Vanguard Analysis: Report Puts Primary Culpability on Lt. Pike

Pepper-spray

As Kroll aptly notes, Lt. John Pike of the UC Davis Police Department became the face and image of the pepper spray incident.  “The image of Lieutenant John Pike spraying the activists has gone beyond viral to the point of being iconic, with Lieutenant Pike’s image inserted into videos, cartoons, famous paintings, etc,” Kroll writes.

Ultimately, the report by both Kroll and the Reynoso Task Force put the primary culpability on Lt. Pike, at least with regard to the decision to use pepper spray on the protesters in the Quad on November 18, 2011.

However, there is a major qualification to that, as the report notes, “[Lt. Pike] was hampered by repeated failed leadership of Chief Spicuzza, his supervisor, who did not attend the briefing for the operation, did not raise objections to the flawed plans suggested by the administration, and played an unusual, disengaged role at the scene.”

Kroll adds, “Throughout the series of events that led to the pepper spraying, the Chief’s actions were deficient: she failed to say ‘no’ to the Chancellor when suboptimal tactical decisions were being promoted; when she saw things during the police operation not occurring to her satisfaction, she did not to step in and assume command. Rather, the Chief chose to call repeatedly the Department Operations Command post and relay instructions.”

That said, Lt. Pike was the one who made the fateful decision to use pepper spray, without which these series of missteps may have remained unknown.

The major finding of the two reports is, “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented.”

Kroll writes: “The actual deployment of pepper spray by Lieutenant Pike and by [Officer Alexander Lee] at Pike’s direction was flawed and unnecessary.”

The task force finds, along with Kroll, “The decision to use [pepper spray] was not supported by objective evidence and was not authorized by policy,” as the pepper spray that was used was not an authorized weapon for use by the UCDPD.

The task force finds, “Lt. Pike bears primary responsibility for the objectively unreasonable decision to use pepper spray on the students sitting in a line and for the manner in which the pepper spray was used.”

So while it is true that the administration did Lt. Pike no favors on any number of levels, it ultimately falls on him as one of the most senior members, both in rank and tenure, in the UC Davis police department.

The only real question is whether he should simply be fired or whether he should be criminally charged, with assault with means likely to produce great bodily injury.  It should be noted that, while Lt. Pike did not speak directly with Kroll, he did provide Kroll a lengthy statement regarding the November 18 incident.  While that is no substitute for the ability of investigators to press Lt. Pike for answers, we at least get, unlike others, his side of the story.

Kroll faults the operational plan developed by Officer P and Lt. Pike in that “the plan failed to address prisoner transport.”  This was not a small point because it ultimately led to an escalation of the protest, when protesters and onlookers would gather around the police officers handling the arrestees.

The officers involved in the incident indicated in interviews with Kroll that they “felt that they were surrounded by a hostile mob and that the use of pepper spray was necessary to create a path for the officers and arrestees to leave the Quad.

Both Kroll and the task force argue, “While there is some support for this conclusion, a detailed review of the objective evidence undermines this conclusion.”

The reason the officer and arrestees remained on the Quad after the tents were removed was “because there had been no arrangements made to transport the arrestees from the Quad. The lack of timely decision-making by Lt. Pike and to respond to this unplanned situation caused an escalation of an already volatile situation.”

Kroll writes, “As a result, the officers stood idle on the Quad, on Centennial Walkway, encircling a small number of prisoners. The lack of timely decision-making by Lieutenant Pike and to respond to this unplanned situation exacerbated an already volatile and escalating situation.”

The report also faulted the department for deploying two lieutenants – Pike and Officer P – to perform the tent operation. “The actual dismantling of the tents by the Chief of Police was an inappropriate role for supervisors, especially for the Incident Commander.”  As Kroll observes, “the roles of the supervisors were either unclear or inappropriate.”

They write most pointedly, “Lieutenant Pike and Officer P behaved more like officers than supervisors and leaders: the Lieutenant personally removed the tents; Lieutenant Pike used the pepper spray; and nominally the Incident Commander, was moving throughout the scene, confronting protesters, and leaving the area to meet the newly arrived Davis Police Department (‘DPD’) reinforcements. In short, none of the three performed in the manner that police commanders during such an incident should have conducted themselves.”

The task force adds: “The Operations Plan identified as the incident commander and defined no role for Lt. Pike. Yet Lt. Pike appears to have made the command decision to use pepper spray.”

