a subordinate carrying out his or her duties. To some degree, I believe that there were problems of both occuring at each of these individual linkage points. However, the weighting between the two is likely to very different at each of these points and we frankly don’t appear to have sufficient evidence at this point to make a determination as to where proportionate blame resides. The exceptions to this based upon the findings of the Reynoso task force report appear to be that a tremendous amount of blame belong to Lt. Pike, the Incident Commander and Chief Spicuzza. I believe that it is much more arguable as to how much blame rests with Meyer and Katehi as we don’t know what direction and/or responsibility Katehi gave to Meyer. We also don’t know what direction Yudof or the overall UC System may have given to Katehi or Meyer. Because of all of the protests occuring systemwide, I wonder if UCD may have been in commmunications with other UC campuses and/or the overall UC system as to strategies for handling these protests. I’ve not yet read the Kroll report, but it would be important to know if Katehi’s decision to ensure the removal of the tents was informed or encouraged by others in the overall UC system. In the end, while Katehi is at the top of the UC Davis food chain, she must be able to rely upon others to do their jobs. Information flows up to her, so if she is given bad information, it is hard to fault her for making a decision on such bad information unless she had good reason to believe she should not rely upon such information. (If she continues to rely upon subordinates despite repeated issues with their performance in the past, then that is either a structural problems or a leadership problem on her part.) It appears that Katehi made two important decisions that are documented in the report. One was the decision to remove the tents and the other was time of removal. What we need to know is what information was provided to her in making those decisions. Removal of the tents doesn’t necessarily sound like a bad decision to me at all, particularly if she wanted no force utilized. On the issue of the timing, it is not clear from the report that anyone actively objected to the time with sufficient rationale. I frankly see the justifications for a 3 p.m. timing. There are safey and appearance issues to removing tents in the middle of the night. While there would be less protestors there, someone getting rousted in the middle of the night in complete darkness would have been a very scary situation for the protestors, and there would have been criticism for taking such an action under the cover of darkness. A daytime attempt to remove the tents would appear to be much more open and transparent and frankly easier to get and expect compliance if you don’t intend to use force.

    I think there is much more we need to know before placing individual blame and determining appropriate consequences. I frankly tend to believe that more responsibility should lie with Meyer than Katehi since he was responsible for the UCD Police and dealing with the protests. He’s been incredibly silent. Both he and Spicuzza should have known of the SEMS protocols and Meyer should have been documenting and ensuring that the appropriate actions were being taken by the UCD Police. He was the liaison to the UCD Police and he should have responsibility for understanding what Katehi wanted done and ensuring that the police plan of action reflected that.

  13. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]except for the officer who calmly walked the arrestees through the crowd. Why don’t you ask Phil Coleman what he thinks about that. My conversations with people who understand police tactics tell me that they are trained to be able to get out of a much tighter and more dangerous situation than that. There are gaps in the crowd, the crowd only goes two to three levels deep at its thickest, and officers were walking in and out all the time. I see little to back up your statement.[/quote]

    Note what the report/Reynoso said:
    [quote]1) “Some of the officers said they were scared because they were surrounded, but he said, “When the Kroll people looked at the tapes we found out that they were not completely surrounded.”
    2) “They ended up in fact getting surrounded by onlookers who had nothing to do with the demonstration because of this.” [/quote]

    “They were not completely surrounded”…but “they ended up in fact getting surrounded”…

  14. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine:

    I think the report itself clarifies this apparent discrepancy.

    So let’s quote entirely from Kroll:

    [quote]A key flaw of the police operations plan prepared by OFFICER P and Pike is that the plan failed to address prisoner transport. The operations plan stated that a jail bus from the County would be used at the UCDPD headquarters, but was silent with regards to transporting arrestees from the Quad, as well as dealing with non-compliant arrestees and transporting them from the Quad. As a result, the officers stood idle on the Quad, on Centennial Walkway, encircling a small number of prisoners. The lack of timely decisionmaking by Lieutenants Pike and OFFICER P to respond to this unplanned situation exacerbated an already volatile and escalating situation.[/quote]

    Cut to:

    [quote]The result of the chant and the crowd movement was that the crowd pivoted around and ultimately did, in part, encircle the police officers and their prisoners. The circle, as seen in various videos and photos, was by no means a solid line or uniform; the circle appeared to have some gaps and was largely comprised of one person seated with one or more members of the crowd standing between them. This crowd and their chants were what the officers cited as posing a threat to them and the security of their prisoners. Lieutenant Pike then used the pepper spray in order to clear a path on the walkway.[/quote]

  15. Phil Coleman

    What is the appropriate police procedure should a skirmish line or similar grouping in a crowd control circumstance BECOME SURROUNDED?

