Let the blame game begin as the independent task force investigating the pepper-spray incident at UC Davis released their findings. As with most segments of society, no one wants to take responsibility for their actions. The findings gave a scathing account of that November 18th tragedy that drew worldwide scorn. Chancellor Linda Kathehi drew the ire and most of the criticism from the task force report for failure to make it translucent that police should not use force in removing Occupy Davis activist from the Quad. Lt. John Pike from the UC Police Department made “objectively unreasonable decisions” by dousing about a dozen students with pepper-spray.
Many serious mistakes and tactical errors were made from the Chancellor down through the police ranks. There were little justification or rationale for forcefully removing the encampment on that calamitous November afternoon. “Repeated failures in the civilian, UC Davis administration decision-making process put the officers in the unfortunate situation in which thy found themselves, shortly after 3 pm that day.” reads the investigative report. The report goes on to state the first flub was when Kathehi first suggested deploying police at 3 pm, instead of the early morning as police elsewhere in the UC system and around the country had done when clearing Occupy encampments.
Campus leaders were erroneously concerned that many of the protesters were outsiders with no affiliation with UC Davis, as they failed to follow-up on reports by Student Affairs staff that the encampment appeared to be populated by students. Lt. Pike’s deplorable decision to use pepper-spray wasn’t supported by the evidence. Though onlookers and some protesters partially encircled police, none acted against the police, the report stated. Campus leaders and police did not follow state mandated guidelines for planning or executing such an incident. Some folks believe the police felt threatened when they were encircled by the protesters, the report felt that claim was hogwash, as any trained and experienced police force should be able handle that situation without resorting to violence or pepper-spray.
This report opens up a Pandora’s Box as numerous lawsuits are sure to follow. There’s a lack of leadership from top to bottom and enough blame to go around. This is a case study that will be evaluated and studied by Police Departments and universities for years to come. This is a painful occurrence and a saga that has no end in sight. Stay tune. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks at Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.