Both the task force and Kroll cite a number of factors that “undermine the belief that there was no alternative to use of pepper spray.”

Officer F had been able to walk the arrestees through the crowd, Officer P was able to step over the line of seated protests and meet with the Davis PD.  He was able to lead the Davis PD contingent back through the crowd without incident.

Kroll notes that Pike was unaware that Officer F had escorted the arrested through the encircled crowd without incident.  In fact, they note, “As the crowd chanted, ‘If you let them go, we will let you leave,’ Officer F led the arrestees out of the northwest side of the encircled crowd without incident.”

According to Officer F, “During that time when I was taking these prisoners out, you know I really felt very claustrophobic because you have the line of officers in confrontation with the demonstrators and all the screaming and yelling … it was frightening because there was really no control … I felt we were surrounded … The only reason I was able to get in and out with prisoners is because I believe my persistence and the fact that I didn’t hesitate to go through the crowd. It was either get out of the way or I’m going to mow you down.”

Officer B said, “I remember going in and out through the crowd with one or two prisoners and … I thought ‘Holy moley! Why is he going in through the crowd like that?’ I would be too scared that people are going to grab my equipment or … push me down and start attacking me or grab the prisoner away from me.”

A critical question is why did Lt. Pike deploy the pepper spray?  Lt. Pike describes in his supplemental narrative report his decision, which he discussed with Officer P in advance.

Kroll writes, “Pike felt that ‘the use of batons, pepper ball guns and ECD’s [tasers] were in my opinion on a higher level of the continuum and were not feasible options at the time under the set of circumstances we were facing.’ Pike felt that ‘the use of control holds, the physical movement of the suspects and active grappling with the suspects was also not an entirely feasible consideration as we had several arrestees to escort away from the scene and the actual physical confrontation with the suspects could lead to injuries to officers and suspects.’ “

Lt. Pike exhausted the contents of the canister and Officer Alexander Lee also began to spray the students on the western portion of the group.

According to Officer Lee, “Lt. Pike issued an order to me to use police pepper spray on the crowd. I sprayed the crowd directly in front of the police skirmish line using a department issued pepper spray fogger Defense Tech MK-9.”

On the question of necessity, the task force also cites: “Lt. Pike’s actions and body language include stepping over the seated protesters to get to their faces, a move that would not generally be undertaken with a hostile crowd.”

Kroll writes, “Pike stepped over the seated activists and began applying the pepper spray as he walked from the east to the west and then west to east. He continued to shake the spray intermittently during the application.”

The task force writes, “On balance, there is little factual basis supporting Lt. Pike’s belief that he was trapped by the protesters or that his officers were prevented from leaving the Quad.”

Kroll concludes, “Considering all the available evidence – while recognizing that Kroll investigators were not able to interview Lieutenant Pike to learn and report on his state of mind at the moment he used the pepper spray – the deployment of pepper spray does not appear to have been an objectively reasonable use of force.”

“The Task Force agrees,” they add.

Perhaps the biggest puzzle in this is how Lt. Pike and UC Davis Police Officers managed to get, in their possession, a weapon that was “not an authorized weapon for use by the UCDPD.”

The military grade weapon is unauthorized under UCDPD General Order No.559 which “provides that pepper spray can be used, but specifically refers to the MK-4 (a smaller canister).”

The task force adds, “Furthermore, the investigation found no evidence that any UCDPD officer had been trained in the use of the larger MK-9.”

Kroll supported their conclusion that use of pepper spray was not reasonable use of force by stating, “This conclusion is buttressed by the facts that the MK-9 was not an authorized weapon under UCDPD guidelines and that UCDPD officers were not trained in its use.”  Again, “The Task Force agrees.”

The task force notes that not only were UCDPD officers not trained on how to use this pepper spray correctly, that they “did not use it correctly.”  Writes the task force: “The MK-9 is a higher pressure type of pepper spray than what officers normally carry on their utility belts (MK-4). It is designed for crowd dispersal rather than field applications and “[t]he recommended minimum distance for . . . application of the MK-9 is six feet.” Lt. Pike appeared to be spraying protesters at a much closer distance than 6 feet.”

Did Lt. Pike believe this was a fiasco? A conversation he had after the fact with Dispatch Supervisor Garcia-Henrnandez suggests he was aware of that possibility.

