UC Police review of Occupy Cal protest critical of administration, justifies baton use

Review says outlawing Police use of pepper-spray was inappropriate

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.

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A review released Friday concludes that police use of force against students in the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protests was within reason, but criticized the UC Berkeley administration’s response to the event.

The operational review was conducted by Jeff Young, assistant chief of police at the UCLA Police Department, and contends that police at UC Berkeley were limited on Nov. 9 by a ban on the use of pepper spray. Furthermore, the review takes issue with the campus’s decision to grant amnesty from Campus Code of Student Conduct violations to some protesters, among other findings.

The review has been submitted to the campus Police Review Board to consider while drafting its own report of events surrounding the Nov. 9 protests. The protests elicited widespread controversy after police used batons on student demonstrators attempting to set up an encampment on Upper Sproul Plaza.

Since many of the student protesters formed a blockade by linking arms — an action considered a form of “active resistance” in UCPD’s crowd control policy — and “pushed back against the police line,” the review concludes that police use of force was in compliance with UCPD policies and procedures.

“The protestors can be seen with interlocked arms, tensing their muscle (granted, a natural reaction to a baton strike), grabbing at officers’ batons and moving to block officers from going around the crowd,” the review states. “The videos viewed do not show any intentional baton blows to prohibited parts of the protestors’ body.”

Young’s investigation concluded that officers may have been more effective in controlling the protest crowd and reducing the time it took to clear upper Sproul Plaza if the use of pepper spray had not been prohibited by campus UCPD Chief Mitch Celaya.

“Having such a limited number of options is inappropriate for crowd management and takes away several very effective options that most of the officers are trained to use,” the review states. “Probably, the most appropriate for this situation was the use of (pepper) spray.”

However, while maintaining that the police acted within policy, the report is critical of the campus administration’s response.

The review condemns campus administrators for issuing amnesty from student conduct charges to some student demonstrators involved in the Occupy Cal protest on Nov. 9, stating that doing so “eliminates consequences for those who truly deserve some form of accountability for their actions,” and takes away the opportunity for campuswide discussions on issues that the protest may have stemmed from and new ones it may have created.

Issuing amnesty, the investigation concluded, aids in spreading a sense of indignation at the police use of force, but does not change the fact that police were lawfully responding to a situation the report called “unsafe and disruptive.”

The report also remains critical of the role administrative offices played in quelling the protest. It maintains the campus student affairs office should have first sent a representative to warn protesters of student conduct policies before the police warning.

“Typically, this first contact by Student Affairs employees can help deescalate the situation and open up dialogues that seek solutions,” the report states. “The least effective approach is that which puts the Police Department out front with no intermediate steps available between contact and enforcement.”

Campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said campus administrators and UCPD will consider the findings of the report when re-evaluating protest management policies.

“We do believe that the report provides a fair representation of the events on Nov. 9,” she said. “It raises issues for the administration and the police department and we will be evaluating these recommendations and others still pending from the Police Review Board and the UC.”

Yet this review and other investigations initiated on the heels of the Nov. 9 protest – including the Police Review Board process and a systemwide review of police practices – have raised concern among protesters who claim that any investigation associated with the university will not fairly evaluate the protest situation from the perspective of the students involved.

“The evaluation is far from perfect,” said Beezer de Martelly, a campus graduate student and Occupy Cal protester. “I don’t believe that there has been a truly independent review process.”

Since the Nov. 9 protests, the campus has taken steps to address large-scale protest management. In February, the campus announced the creation of a Protest Response Team as part of the campus’s “evolving approach to responding when protests occur that violate campus policies.”

The campus’s approach to demonstrations involves policies that consider context-specific issues and the level of disruption to campus operations as factors to be taken into account to “minimize the potential for harm” in responding to a protest, Gilmore said.

The operational review also presented other recommendations to UCPD and campus administrators to prevent a similar protest situation the future, including increasing the use of barricades and improving sound equipment to issue clearer messages on unlawful assemblies at protest sites. The report also recommends that UCPD create a new staff position charged with increasing the level community outreach between the police force and campus community.

