Birgeneau apologizes for police response to Occupy Cal

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released audio recording Tuesday apologizing for police actions during Occupy Cal.
Barbara Sullinger/File
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released audio recording Tuesday apologizing for police actions during Occupy Cal.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released an audio message Tuesday regarding the campus response to events of the past few weeks.

He said he takes full responsibility for the events of Nov. 9 — which elicited widespread condemnation from faculty and students after police used batons to clear through throngs of protesters — and “will do (his) very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Read the transcript of the recording:

“I have been hearing from many of you about police procedures on our campus, and I want to share my thoughts directly with you. I sincerely apologize for the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley and extend my sympathies to any of you who suffered an injury during these protests. As chancellor, I take full responsibility for these events and will do my very best to ensure that this does not happen again. I look forward to working with the Office of the President to identify best practices in this area. I have made it clear that I want the review of events on November 9 to be completed as soon as possible. I pledge to follow up aggressively to implement its recommendations. We will improve our performance.

“In my four decades as a faculty member and, more recently, as a senior leader, these are among the most challenging issues that I have faced. I consider academic excellence, social equity, public service and free speech to be at the very foundation of who we are as an institution. These are the values that attracted me to UC Berkeley, and they must be preserved.

“Even in these difficult times, I am thankful that we have a community that is so passionate and dedicated to this university and everything it stands for. I look forward to working with all of you as we move forward. Let me finish by wishing you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving.”

Soumya Karlamangla is the assistant city news editor.