Kroll writes, “According to Dispatch Supervisor Garcia-Hernandez, when Lieutenant Pike came back to the DOC, she said ‘Are you okay?’ Lieutenant Pike responded, ‘Oh my god.’  Pike scratched his head and said ‘I hope I’m not the scapegoat for this one.’ Then the pepper spray video came up on the TV at the DOC. Garcia-Hernandez said, ‘John, that looked really bad.’ Pike responded, ‘I know, it was really bad out there.’ “

Kroll, in their analysis, cites three types of failures that set the stage for the use of pepper spray, but lays the ultimate blame for its use on Lt. Pike himself.

In their analysis, they return to the obvious question: “Why did Lieutenant Pike deploy pepper spray?”

“Lieutenant Pike, specifically, believed that they and their prisoners were surrounded by a hostile ‘mob,’ and that the pepper spraying was necessary to clear the pathway so that the officers and their prisoners could leave the Quad safely,” Kroll writes.

They disagree, however, “While a detailed review of the event provides some support for their position, the facts finally undermine the conclusion that the officers were trapped by the crowd of protesters.”

They argue, “The officers describe their subjective belief that the crowd was hostile, that they were surrounded, and that they were in risk of losing their prisoners.”

Once again, Kroll argues that the gaps in the crowd, the fact that Officer F escorted the prisoners out of there, and the calm demeanor of Lt Pike as he bathed the protesters with pepper spray suggests otherwise.

They write, “He appears calm and collected in his movements and actions. He is seen repeatedly warning the protestors and talking to various officers inside the circle. Then, before applying the pepper spray, Lieutenant Pike may be seen stepping over the seated protesters to get to their faces (the protesters, after being warned, had turned their backs to Pike), a move that a police officer would generally not perform with a hostile crowd as the ‘stepping over’ movement leaves the officer vulnerable to attack.”

They also argue that while Officer P contacted dispatch for mutual aid, the request was short of a help call.  Rather they argue, “The language and the tone used by Officer P suggest that he was calling in connection with a non-routine situation, if not making an outright call for help.”

There is an interesting discussion on the general appropriateness of pepper spray on seated protesters with arms linked.  The question is whether it was active or passive resistance.  Some departments consider that an active resistance; UCDPD use of force policies do not provide guidance here.

They argue, “The use of pepper spray against seated protesters linking arms may be technically permissible as a general matter.”

But not in this specific case, where they see Officer F walking in and through the crowd with prisoners, apparently without the need for force or encountering resistance.

They add, “The videos depict moving through the crowd – immediately behind the seated activists that are within minutes of being pepper sprayed – without using force and without being confronted by any violent reaction, and then returning with the four Davis PD officers and their supervisors who, again, part the crowd without using force.”

Most notably, “In none of the hours of video reviewed by Kroll is a single violent act on the part of the activists captured.”

They add, “On balance, there does not seem to be an objective, factual basis for Lieutenant Pike to have believed that he was trapped or that his officers were prevented from leaving by the seated protesters. Furthermore, there is no objective evidence available to Kroll that depicts any attempt by the protesters to use violence.”

They therefore conclude: “Considering all the available evidence – while recognizing that Kroll investigators were not able to interview Lieutenant Pike to learn and report on his state of mind at the moment he used the pepper spray – the deployment of pepper spray does not appear to have been an objectively reasonable use of force. This conclusion is buttressed by the facts that the MK-9 was not an authorized weapon under UCDPD guidelines and that UCDPD officers were not trained in its use.”

While the decision to use pepper spray and the type and the manner in which it was used was bad enough, there are a series of other problems which exacerbate the decision.

One of these is the breakdown of the chain of command, where Lt. Pike and Officer P refuse to follow directives from the chief, leading to the task force writing, “This breakdown is illustrated by the heated exchanges between the Chief and her Lieutenants as to the scope and conduct of the operation and the Chief’s apparent concession that her officers will do things their own way and there is nothing she can do about it.”

Lt. Pike and Officer P would be insistent over the objections, if not orders, of the chief on the use of riot gear during the tent operation.