Read the full text of the review below.

Amruta Trivedi is the lead academics and administration reporter.

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  • Mjmagee8

    The students were protesting peacefully…the police need to find better use of the taxpayers money like preventing and reacting to crimes.  The action taken by the police is this case goes against everything our founding fathers intended.  The students were clearly peacefully protesting and the police were clearly the aggressors.  The police and the university should be ashamed…what you permit, you promote!

    • Stan De San Diego

       Please stop repeating this nonsense. Most of these protesters were NOT student, and in fact were looking for a confrontation and got it. No sympathy is deserved or needed.

    • Guest

      When you physically prevent police from carrying out law enforcement (preventing camps to be set up on university grounds, for whatever reason) that is an aggressive action.  And are you talking about the same students who, in the detailed report, surrounded the cops en masse and told them to “watch their backs”?  Sounds like a mob to the rest of us.  We’ll decide what is or isn’t peaceful, but thanks for opining. 

  • [Support is a verb. It means doing something.]

    Maybe you should learn that “doing something” includes actions other than engaging in futile confrontations with authority figures because you’re too lazy/stupid/clueless/itching for a fight to deal with issues as a grown adult. “Think” and “plan” are also verbs – you should consider their practical application some time…

  • Guest2567

    I’ve been reading some of these comments and it looks like the same 3-4 agitators always have something negative to say about “liberals,” majoring in “race/ethnic” studies. Their extremely negative comments seem to be intended to rile up these “groups,” or people whose point of view differs from theirs. They attack the person, but never address the argument, and regrettably, lack any sense of humanity. They don’t care that students are beaten. I hope people are reading this and learn to just ignore them, because all they are is a bunch of trolls. If you don’t give them an audience then they have nobody to react to. Look past these minions and focus your energies on more productive outlets of expression.

    •  I guess I’m one of those “agitators”, and of course I have something negative to say about the racial/ethnic grievance/victimization courses of study, because they are nothing but a bad joke. These courses offer NOTHING in the way of either academic rigor or marketable job skills, merely an exercise in blaming whites/conservatives/Republicans/America for all the problems of certain subsets of society. If you honestly believe otherwise, why don’t you show me a single “employment wanted” ad/posting for any non-teaching/non-academic job opening where any of these courses are listed as specific prerequisites for hiring? You won’t find them, simply because most people in the real world recognize that these courses are total bullshit, and worthless wastes of time and money.

      Apparently you’re either too young, too naive, or too cloistered in your little Berkeley world to have any idea how these courses came about, and why they exist. Simply, they are the result of spineless college administrators caving in to the demands of left-wing activists that believe the purpose of public agenda is to conduct social indoctrination. They also provide jobs for well-connected friends, relatives, and “partners” of those with pull in the administration, and a place to put all those AA/”diversity” students who lack either the intellectual capability or the academic preparation to make it through a legitimate course of study. There’s a reason that most students in truly demanding academic majors laugh behind your backs when discussing these courses. They are in on the joke, even if you are not…

    • jackterrier

      Correct. Tony et. al. use the Daily Cal comments as a outlet for their impotent rage. Why else would a 40+ year old man living 400 miles away spend every day here?

    • Calipenguin

       No one has made a sensible argument for breaking campus rules.  No one has provided an alternative to batons or pepper spray that is agreeable to Occupy Cal protesters.  They want the right to sleep overnight in a public university without conditions.  Given enough slack they’d probably want to build a 100-foot tall burning man on Sproul too.

    • Stan De San Diego

       “They don’t care that students are beaten.”

      I would care a lot more if genuinely innocent students were beaten for merely peacefully protesting, but that simply was not the case. The Occupy crowd has gained a reputation for violent confrontations with the police, and anyone with half a brain should have known after the riots and vandalism in Oakland, that forcing a confrontation with the police wasn’t going to end well – so why did they do it? One reason is that many of the participants didn’t really give a damn about student tuition or any of the other stated reason, but were merely looking for a fight. Sorry, but if you think that the way to solve the financial crisis is to get in a pissing contest with law enforcement, you’re too damn stupid to go to college anyway.

