Pepper spraying incident ‘should and could have been prevented

Months after students at UC Davis were filmed being soaked in pepper spray and arrested by police in riot gear after peacefully protesting at their university, a UC Davis ‘task force’ has finally released a report on the incident today.

The report includes a number of criticisms against police and administrative action on the day stating, “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented.” The report is critical of the actions of Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. It states, “the command and leadership structure of the UCDPD is very dysfunctional.”

The 190-page Reynoso Task Force Report said the use of pepper spray was “not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy.”

According to CBS News and Occupy Wall Street, the report finds:

  • The incident was not managed according to plan.
  • The pepper spray used (MK-9) was not an authorized weapon for UC Davis police officers and officers were not trained in how to use it.
  • Chancellor Linda Katehi bears responsibility for deploying police at 3 p.m. to remove tents rather than earlier in the day or the night before
  • Chancellor Katehi bears primary responsibility for failing to communicate her position that physical force should be avoided.
  • Lt. John Pike bears responsibility for the use of pepper spray on the students.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/11-7

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