Kroll describes a “heated” discussion between the two lieutenants and Chief Spicuzza.  The chief stated, “She didn’t want sticks, she didn’t want them going in with helmets, and both the Lieutenants chimed in at her at the same time basically saying … ‘We can’t tell another Mutual Aid agency not to protect themselves. These are the tools of the trade, they’re designed to protect us.’ ” At this time, Pike also “mentioned something about … pepper ball,” Spicuzza answered, “We don’t want to use any of that,” and the lieutenants replied, “Of course, we don’t want to use any of it. They’re tools of the trade. They’re less lethal.”

Lt. Pike, in his narrative, stated, “During our meeting with the Chief of Police, the Chief stated that she did not want the officers carrying their wood batons or wearing their ballistic/protective helmets. The Chief referenced the incidents from the previous week at UC Berkeley wherein the UCBPD officers were videod taped [sic] using their batons against the resisting student activists/occupiers. The Chief of Police opined that the sight of riot gear could increase the potential of the use of force or resistance from the protesters.”

He responded that perhaps “Student Affairs should be handling this and not us.”

“The Chief of Police adamantly stated that she did not want excessive force to be used to remove the tents and she ordered that Officer P and I handle the removal of the tents personally,” Pike continued.  They managed to, according to Lt. Pike persuade Chief Spicuzza to allow the officers to carry their batons.

He told Chief Spicuzza that he “did not believe this operation would be carried out without some level of resistance or agitation on the part of the student activists/occupiers” and stated that Spicuzza “agreed and dismissed us to further our preparations.”

We also note, perhaps as a positive note, that it was the insistence by Lt. Pike and Officer P inquiring about the legal basis for the tent removal operation that at least led to the chief seeking legal advice.  However, that assertion comes from the supplemental report of Lt. Pike which says it was he and Officer P “who demanded the last-minute call to Campus Counsel to obtain legal guidance.”

The task force writes, “The Chief neglected to insist that there be a valid legal basis for police involvement in the tent removal operation before its commencement. Apparently it was only ‘because of Lieutenant [Pike and P’s] continued concern over the legal basis for removing the tents’ that the Chief sought legal advice on enforceability of the no camping policy just ‘[a] few hours before the operation commenced.’ “

As Kroll notes, neither Lt. Pike and Officer P were totally in agreement on the feasibility of removing the tents during day, particularly in light of an email “discussing the legal issues and opinions surrounding the enforcement of the identified laws and codes as presented by the Office of Campus Counsel.”

On Friday morning, November 18, Lieutenant Pike and Officer P contacted Campus Counsel Sweeney and discussed their concerns with him.  They “had several questions about the legality of conducting a planned operation during the middle of the afternoon versus the early morning hours.”

—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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36 Comments

  1. biddlin

    ‘As Kroll notes, neither Lt. Pike and Officer P were not in agreement on the feasibility of removing the tents during day, particularly in light of an email “discussing the legal issues and opinions surrounding the enforcement of the identified laws and codes as presented by the Office of Campus Counsel.”‘
    Huh?

  2. David M. Greenwald

    In other words, Campus Counsel was questioning whether they had authority to remove the tents at 3 pm and based on that Lt. Pike and Officer P were skeptical of the plan to remove the tents.

  3. Dr. Wu

    The key issue here, imho, was Lt Pike’s decision to use pepper spray against students who were peaceful. The decision to remove the tents at that time was a poor one, but the pepper spray is the key incident–it is what made the video go viral and frankly brought disgrace to our university (and I say that as someone not directly affiliated with UCD).

    AS far as I can tell, and I have not read all the reports, this was Lt. Pike’s decision, though others share some culpability.

    I still believe, as I have blogged before, that this was a criminal act, though I hasten to add that I am not an attorney and I have no idea whether this offense could be successfully prosecuted. My reaction is more on a gut level. Officer Pike, sworn to protect students and others, assaulted several students with a dangerous weapon and brought disgrace upon our entire community. I, for one, would like to see him in jail.

  4. medwoman

    “They add, “The videos depict moving through the crowd-immediately behind the seated activists that are within minutes of being pepper sprayed-without using force and without being confronted by any violent reaction, and then returning with the four Davis PD officers and their supervisors who, again, part the crowd without using force.”

    Most notably, “In none of the hours of video reviewed by Kroll is a single violent act on the part of the activists captured.”

    They add, “On balance, there does not seem to be an objective, factual basis for Lieutenant Pike to have believed that he was trapped or that his officers were prevented from leaving by the seated protesters. Furthermore, there is no objective evidence available to Kroll that depicts any very attempt by the protesters to use violence.”