      • Guest2567

        This is the problem, Stan. You make way too many generalizations, which make it difficult to take you seriously. First, please define what you mean by “genuinely innocent students.” Is it just a matter of I know it when I see it? I’m not saying the students weren’t at fault either. But how do you determine innocence or culpability, which if memory serves me right, was and still is a huge issue raised. Of course, the answer to that question is tied to what you mean by “peacefully protesting.” Again, there is legal precedence here that needs to be taken into account as well as the interpretation of it in the immediate situation between the law and protesters. Again, I’m not saying there isn’t violence by the protesters, but I find it really hard to put all the protesters under that umbrella in the same way that saying all the cops were violent is not productive. 
        So, again, the attacks on the person, “anyone with half a brain,” aren’t productive at all. You’re basically saying that people who don’t see things the way you do, by which I take it, duh, look, it’s obvious such and such is going on…but that’s just going to go down a slippery slope that isn’t going to get us anywhere. 
        So, “why did they do it?” A question. Great. Now we can get somewhere. But, but…how can you say that “many of the participants didn’t really give a damn about student tuition.” I mean, I’m throwing my hands up in the air at this point, Stan. How do I respond to that? I’m going to take a guess and say that you mean that they rioters from Oakland who obviously don’t care about the tuition issue but are just there to wreak chaos instigate the confrontation with the cops. Again, while some of this might be true, it’s WAY to big of a generalization. The people who were arrested and beaten in Berkeley were students and a Professor. You’re saying they don’t care about tuition and such. C’mon. 
        I’m sure there are a multitude of intentions that individuals had and have in these protests. Some of them unknown to them even. Some of them probably wanted to feel the rush of stepping out of their comfort zone and feel the real and harsh presence of the law. Maybe. But I also see a lot of people protesting peacefully, marching, seemingly with the intention to raise the issue of privatization of public education, infringement on Constitutional rights, etc, What are your suggestions? 
        I hope this helps you to see why your “too damn stupid to go to college anyway” sounds so idiotic. I mean, I have no idea if you do this on purpose. Maybe you do. Maybe someone pays you to write these things. I don’t know. They make you and the others sound like uninformed and blabbering fools.  

        • Stan De San Diego

           “This is the problem, Stan. You make way too many generalizations, which make it difficult to take you seriously.”

          Where’s the generalization? Students weren’t “beaten”, nor did they get in their current predicament for protesting. You’re simply lying and distorting the issue to push your own silly agenda.

  • The big mistake was sending in THUGS to control people who didn’t need controlled. These students weren’t causing any trouble UNTIL the police came looking for a RIOT.
    The police are, once again, justifying their use of TERROR on American citizens to quash free thinking. The real terrorists we should be aware of, are not hiding in Afghanistan or Pakistan. They are right here in RIOT suits and they have lawyers on retainers waiting to write coverups. Listen to the screams of the students in the MANY videos that covered this “police action”. That defines TERROR. It makes people’s hair turn white…The current crop of authority figures (not just here, but all over America) are trying to keep us from assembling and speaking to one another about how screwed up everything is–and what WE are going to do to fix it. They think they can fix it for us. But we know they can’t. We view them as a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.But really, when are normal thinking people, and especially the lawyers, going to stop JUSTIFYING brutality? You can’t control thinking ADULTS by the use of force. LAW does not trump righteousness. When you think of sending in THUGS to put down your own people, know you have LOST. You have just erased any social contract that gives you the right to lead. I’ll try and make it clear for you (for ANYONE thinking of calling in the police to put down our free-thinking “movement” WHEREVER we assemble in the WORLD). Your illusion of having power over us is all you have now. We honestly don’t care how much force you use against us. We aren’t going away. You lost when the first THUGS were sent in to quash us. So please just resign your post and walk away with some dignity while you still can. Using force is NEVER the answer. It’s the SIGN your ability to rule is OVER. Read history.Matthew L Kees, #[email protected]:disqus 

    • libsrclowns

      Resisting, failure to disperse, breaking the law = ass whipping.

