Gov. Brown requests review of police use of force guidelines

Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray on demonstrators protesting at UC Davis.
Jasna Hodzic/California Aggie/Courtesy
Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray on demonstrators protesting at UC Davis.

Spurred by graphic images from recent police uses of force at UC campuses, Gov. Jerry Brown has requested that state police officers review their policies for using force and make changes to their guidelines accordingly.

In a Monday letter to the state Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training, Brown wrote that he was “seriously concerned that the rules governing use of force … are not well understood in the context of civil disobedience and various forms of public protest,” citing police use of pepper spray and other forms of force at recent “occupation” protests at UC campuses.

The protests at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, in which protesters were hit with batons and sprayed with pepper spray, respectively, have drawn widespread condemnation. The university has pledged a review of its police policy while both campuses are undertaking reviews of their own.

Brown has spoken with both UC President Mark Yudof and former Los Angeles Police Department Chief William Bratton — who Yudof charged with leading the UC’s police policy review — about police use of force, according to Brown spokesperson Elizabeth Ashford.

Read the full letter below.

Damian Ortellado covers higher education.

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  • Charles E. Goings

    Governor Moonbeam gets it right.

  • vinny

    larry that was the cheesiest troll i’ve ever seen lol.  Run back to W.O.W. and troll a video game.  This is real life.

    • Stan De San Diego

      So you define “troll” as those who dare disagree with you? Larry has done a far more detailed job of outlining and justifying his position on this subject than you have. You’re the “troll” here, not Larry.

  • Larry Barras

    Honestly, when viewed from multiple angles, this looks like an entirely appropriate use of force. The protestors encircled the police, refused to let them proceed, made demands to release the people they arrested. By blocking their path and interfering with their duties, they confronted police. By making demands to let the arrested go, this all ceased to be a peaceful, lawful protest. All of this is corroborated by the multiple video recordings, the official account by the police and the statements of those who were pepper sprayed. The spray was clearly used not as retaliation, but to accomplish arrest without further injury.

    • flocculent

      Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me.

    • Berkeleytard

      How you come to believe those facts by looking at the video is baffling.  Those cops were not encircled, and even if they were then why use force on the row of students doing nothing but sitting on the ground?

    • Lloydstoph

      If they were truly encircled and in danger they would have sprayed the students who were standing up “surrounding” them; not the ones who had been sitting on the ground for some time…
      (Those who don’t watch the news are uninformed; those who watch FOX are misinformed)

  • Ronnie

    I was beaten and left to bleed to death in a drunk tank in 1975 for having long hair. Police beat minorities on a regular basis as long as we have had minorities. I can sew up the problem in 1 word, ATTORNEYS! My lawyer(Bob Finnell) sold me out by rigging the jury

    • Stan De San Diego

      Yet you’re still alive. Funny.

  • Yochrismc

    well at least it is something. Obama has not said a thing.

  • Guest

    No rush, Jer…cops have been out of control for, what, 2 months now?

  • Marji

    Unfortunately, when you tell one group of people they have power over another, they will inevitably abuse that power. Humans have proved this over and over. The police response to Occupy protesters nationwide has been appalling. Apparently civil rights only exist if you’re doing what your government wants.

    • Stan De San Diego

      There’s no “civil right” to interfering with the lawful duty of a police officer. Section 148 of the California Penal Code hasn’t been stricken due to any constitutional challenge. As usual, the marginal ones reveal their ignorance.

      • Marji

        Oh, I didn’t realize the right to peaceful protest was no longer in effect. I also didn’t realize that the lawful duty of police officers was to attack students trying to make a peaceful statement about their convictions. This whole time I was under the impression that the police were supposed to serve and protect.  

      • imsloan

        Then I’ll bring my own pepper spray to the next teabagger rally

  • GillianBloom

    He was our governor in the seventies, shouldn’t he know how to handle protest? But finally….. someone notices.

  • The first serious response from a politician yet.  Bravo!

  • It’s about time… I wrote Governor Brown on this subject and copied in my state senator and assemblyperson the day after the incident. It’s taken this long for any kind of response???

  • Moonbeam Sucks

    Who cares?

    When is Governor Moonbeam going to review the problem with public employee pensions that he promised to address? 

    • Stan De San Diego

      Come on now, why deal with real issues when there’s an opportunity to do some good old-fashioned political posturing? Moonbeam, Birgenau, the Occupy Cal folks, and the rest of actors aren’t interested in dealing with real issues. It’s all about theatrics…

  • Jcfrederick


    • Guest

      You’re a fucking moron.