    As I read the Reynoso and Kroll reports, a common theme emerged for me. The actions of both the administration and the lieutenants on the quad seemed more fear than fact driven. With regard to this paradigm, I immediately thought of the movie “Minority Report” in which “pre crime”
    or arrest before any crime has been committed has been instituted as a means of enforcing social order. This, to me would seem to be a very dangerous mindset. Yet some seem to feel from their posts that police should be given more latitude to use force preemptively based on their “fear” of what may happen rather than informed knowledge of what actually is happening.

    It would seem to me that if this incident is at all reflective of the overall decision making styles and capabilities of the Chancellor, VC Meyer,
    and other members of the civilian and police leadership, then we are paying a lot of people some very high salaries to perform at a very low level of executive decision making.

    I am not of the “someone must lose their job school of thought” based on a single incident. But I would favor a complete review of the overall job performance of each of the individuals involved specifically targeting their ability to gather data and evidence, analyze it in some objective manner and weigh the risks and benefits of each alternative course of action prior to just taking action based on nothing more than their fears.

  5. David M. Greenwald

    Medwoman you raise a good point in terms of fear versus fact based… One of the problems and this is an administrative problem is that they did not have enough personnel to effect this operation during a time when a large number of people would be on the quad. So they were quickly outnumbered and surrounded.

    That is an administration problem with going with the 3 pm time and not getting enough mutual aid assistance in advance.

    It is also worth noting that Lt. Pike decided to use pepper spray right after DPD arrived without consulting with them.

    One of my key questions is why did Lt. Pike decide at that time to do it.

    By that point, the crowd chants had quieted down. The hardliners were shouted down by the majority. The protesters were seated. It didn’t seem like the timing of the pepper spray made a lot of sense to me.

    Why couldn’t they have waited for other department’s mutual aid to arrive, have a large police presence, and disperse the crowd when they weren’t so outnumbered.

  6. JustSaying

    “The only real question is whether he should simply be fired or whether he should be criminally charged with assault with means likely to produce great bodily injury.”

    In an otherwise complete and objective summary of the Reynoso/Kroll accounting of Lt. Pike’s actions and decision-making, including the critical state-of-mind questions, this statement leaps out. Where did this singular, “real question” come from?

  7. David M. Greenwald

    The natural question is what are the consequences of his actions and I posit two consequences. I don’t think there is any way he keeps his job, do you?

  8. medwoman

    Dr Wu

    “My reaction is more on a gut level. Officer Pike, sworn to protect students and others, assaulted several students with a dangerous weapon and brought disgrace upon our entire community. I, for one, would like to see him in jail.”

    Your “gut level reaction” is unfortunately exactly the same process that the administration and Lt.Pike appear to have been using. While this is fine for blogging, I would hope it would not be the process used by anyone in authority, be they a campus administrator, a policeman on the quad, a member of a jury or a judge. To me, intent does matter in this case. If for example, Lt.Pike truly feared for his life and those of his officers, the use of pepper spray would have been at least conceivable even if retreat and deescalation of the situation been a more appropriate alternative than escalation?
    If on the other hand, Lt.Pike was merely increasingly frustrated first by his interactions with administration, and then with his own chief, and now finally pissed off by what he views as as a bunch of defiant brats who won’t do what he says, so he decides to “teach them a lesson”, then I would have no empathy at all for his situation. His job is to protect from those who lose control of their emotions, not to model that behavior.

    The hours of tapes I have watched, the body language and facial expressions of Lt.Pike, and both the Reynoso and Kroll reports would seem, unfortunately, to support the latter scenario rather than the former.

  9. Phil Coleman

    I apologize for the seemingly trivial point in the context of the multiple larger issues being presented and assessed. The remark that Pike could be fired or prosecuted, he could be both fired and prosecuted. Criminal prosecution must be considered as being extremely remote.

    Believe it or not, Pike has an arsenal of effective defense options if he were criminally charged. Ask any criminal trial defense attorney. You can bet the University Administration does not want him charged. No University official wants to be cross-examined by Pike’s lawyer.

    The UCD Police Chief really needs to speak and be heard on several crucial decision points raised in the Kroll/Reynoso Report. When she was put on paid administrative leave she was told by the University to keep her mouth shut, and they were holding a copy of her paycheck as a reminder.