      Look at it this way. 20 years from now these morons can sit around sucking on their bong telling each other how cool it was to get beat at Berkeley.

    •  [The big mistake was sending in THUGS to control people who didn’t need
      controlled. These students weren’t causing any trouble UNTIL the police
      came looking for a RIOT. That’s a crime against HUMANITY!]

      You have a rather exaggerated view of your own importance in the greater scheme of things, as well as a total disregard for others. The “students” (in reality only a minority, as the rest were the usual activists, parasites and malcontents) stepped over the line from legitimate protest to force a confrontation with the UCPD, and got what they deserved. Now get a clue.

      • mastaofdisasta

        The only people who stepped out of line that day were the police officers who jabbed the very students whom they are meant to protect with batons.

        It’s true, the police showing up in riot gear created the hostile environment.

        • Oh, bullshit. You and your asshole Occupy buddies went cruising for a fight, and you got one. Small minds like yours haven’t figured out that the cops aren’t responsible for the budget cuts, but your lame attempt to equate everything with the equivalent of 1917 St. Petersburg makes you seek out confrontations with symbols of authority. Grow up and stop your whining – you got exactly what you deserved…

          • mastaofdisasta

             Me?  What have I done?  When was I cruising for a fight?  Oh, that’s right, you don’t know.  For all you know, I could be an alien spying on you.

            And no, the students were right to lock arms.  The administration was wrong to try and force them out, and the police were wrong to take part.

            Again, one lawful order was given that day:  Stop Beating Students.  Eventually, the cops complied.

          •  [And no, the students were right to lock arms.]

            Why? What’s there to benefit by forcing a physical confrontation with people who have NOTHING to do with your supposed grievance (i.e. budget cuts for education) unless your grievance was just a flimsy excuse to get in a fight?

    • [Occupy is not just a protest as the police seem to think (and attempt to deal with on that level). It is an “occupation” of space. It gives us a chance to rebuild society with a renewed sense of community]

      “Rebuilding society” with a motley assortment of dropouts, criminals, and professional malcontents – all people who make no net contribution to begin with. No thanks.

    • reztips

      Ah, the humility of Mr. Kees. Hey people, ole Matthew speaks “for himself and for all of humanity.” Can any of you control your laughter.

      Matty says the real terrorists are not the Islamofascist butchers of Afghanistan and Pakistan who brutalize women, rape and murder children. No, ladies and gentlemen, this Einstein thinks the real terrorists are the UCPD. And he probably also finds merit in Ham-Ass as well as its Iranian sponsors.

      Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Kees. As for Occupy, they are a treasure trove of high comedy themselves and its not just me who feels this way. It’s the vast majority of Americans who see Occupy as mindless violence-prone ideologues more intent upon putting up tents in public places than really changing the country in any substantive way.

      These morons actually think they are “revolutionaries.” Clue the laugh track… 

      • [Matty says the real terrorists are not the Islamofascist butchers of Afghanistan and Pakistan who brutalize women, rape and murder children.]

        Of course not, because in the minds of narcissistic little left-wingers, the “worst people in the world” to paraphrase Keith Olbermann, are not murderers, criminals, dictators or terrorists, but their personal political opponents. Killing people over religion, oppressing women, and burning down schools is far less of an outrage than using a public forum to criticize these spoiled children. You’re dealing with people whose emotional maturity and empathy for others hasn’t progressed past the toddler stage…

  • Current student

    I have no problems with the batons.

    • Mikemikeson

      Me neither. 

  • reztips

    Ludicrous equations typical of the loony left and Occupy. “Guest’s” comparing the police action with the Treyvon-Zimmerman case in Florida is as absurd as those who compare Israel with apartheid S. Africa. Ditto kuhn tom’s calling the UCB police “the new Gestapo.” Does he have ANY idea of how the real Gestapo acted?

    Do you ignoramuses believe anyone will take your “analogies” seriously? If you are students, how the fuck did you manage to get into UCB? Are you affirmative action asshole admissions? Are you majoring in Ethnic Stuides or Piss and Conflict? If so, that would explain a great deal.

