11 April 12
Four Months Later
After the Pepper Spray Incident on November 18, 2011, which exposed sleepy Davis uncomfortably to a searing international spotlight, things slowly calmed down. The inevitable reports were delayed, almost as inevitably, by lawsuits.
But they were released today. In summary, egregious errors were made by university administration and the police force, including not ascertaining the makeup of the protesters on the Quad; use of weapons on the part of the police for which they weren’t trained and aren’t approved by university policy; miscommunication; failure to learn from errors that had been made on sister campuses just days before. But the best part, for my money, is this:
“The Task Force recommends The Office of the President should review provisions of the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights that appear to limit independent public review of police conduct and make appropriate recommendations to the Legislature. The Task Force did not have access to the subject officers. This limitation does not serve the police or the public. When information necessary to understand and evaluate police conduct is unavailable to the public, the public has less confidence in the police and the police cannot perform their duty without public confidence.”
Justice Reynoso and the Task Force panel had a hard time of it today in Freeborn Hall, but they have done their job in less than optimal circumstances. It now falls on the University to implement the report’s recommendations. My advice? Start soon.