    We must remember that every depiction of her has been from persons also under fire, fueled with a deep feeling of self-preservation, and probably career advancement opportunities in a few instances. I have a very strong suspicion that if the Chief were to call a press conference, she would blow the doors off the entire University infrastructure. Such a scenario must be Mrak Hall’s worst nightmare, and they have plenty of them right now.

    I’m not trying to defend the guy, but would anybody on this entire planet change places with Pike right now? International notoriety, prime defendant in a lawsuit, and his career totally destroyed no matter what happens. Anybody looking for vengeance against Pike has found plenty.

    There is another dimension of Pike’s actions that day that–despite a protracted and thorough dissection and analysis–has been completely missed.

    With one squeeze of a gas container, Lieutenant Pike unwittingly deflected and diffused the entire nation-wide Occupy Movement. He effectively gassed the Occupy Movement and it’s never had the same energy and intensity since. There must be thousands of potential Occupy Movement sites that silently say, “Thanks, Pike.”

    In some people’s eyes, that may have been Pike’s worst offense.

  10. biddlin

    OK David . I guess that’s as well constructed as “Davis Police Chief Annette Spicuzza was played on paid administrative leave…” You really do need better proofing !

  11. Robb Davis

    Phil – I have so appreciated your insightful comments on this issue over the past months. Your perspective and insights have helped me process things I did not understand. Today you make an absolutely critical comment about Lt Pike:

    “I’m not trying to defend the guy, but would anybody on this entire planet change places with Pike right now? International notoriety, prime defendant in a lawsuit, and his career totally destroyed no matter what happens. Anybody looking for vengeance against Pike has found plenty. “

    I can find no excuse for what he did but it bothers me that he has been reduced to a symbol–an icon (as David said). In other words, Lt Pike is no longer a human being. My question is whether we as a community will be able to find it within ourselves to restore him as a human being? Many will reply that he must “pay” because his acts were monstrous. That, however, does not make him a monster. I still (stubbornly) believe that the only way to rehumanize him while giving the students whom he sprayed a sense that justice is being served is to set up a meeting between him and the students (and the administration) so that harms can be named, questions can be asked, answers given and ideas exchanged about how things need to change.

    I am convinced that this meeting needs to be carefully prepared and facilitated by an outside and neutral group of skilled facilitators. Participants should agree to not use anything said in the meeting for any legal ends. Justice can be served while allowing those who acted wrongly to regain their humanity.

  12. JustSaying

    Better to ask and answer the “only real question” in your future commentary than to dangle it unsupported in your excellent analysis.

    There are many questions still unanswered about Lt. Pike’s role in the fiasco, about the equipment used, about the instructions, about his interactions with the demonstrators (who refused to cooperate with the investigators), about the communications between Pike and Lee (who also refused to cooperate), etc.

    The Reynoso/Kroll report suggests investigators still have questions they’d like to ask several of those involved.

    The appropriate actions against Lt. Pike can’t be be determined from the report findings. There’s a whole range of potential job actions that must be being considered in addition to “simply firing” him. Certainly there’s no basis in this report for criminally charging him, even though you’ve come up with a specific charge for the D.A. to use in the indictment.

  13. David M. Greenwald

    “Better to ask and answer the “only real question” in your future commentary than to dangle it unsupported in your excellent analysis.”

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that specific point.

    “There are many questions still unanswered about Lt. Pike’s role in the fiasco, about the equipment used, about the instructions, about his interactions with the demonstrators (who refused to cooperate with the investigators), about the communications between Pike and Lee (who also refused to cooperate), etc.

    The Reynoso/Kroll report suggests investigators still have questions they’d like to ask several of those involved. “

    This is all true. That’s why the IA is so important because unlike this public report, Pike and Spicuzza do not get to avoid answering questions, and IA’s do have subpoena power. We will not know any of this, but the university will know when they make their final determinations.

    It’s another reason why I’m puzzled by both the vote of confidence from Yudof and Cruz Reynoso for the chancellor. That’s internal process is not complete yet.

