Occupy Cal demonstrators pack Police Review Board Meeting

Jesse Choper, UC Berkeley School of Law professor, speaks at the UCPD Police Review Board meeting, in which Nov. 9 police use of force was discussed.
Carli Baker/Staff
Jesse Choper, UC Berkeley School of Law professor, speaks at the UCPD Police Review Board meeting, in which Nov. 9 police use of force was discussed.

More than 75 demonstrators packed into Barrows Hall Thursday evening for the annual UCPD Police Review Board meeting, where the issue of the Nov. 9 police use of force against protesters dominated discussion, despite previous notice that the meeting would not cover that issue.

Before the meeting, the demonstrators lined the hallway outside the meeting room, standing silently and holding an assortment of signs with messages including “Disband the UCPD before they kill again” and “Police are detrimental to our safety.” Members of the board filed past protesters into the room as sounds from YouTube videos of the Nov. 9 police violence played.

At the start of the meeting and at various points throughout, board chair and UC Berkeley School of Law professor Jesse Choper reiterated that the purpose of the meeting was not to discuss Occupy Cal or the police violence at the Nov. 9 protest. Instead, he stated that the meeting was intended to cover events from the last fiscal year.

He added to the assembled crowd that it would be inappropriate to comment on the event while the investigation was still pending.

“I understand the concerns that many of you have … about what took place at Sproul Plaza last month,” Choper said. “You also know that this board has been asked by the chancellor to conduct … an investigation of those matters. It would prejudice our fairness and impartiality to either hear or comment on anything that happened at that time.”

Choper’s announcement was met with frustration and anger from the gathered crowd.

“When do we get to tell our story?” the crowd stated using the human microphone. “Where is that public review board? When is that public meeting?”

Despite Choper’s remarks, talk of the Nov. 9 incidents dominated the meeting, though there were several comments that did not pertain specifically to the event. The board addressed more general questions regarding police protocol, authority and what the specific role and responsibility of the board was.

Most questions regarding the specifics of Nov. 9 were met with repeated statements by Choper that the meeting was not an appropriate place to bring them up. In response, the assembled crowd voted to establish a “People’s Police Review Board.”

“This board is not going to listen to you,” a speaker said to the crowd. “I propose that we move to and create our own police review board.”

The meeting closed with remarks from Choper, who said that he understood the “sincerity and intensity” of the demonstrators’ feelings and hoped that they understood the intention of the board to carry out an impartial investigation.

Chants of “Birgeneau must go, Birgeneau must go” cut him off abruptly and the meeting ended with the “People’s Police Review Board” beginning its own meeting as the campus police review board slowly filed out of the room.

After the meeting, Choper declined to comment on what occurred. As of press time, the People’s Police Review Board meeting was still underway.

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  • Even Pigs Go_Broke

    Pepper Spray Cop John Pike:
    http://www.baycitizen.org/occupy-movement/story/pepper-spraying-cop-was-bankrupt/
    Pike, who was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the Nov. 18 incident, last year emerged from a bankruptcy where creditors took possession of his pickup truck, his wedding ring, his barbecue grill, several handguns, and even $265 worth of clothing.

    Pike earns more than $110,000 a year as a UC Davis police lieutenant. But federal court records and county mortgage records reveal that Pike and his wife, Erica, borrowed heavily before the 2008 financial crisis, and were left insolvent when the value of their Roseville home declined.

  • hope

    Here’s the Alice-In-Wonderland moment: Choper claimed, “It would prejudice our fairness and impartiality to hear anything that happened at that time.”  Since when does information REDUCE impartiality?

    In response to “What’s new”: you gratuitously stereotype protesters as white.  Even if they were, how can you construe police brutality as NOT being an issue for non-whites?  Dividing people as white vs. non-white will only weaken our struggle for justice.

  • I agree that something should be done about the way the UCPD does things. However–despite all the horrible things the police had done towards the protestors–the fact is that we still need UCPD or some sort of protection on campus.

    True >They did not protect us during the occupycal. But university life doesn’t revolve only around occupycal movement; I’m talking about other crimes like sexual harassment, rape, thief…

    “Disbanding the UCPD” is too extreme and rash.

    “People’s Police Review Board” is a good idea.

    • Jessica- that is what real community police force are for.  The truth of the matter is that over 90% of students live within the jurisdiction of the Berkeley Police Department.  The few that live on campus are technically under the jurisdiction of both UCPD and BPD.  When I was in school, I can recall multiple occasions where BPD and UCPD had to discuss (argue) under whose jurisdiction a specific crime fell, when crimes happened on Berkeley land, but to UC students.  Many Universities all over the country and the world operate without a police force, and UC can too.  They did from 1868 to 1947, and they can do it again.

  • The Occupy Whatever types have the same motivations for their resentment of the police as they do for the wealthy. It’s not wealth or power they are opposed to, merely the fact that THEY aren’t the ones in control.

    • But for Real

      Eh, no I don’t think that’s a fair analysis of them. I think it’s something LIKE that, but not quite. They aren’t in control, but they haven’t been – now is no different. So what IS different? I think the feeling and effects from that control. It’s no doubt these protestors have a valid reason for protesting. Whether they stick the execution is a different story.

  • What’s new

    We want the world and we want it now.
    Lot of entitlement among those protesters — those white protesters.

  • The investigation into police activity needs to be done by a group representing the interests of those who are invested in the Cal community. I can’t think of anyone better than the students themselves =)… sending love from Occupy UCLA!

  • Anonymous

    “People’s Police Review Board” beginning its own meeting…

    Joke time. Rant on Cal Kiddies.

    • Puer Stultus Est

      Wow, that’s it?
      This is the line you should have laid into:
      “Disband the UCPD before they kill again.”

      For fucks sake, UCPD just killed a guy on campus and dude was a true nutcase! Here we have a very recent incident where 5-0 came out guns blazin’ & fully justified! A couple weeks later some ass-clown says the cops are wonton killers and you go with the “People’s” this-n-that line?

      The way they set it up for you and you failed to hit it out of the park? You’re as pathetic as they are.

      • consrcunts

        Yeah, I’m no fan of police per se, but I can’t see what else they could have done in that circumstance.  Guy’s waving a gun around and won’t drop it–what other option is there but to take him out?  Are they supposed to wait until he fires at someone?

        Probably the same fucktards that think Lovelle Mixon was a martyr.

      • Anonymous

        Puer Clownie,
        As I said deep sheet, joke time.

    • Still upset because you didn’t get in?  And because your kids can’t either?