    Law Enforcement Crowd Control tactics are largely modeled on centuries-old military battlefield formations and protocols. Always guard your flanks and your rear to maintain unit integrity and to keep the enemy in front of you.

    Now to the matter of being surrounded, in whatever degree. Again borrowing from the military mode, a surrounded formation of officers under threat would form up into a protective wedge. The wedge would then move forward as a contained unit for mutual protection. The wedge would be directed towards the closest point of safety or the perceived weakest point of the surrounding force.

    Now, aren’t you sorry you asked? The only editorial comment I’ll add is that the unit integrity of the UCDPD formation was not maintained, by choice. Individual officers separated from the larger group in almost random fashion. They made isolated arrests away from the larger force. They turned their backs to the crowd, which is never condoned in an adversarial circumstance.

    The visual recordings shows the assembled officers to NOT be in immediate peril and the collective body language supports that notion. While some level of personal fear is perfectly normal, there is no objective evidence they were overcome with fear. The two reports echos that sentiment.

  16. biddlin

    Phil Coleman-Thanks for this perspective . It reflects my take on this, since I saw the first videos . Having some familiarity with demonstrations, when I saw some of the officers strolling among the crowd, casually chatting with demonstrators, an officer shooting video with her cell phone, like she was filming a picnic on the quad, and then, in an ugly instant it all changes when the officers realize that they are surrounded . We should all be thankful for the restraint shown by the protesters, or perhaps their sense of humor, when they realized that the police had out-maneuvered themselves . Having worked principally on the civilian side of civil service, I am not familiar with disciplinary procedures for sworn officers . Could you illuminate me ? Please .

  17. Phil Coleman

    I am not familiar with disciplinary procedures for sworn officers . Could you illuminate me ? Please .

    A complaint of misbehavior can be internal or external. An investigation is conducted and findings are commonly among the following: Exonerated or Unfounded, Not Sustained, and Sustained.

    A sustained finding follows with some form of discipline. I’m not familiar with the established levels of discipline for UCDPD. Speaking generally, most local law enforcement agencies have the following ascending levels of discipline: Training and Counseling, Oral Reprimand, Written Reprimand, Suspension Without Pay, Termination.

    For a ranking officer, demotion is also an option. As a negotiated alternative to termination, an employee may be allowed to voluntarily resign.

  18. roger bockrath

    Can’t help but notice that Rusty and Octane ore conspicuously silent since their previous opinions have been blown completely out of the water by the Kroll and Reynoso Reports.

  19. 91 Octane

    MR. Bockrath…

    I respond on my own timetable, not yours or the vanguards… this report is “breaking news” to you and the vanguard, not to me… it is worth sitting on a few days. I will answer when I feel like it. I’m not treating Reynoso like a prince or a King…. just because he decides to project his royal presence on us.

    Having said that… I watched some of the video… not impressed…

    Btw: my opinion wasn’t blown out of the water by their royal highnessess….

    in the video, Reynoso says the police were not surrounded, but when explaining the use of the pepperspray, he said the police used it to “make the way” to get arrestees into a bus……. but they would not need to “make the way” if they weren’t at least partially cut off now would they? oops.

  20. JustSaying

    [quote]“Another female student came forward and spoke on behalf of someone not allowed to speak up….”[/quote]What do you mean by this observation? Given the outspokenness of the people who aren’t satisfied in the least by Justice Reynoso’s impressive evaluation, no one was “not allowed to speak up.”

    People who don’t speak up (whether demonstrators or police) shouldn’t be described as “not allowed to speak” unless it’s true–prohibited by a judge’s gag order, for example. This is America, land of free speech, for God’s sake.

  21. 91 Octane

    report: While there is some support for this conclusion (the police being surrounded), a detailed review of the objective evidence undermines this conclusion.

    which is it Judge?

  22. David M. Greenwald

    Granted this article was on the Judge’s presentation, but I do find it interesting that those skeptical so far have focused on Cruz Reynoso. The strength of the process here is that while you may be able to have skepticism about Reynoso and his drawing conclusions, the kroll report backs all of those conclusions up. And you can’t simply discount an investigation team led by William Bratton, who for all his flaws was a police chief familiar with investigation and police practices.

  23. 91 Octane

    I finally read the report, taking my sweet time…. because like I said, I don’t work on others timetables…

    setting that aside, I wouldn’t have any problem but for the fact that at no point does either report hold any students remotely accountable for their actions, and yet the facts bear out that THEIR ACTIONS CAUSED THE RESULT.