  14. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]dmg: That said, Lt. Pike was the one who made the fateful decision to use pepper spray, without which these series of missteps may have remained unknown.[/quote]

    Without the missteps of the administrators, Pike wouldn’t have used the pepper spray … your argument is circular…

    [quote]dmg: Medwoman you raise a good point in terms of fear versus fact based… One of the problems and this is an administrative problem is that they did not have enough personnel to effect this operation during a time when a large number of people would be on the quad. So they were quickly outnumbered and surrounded. That is an administration problem with going with the 3 pm time and not getting enough mutual aid assistance in advance…[/quote]

    Interesting that you concede the police were outnumbered/surrounded (“they were quickly outnumbered and surrounded”); and then concede it was an “administration problem”, undercutting your own argument that Pike was primarily to blame…

  15. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]medwoman: Your “gut level reaction” is unfortunately exactly the same process that the administration and Lt.Pike appear to have been using. While this is fine for blogging, I would hope it would not be the process used by anyone in authority, be they a campus administrator, a policeman on the quad, a member of a jury or a judge. To me, intent does matter in this case. If for example, Lt.Pike truly feared for his life and those of his officers, the use of pepper spray would have been at least conceivable even if retreat and deescalation of the situation been a more appropriate alternative than escalation?
    If on the other hand, Lt.Pike was merely increasingly frustrated first by his interactions with administration, and then with his own chief, and now finally pissed off by what he views as as a bunch of defiant brats who won’t do what he says, so he decides to “teach them a lesson”, then I would have no empathy at all for his situation. His job is to protect from those who lose control of their emotions, not to model that behavior.[/quote]

    Well said. That is about where I am on the issue of Pike…

  16. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Phil Coleman: The UCD Police Chief really needs to speak and be heard on several crucial decision points raised in the Kroll/Reynoso Report. When she was put on paid administrative leave she was told by the University to keep her mouth shut, and they were holding a copy of her paycheck as a reminder.

    We must remember that every depiction of her has been from persons also under fire, fueled with a deep feeling of self-preservation, and probably career advancement opportunities in a few instances. I have a very strong suspicion that if the Chief were to call a press conference, she would blow the doors off the entire University infrastructure. Such a scenario must be Mrak Hall’s worst nightmare, and they have plenty of them right now.[/quote]

    Very astute observation…

  17. David M. Greenwald

    “Without the missteps of the administrators, Pike wouldn’t have used the pepper spray … your argument is circular…”

    The question is whether you believe that Pike has personal responsibility for his own decisions despite how poorly the administration and his chief operated?

  18. David M. Greenwald

    “Interesting that you concede the police were outnumbered/surrounded (“they were quickly outnumbered and surrounded”); and then concede it was an “administration problem”, undercutting your own argument that Pike was primarily to blame…”

    I think Pike was hung out to dry. I also think that he himself made critical mistakes. I don’t see it nearly as contradictory as you do, in part I suspect because I don’t think it was a black and white issue as to blame, and I think in a lot of ways you can blame both Pike and his superiors.

  19. JustSaying

    [quote]“It’s another reason why I’m puzzled by both the vote of confidence from Yudof and Cruz Reynoso for the chancellor. That’s internal process is not complete yet.”[/quote]I’m thinking it’s because they’ve seen enough to evaluate Katehi’s role and determine that it reflects management and communication shortcomings rather than criminal or evil intent.

    What can the internal process reveal about possible punishment needs for the chancellor that hasn’t been detailed in the Reynoso/Kroll report?

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the internal investigation of Katehi’s and Meyer’s actions takes some pressure off of the underlings. Her strange attempts to lead compounded the problems of inadequate preparation by Meyer and the police that the justice’s investigation revealed.

    Yudof and Reynoso probably anticipate Katehi will have a role in the future of UCD for some time and see no purpose in joining the “Katehi Out!” crowd. As part of the “Don’t Bring Katehi to UCD in the First Place” crowd myself, I realize that this view won’t be satisfactory to some.

  20. David M. Greenwald

    “]I’m thinking it’s because they’ve seen enough to evaluate Katehi’s role and determine that it reflects management and communication shortcomings rather than criminal or evil intent.”

    I tend to agree her role reflects management and communications shortcomings. I never believed she had evil intent here. The question is really whether her incompetence rises to the level that one would consider firing her.

    At this point, I have not conducted the full review I have of Meyer, Spicuzza, and Pike.

  21. Mr.Toad

    “The only real question is whether he should simply be fired or whether he should be criminally charged, with assault with means likely to produce great bodily injury. “

    Actually there is a whole range of disciplinary consequences other than your limited list.

