As I noted last month, only one of the dozens of police officers involved in the notorious November 18 UC Davis pepper-spray incident has yet been publicly identified. Now a police demand for continued anonymity has delayed today’s intended release of the university’s report on the incident.
Attorneys for the officers claim that because the report includes “confidential peace officer matters such as the name of the peace officers and some sort of description of wrongdoing,” its release would violate state law.
The report, originally slated for a December release, has already been delayed multiple times. The most recent stumbling block came in response to a police union request for redaction of information about individual officers. A judge has scheduled a March 16 hearing on the issue.
The authors of the report have compromised with police before, but it seems like their patience may be wearing thin.
Retired California supreme court justice Cruz Reynoso, the chair of the commission, said in a statement that he was “very frustrated” by the delay, and remains committed to releasing “the complete and unredacted work of the task force.”
UC president Mark Yudof, who has presided over multiple incidents of police violence against non-violent student protesters over the last three years, took a similarly aggressive posture. He has, he said, “asked the UC General Counsel’s office to do everything in its power in court to turn back this attempt to stifle these reports” to ensure “a fully transparent and unexpurgated accounting of the incidents in question.”
In a separate statement, UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi said “the campus’s own internal affairs investigation into complaints of officer misconduct, which would be the basis for any personnel actions concerning the accused officers,” was “near completion.”