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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Pepper-spray task force results delayed, trial to be held on March 16

The UC Office of the President announced Monday that the results of the task force investigating the pepper-spray incident would be delayed once again due to legal action by a union representing campus police.

The results were to be announced Tuesday at 3 p.m. However, on Tuesday morning the union representing campus police requested a court order from the Alameda County Superior Court to halt the disclosure of the task force findings to the public.

The judge granted the order, and said that UC Davis would not be able to disclose the findings at least until a hearing on the subject which will be  held March 16.

“We are obviously disappointed that public disclosure of the findings and recommendations of the task force chaired by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz

Reynoso has been delayed. The work of the task force represents a crucial step forward for the UC Davis campus as it attempts to move beyond the events of Friday, Nov. 18.,” said UC General Counsel Charles Robinson in a press release.

The task force was originally requested by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi after campus police pepper sprayed student protesters on Nov. 18. The task force was put together by UC President Mark Yudof, with  former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Cruz Reynoso heading the group.

“I was very frustrated to receive this news today. However, let me assure you that I am undeterred in my commitment to release the complete and unredacted work of the task force, a view shared by President Yudof,” Reynoso said in a press release response to the recently announced legal action.

The results from the task force were originally set to be released the last week of January or the first week of February this year. However, the results were pushed back to “early march” on Feb. 16 so that the task force could  fully investigate the incident, according to Reynoso. Due the legal action by the union representing the police, the release of the results will have to wait until at least the trial on March 16.

Students have expressed their disappointment in the multiple delays of the findings of the task force.

“I think it’s disappointing, because we [ASUCD] wanted it to happen within a month,” said Bree Rombi, the out-going ASUCD Vice President. “… I understand, it’s just disappointing, because the more we prolong something like this the more we tend to forget why we wanted it to happen so badly in the first place.”

In response to the most recent delay, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi sent an e-mail to the campus.

“I am tremendously disappointed by this delay and know that many of you will be as well. We requested this inquiry to learn precisely what happened last Nov. 18, utilize that knowledge to ensure that our campus is a safe, tolerant and inclusive community and help us move forward together.” Katehi said.

Katehi also said that the campus was continuing internal investigations into the event.

“Hopefully, this delay will be brief and we will receive the task force’s findings soon. Meanwhile, work continues as we near completion of 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,” she said.

HANNAH STRUMWASSER can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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