    By the way, Kroll fails to speculate as to Pike’s state of mind, something, I can do as a blogger. As such, nothing in this story precludes my opinion that Pike reacted to the chanting of “Fuck the police.” Where I disagree with others is that I don’t think he should be fired. Demoted and transfered would be merciful and just in my opinion.

  22. David M. Greenwald

    Mr. Toad: I’m not sure I agree with the FTP chant, after all, it was more than 20 minutes prior to the pepper spray, if that’s a mere reaction and emotional response, it was awfully delayed.

  23. David Suder

    [quote]If on the other hand, Lt.Pike was merely increasingly frustrated first by his interactions with administration, and then with his own chief, and now finally pissed off by what he views as as a bunch of defiant brats who won’t do what he says, so he decides to “teach them a lesson”… [b]- medwoman[/b][/quote]The second part of this (Pike’s view of the crowd) has been my exact impression of his motivation all along. The videos clearly show that any perceived danger from the crowd had passed long before the pepper spraying. Pike’s demeanor and actions (stepping over seated protesters, then casually hosing them with pepper spray as he strolls down the line of them) convey exactly the emotions medwoman describes. “These punks have defied me. I will now teach them a lesson.”

  24. JustSaying

    [quote]“I tend to agree her role reflects management and communications shortcomings. I never believed she had evil intent here. The question is really whether her incompetence rises to the level that one would consider firing her.”[/quote]And, that’s my point: Yudof and Justice Reynoso have answered that question for themselves and decided it was important that they speak out for the good of the university. They don’t need the internal investigation or [i]Vanguard[/i] investigation results to come to this conclusion.

    That doesn’t say that they’re pleased with her performance in this incident–they probably give her points for fund-raising and other accomplishments.

    It also doesn’t mean that both of them wouldn’t offer to help her find another job somewhere. That might take some time since she’d be coming off two scandals in her most recent two positions.

  25. JustSaying

    I think there’s a lot to be said about Pike’s “state of mind” at the time he finally “showed” the active/passive resister line. David Suder, medwoman and Mr.Toad are correct to point in this direction.

    After all, he knew that he’d gotten zero respect from his own supervisor (who must have known better) all the way up the line to the unreasonable Chancelor “No Berkeleys, Please” Katehi.

    Here he is, facing the insolent kids with inadequate support, having been proved right in his professional opinion that the timing was wrong and that protective gear/weapons would be needed. He also knew that doing what he did would meet with widespread disapproval, so why would he proceed? “Because he snapped” makes some sense to me.

  26. eagle eye

    Immediately after the event, a former UCD police officer said on TV he had complained several times about Pike being abusive and violent with students – but that his concerns were ignored by campus counsel and administration, and he experienced retaliation for speaking up.

  27. eagle eye

    Pike questioned the legality of the tent removal, he was concerned with
    officer safety, and he suggested Student Affairs should handle the situation.
    On the other hand, it appears he’s not a quick thinker, isn’t able to be alert in an evolving situation, and gets upset easily.
    It seems he should never have been promoted to Lt., never should have been put in charge, or told to handle tent removal personally, and of course should never have used pepper spray.
    You’d think the police chief would have known his limitations.

  28. civil discourse

    “He (Pike) responded that perhaps ‘Student Affairs should be handling this and not us.'”

    This is the best suggestion yet as to what should have happened.

  29. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Immediately after the event, a former UCD police officer said on TV he had complained several times about Pike being abusive and violent with students – but that his concerns were ignored by campus counsel and administration, and he experienced retaliation for speaking up.[/quote]

    This is certainly something I would want to know – did Pike have a previous history of going overboard?

  30. Fight Against Injustice

    Thanks Don for sharing the link about Lt. Pike. It makes it seem like Lt. Pike has had a past of going overboard.

    If this is true, others must know about it. I would love to hear from anyone else that has had past dealing with Lt. Pike or have witnessed him in his work.

  31. E Roberts Musser

    Thanks Don for the link. The problem w this information is that it comes from only one officer who clearly had an axe to grind bc of his lawsuit. I am not trying to be dismissive of Chang’s concerns, just putting it in context. What I really want to know is if Pike had a [i][b]personnel history[/b][/i] of overzealousness? It seems to me I remember there might have actually been some disciplinary action in the past, but that is only scuttlebutt, and I really want to know if it is true…

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