Police Review Board meeting will not discuss Occupy Cal

Despite the controversy surrounding the use of police force at the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest, the chair of the Police Review Board said not to expect any discussion of the demonstration during the board’s public meeting Thursday.

The aim of the annual meeting — set to take place in 60 Barrows Hall at 6 p.m. — is to review complaints regarding UCPD over the last fiscal year, which ended in June. However, only one complaint was submitted over the past year and did not require review by the board, according to the board’s draft annual report.

UC Berkeley School of Law professor Jesse Choper, former dean of the school and current chair of the 10-member board, said that while there is currently no set agenda, he thinks it would be inappropriate to discuss the Occupy Cal movement at the meeting because it is still under investigation.

“I imagine there will be people there who want to talk about it, but we have not launched the investigation enough in any way to make any comments on it,” he said.

With not much to discuss in the meeting, students and activists question why the issue of Occupy Cal will be excluded, causing a disparity between what protesters believe should be included in the meeting and what the chair said will actually be discussed.

“It seems that (Occupy Cal) is the most pressing issue on campus, and for it to not be on the table tomorrow is pretty intolerable,” said graduate student Shane Boyle, a campus head steward of United Auto Workers Local 2865. “We will make sure it gets addressed tomorrow.”

In an effort to remind the public and board members of the events of Nov. 9, activists have planned to hold a demonstration outside Barrows Hall an hour before the meeting.

Graduate student Amanda Armstrong, another campus head steward of United Auto Workers Local 2865, said the idea of the demonstration is to gather people who experienced violence on Nov. 9 to share their stories and photographs.

Boyle added that part of the aim of the demonstration is to get the Nov. 9 police violence on the agenda.

In a statement written by members of the movement’s general assembly, activists addressed the meeting as an opportunity to stand in solidarity against police brutality on campuses throughout the state and support the Occupy Cal movement.

“Senior administrators and the chief of police have not yet been held responsible for their use of indiscriminate force on November 9th at Occupy Cal,” the statement said. “Nor have they taken any concrete steps to prevent such police aggression from occurring in the future.”

The past month’s events have sparked reactions similar to those following the November 2009 Wheeler Hall occupation, which also resulted in questions regarding use of force by the police department.

A final report on those events was not released by the board until more than five months after the demonstrations. Protesters have stated that the campus administration has not followed the suggestions of that report, which was authored by former chair of the board and Berkeley Law professor Wayne Brazil.

According to Choper, the current board will also formulate a report based off of the Nov. 9 police use of force.

“At some point along the way, we will make a report about the (Occupy Cal) events,” Choper said. “How and when that report is filed is unknown at this time.”


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  • RuptureFarms

    This is a joke, but DailyCal forgot to include ‘satire’ as a tag. I’m not familiar with Choper, who doesn’t come off well in this article. A very brief search turns up some encouraging signs of reasonableness, although you can’t evaluate a man and his decades long career on that basis. Wait and see.