    Reynoso and the Kroll investigators could have at least said that chanting: “If you let them go, we will let you leave, if you let them go, we will continue to protest peacefully”

    in the end had much potential to spark violece even if that was not the result. They were blatant threats. Reynoso could have at least said making those statements was wrong. He didn’t even go that far, nor did Kroll.

    furthermore, neither one even admitted the intent of the seated protestors in the location they were – was an intent to cut the police officers off – even if I were to agree they failed to do so – which seeing the photos, I’m not sure it does completely. That was clearly the intent – again – niether Reynoso nor Kroll addresses this.

    If they want to blame Pike for use of MK-9 fine. If they want to attack everyone for legal procedures – fine do that…. but don’t let the brats that started the whole mess off the hook. that is not being intellectually honest on either Kroll or Reynoso.

    Simply put, Reynoso just doesn’t want to have to bring himself to criticize protestors. But that is his job as a judge – to look at a situation objectively……

  24. David M. Greenwald

    Octane:

    The fact that you persist in calling the protesters “brats” indicates your bias and your analysis from the start was thoroughly discredited by both the Kroll and Reynoso/ Task Force reports and while you may answer to no one, you at the least should own up to it.

    They actually did take the student actions into account and concluded both of them that the chants did not necessitate the use of force.

    IN Kroll’s analysis they write: “This crowd and their chants were what
    the officers cited as posing a threat to them and the security of their prisoners.”

    Moreover the Kroll notes that while the Chanting and marching was cited by police are reasons to believe the crowd hostile the actual behavior of the police, Kroll writes “show a different reality” – whether it is moving in and out of the crowd or the police standing in isolation from each other, or the police standing facing away from the protesters.

    In short, while they never state it, they basically have discounted your criticism of the protesters and found that the chants did not represent the threat that you have consistently depicted.

  25. 91 Octane

    The fact that you persist in calling the protesters “brats” indicates your bias and your analysis from the start was thoroughly discredited by both the Kroll and Reynoso/ Task Force reports and while you may answer to no one, you at the least should own up to it.

    no, my analysis was not discredited. None of what you quoted discredited my analysis either.

    And you did not address what I said.

    I said, that I did not object to their findings in regard to the police. That I don’t object to.

    They said the crowd behavior didn’t justify the specific actions, I didn’t object to that.

    but they did not address how it contributed to the situation. THAT IS A FACT. Lt. Pike would have clearly not have done what he did but for the crowd and how it behaved. THAT IS A FACT.

    Threatening a police officer is a crime. THAT IS A FACT.
    That language, while it did not incite violence, had potential to do so. THAT IS A FACT.

    Reynoso dismisses it because it did not ultimately start the violence that could have happened.

    Like I said, reynoso did not address the specific threats in terms of whether they were wise, or legal, or the potential.

    He addressed them strictly in terms of whether they happened to trigger violece against the officers.

    THat doesn’t make them right nor legal, and both reports glossed over it and THAT TOO, is a FACT.

    so the vanguard can take its claim that I need to “own up to it” and stuff it.

    HAVE A NICE DAY.

  26. David M. Greenwald

    And you omit a fact further that this incident was precipitated by a decision by the police and the campus to clear the quad when they had no apparent legal authority to do so. Everything else, whatever mistakes the 18 to 23 kids made, stems from that.

  27. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Everything else, whatever mistakes the 18 to 23 kids made, stems from that.[/quote]

    At least you are conceding the students made mistakes – not something the Reynoso report did…

  28. David M. Greenwald

    That’s not what they were asked to do. They were asked to look at the conditions and surmise whether the police’s response was necessary given them and determined that it was not.

    You do understand that under the California penal code, that individuals are lawfully permitted to resist an unlawful arrest.

  29. 91 Octane

    It doesn’t change the entire game.

    Where under the California Penal code, does it permit students to threaten officers?

    Maybe the judge would like to tackle that one?

  30. 91 Octane

    That’s not what they were asked to do. They were asked to look at the conditions and surmise whether the police’s response was necessary given them and determined that it was not.

    the judge, a sworn interpreter of the law, didn’t think it important enough to include somewhere in the report, that threatening language on the part of protestors, was unlawful? and neither did Kroll?

    what does that say about those individuals?

  31. David M. Greenwald

    “It doesn’t change the entire game. “

    Actually it does. Because previously you could argue that the protesters precipitated this, however, now the protesters were lawfully expressing their first amendment rights.

    “Where under the California Penal code, does it permit students to threaten officers? “

    The Kroll investigators determined those were not credible threats.

    “the judge, a sworn interpreter of the law, didn’t think it important enough to include somewhere in the report, that threatening language on the part of protestors, was unlawful? and neither did Kroll? “

    He was not operating as a judge. What were the charges given to Kroll and Reynoso? Who were they supposed to be investigating? Their duty to investigate to the protesters only extended as far the determination that the police were not justified in their use of force.

