UC will hold public forum to discuss police practices

Police attempt to break through a line of students on Nov. 9 during the Occupy Cal protests.
Tony Zhou/Staff
Police attempt to break through a line of students on Nov. 9 during the Occupy Cal protests.

In response to student outcry over police action against protesters at campus Occupy events last November, the UC Office of the President will hold a public forum for UC community members to share their opinions and experiences concerning campuses’ responses to protests.

The forum, which is scheduled to be held Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom, is part of a “Looking Forward” project aimed at reviewing current police policies regarding protests at UC campuses.

Charles Robinson, UC vice president and general counsel for legal affairs, and Christopher Edley, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, will moderate the forum, which will “encourage students and faculty to contribute their views on the best response to protests,” according to a flier for the event created by the office.

UC President Mark Yudof appointed Robinson and Edley to lead a systemwide review of police protocols and policies as they apply to the protests in November.

The forum is only a part of the project, which, along with visits to campuses for discussions, also includes consultation with an “array of experts,” according to a UC press release.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi organized a similar town hall meeting in November in response to police use of pepper spray on student protesters at that campus.

UC spokesperson Steve Montiel said the president’s office expects to present the results of its project later in the spring.

The project’s policy review is expected to result in “recommended best practices” for policing protests across the 10 UC campuses, according to the press release.

Damian Ortellado is the lead higher education reporter.