  32. David M. Greenwald

    “Where under the California Penal code, does it permit students to threaten officers? “

    Since this is not what I stated, I will demonstrate the point that I actually made under the penal code.

    Under Penal Code 148 it is a crime to “obstruct” “delay” or “resist” a peace officer.

    However, if you look at Calcrim 2656, which are the jury instructions that guide jurors as to how to determine if an individual has violated PC 148, it states “If a person intentionally goes limp, requiring an officer to drag or carry the person in order to accomplish a lawful arrest, that person may have willfully (resisted[,]/ [or] obstructed[,]/ [or] delayed) the officer if all the other requirements are met.”

    But the key determination for that law is “lawful” arrest.

    The key element is the peace officer has to be “lawfully performing or attempting to perform (his/her) duties as a peace officer” and in this case, where there was no legal authority to arrest the individuals, they were not.

    In fact, California goes further than that, under Calcrim 2670, it “If a peace officer uses unreasonable or excessive force while (arresting or attempting to arrest/ [or] detaining or attempting to detain) a person, that person may lawfully use reasonable force to defend himself or herself.”

    This is why the issue of the legal authority for the arrest is so important and in fact changes the game.

  33. 91 Octane

    vanguard: “The Kroll investigators determined those were not credible threats. ”

    the threats were either placed on the table or they were not. if they were, they were either legal expressions of free speech or they were not.

    Maybe Reynoso wants to tackle that one.

  34. 91 Octane

    He was not operating as a judge. What were the charges given to Kroll and Reynoso? Who were they supposed to be investigating? Their duty to investigate to the protesters only extended as far the determination that the police were not justified in their use of force.

    my understanding is they were supposed to see what happened, and how the situation could have been prevented.

    the protestors, from start to finish, took steps to escalate, not prevent te situation from start to finish – from the camping to the threats, to their colorful use of the english language to encirclement………. which went beyond the boundaries of peaceful protesting…

    Reynoso and Kroll just simply tapdance around that part of it.

    and that TOO IS A FACT.

  35. David M. Greenwald

    “my understanding is they were supposed to see what happened, and how the situation could have been prevented. “

    I don’t want your understanding, what specifically does their authorization tell them?

  36. biddlin

    Some predictable posters will not be satisfied until the protesters are flogged . Others still see things that aren’t there and hear things that aren’t said, apparently reading not only between the lines, but circumventing them all together and say we still don’t have all the facts
    While averting your eyes, the facts have been available since seconds after the event . 100s if not 1,000s of videos were being uploaded before Pike released the first trigger . Every thing happened in full view and rather than face the truth and get on with trying to salvage some trust and moving forward, you don’t think the protesters were hurt enough .
    When do you get it ? Most of the protesters were either students or recent students, who while sitting, posing no threat to anyone, were assaulted by sworn officers with excessive force, using an unauthorized chemical weapon . The kids aren’t obliged to make sure the police operate in a legal and orderly fashion . The fact that Pike is busy spraying pepperspray in protester’s faces, instead of making sure his officers aren’t being surrounded speaks to a complete lack of control on the part of the entire police structure. Most people viewing any or all of the cellphone video(Tough to alter !)realized this some months ago . Part of what seems to be eluding you is that if you make assumptions counter to all the evidence, you will usually be wrong .
    Really guys, how safe is that well water over there ?

  37. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]That’s not what they were asked to do. They were asked to look at the conditions and surmise whether the police’s response was necessary given them and determined that it was not. [/quote]

    If the Reynoso Task Force was asked to look at only the police and administration actions as you contend, then no conclusions can be drawn from this report about the actions of the students, no?

  38. David M. Greenwald

    “If the Reynoso Task Force was asked to look at only the police and administration actions as you contend, then no conclusions can be drawn from this report about the actions of the students, no?”

    No. Both Kroll and Reynoso simply looked at whether the actions of the protesters necessitated the use of force. They both determined it did not. To that extent they looked at the actions of the protesters. But their job was not to analyze their actions beyond making that determination.

  39. medwoman

    91 Octane

    “the protestors, from start to finish, took steps to escalate, not prevent te situation from start to finish – from the camping to the threats, to their colorful use of the english language to encirclement………. which went beyond the boundaries of peaceful protesting… “

    This is demonstrably not true. There were a total of three chants including the phrase “f… the police”. What stopped this chant was protest leaders stopping the chant and reminding the chanters that this was intended to be a completely peaceful protest. When reminded by their leaders, the use of the most inflammatory chant was stopped. This would not appear to be an act of escalation to me.

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