    As for Occupy nationwide, you people are FINISHED. You started out with a good idea and then via your uncheck egos, absurdly morphed it into the inane issue of the “right” to camp on public land with a good dollop of violence vs the police and property such as small stores in Oakland being vandalized added into your mix. The whole country is now laughing at you when, that is, it’s not holding its nose. Do you have any just how much you jerkoffs have alienated virtually everyone but yourselves?

  • Adsahjh

    Can we make Jeff Young our next chancellor? He may not have a fancy degree but, unlike Bobby B, he has his head screwed on straight and knows the difference between right and wrong.

  • Guest

    horrible. this is horrible through and through. This is basically the treyvon-zimmerman case with the police claiming self-defense. B.S. We need new police because the people who are involved now are more enthusiastic about hurting people than helping people

    • libsrclowns

      LOL, police have eye witness to Treyvon case saying it was self defense. All race baiters like Obama, Sharpton, Jackson now look like fools.

      Again, Obama incites blacks. He acted “foolishly”.

    •  I bet the only thing you know about the Treyvon Martin case is the nonsensical crap brought up by the usual race-baiters Sharpton and Jackson…

  • kuhn Tom

    The police with their lame excuses for police brutality, Their the new gestapo.

    •  Liberals, with their lame comparisons. The new idiots.

      • NASDAQEnema


    • reztips

      kuhn Tom says, “THEIR the new Gestapo.” 

      First of all, if he had an iota of history, he would in no way have compared the UCPD with the Gestapo. But when you look at his use of English, it’s clear he is an ignoramus.

      Hey kuhn Tom, at least learn to write in proper Ebonics…

      • GoldenBear

        Kuhn Tom’s comparison is by no means accurate, and far-fetched is a polite way of putting it. But I wonder  why on earth would you bring “Ebonics” into the discussion?  I seriously hope you are aware of the fact that his sentence–as far as Standard American English (SAE) is concerned–is grammatically sound, but by pointing to his orthographic errors and implicitly comparing them to Ebonics you come off just as obtuse as him.

        Are you sure you’re not some liberal trying to pit non-white minorities against Republicans? Y 

    • Guest

      So cliche to call the authorities nazis.  Are we in the fucking 80s?  And it’s “they’re” the new Gestapo.  A common mistake, but then again, your pretty common (misspelling intended). 

  • Beloz

    Asking the UCLA police department to opine on the UC Berkeley police department’s use of batons on peaceful protestors is like asking a wolf whether it was wrong for his little wolves to kill and eat the sheep. Neither the UCLA police department nor the wolf are able to offer an objective point of view.

    • libsrclowns

      Breaking law, failure to disperse = baton azz whipping.

      Get a clue Libtards

    • Guest

      Just call the m “protesters”, not “peaceful protesters”, would you please?  We, the readers (and those of us who may have been there to witness everything that went down) will decide for ourselves just how peaceful they were.  We don’t need you inserting that. 

    • Calipenguin

       Asking a OWS anarchist sympathizer to opine on the Occupy campers breaking campus rules is like asking a fox if it was wrong for him to break into the chicken coop to kill some chickens.  Neither the anarchists nor the Occupy Cal campers are able to offer an objective point of view.

  • [The protests elicited widespread controversy after police used batons on
    student demonstrators attempting to set up an encampment on Upper
    Sproul Plaza.]

    No “widespread controversy”, just the usual agitators whining and crying about the butt-kicking they asked for and got…

    • Bologna M

      Fail, b/c 800 instructors is obviously more than a handful of agitators.
      “As of press time, an open letter to the campus administration penned by three campus associate professors condemning the police response had been signed by 808 campus instructors.
      “(We) are outraged by the unnecessary and excessive use of violence by the police and sheriff’s deputies against peaceful protesters,” the letter reads.”
      Wow, that was easy to refute. You really didn’t put any effort in to it today, did you Tony? Of course there is no arguing with Trolls. If you were engaging in good faith, your comment would indicate that you suffer from a serious cognitive defect: namely operating under the presumption that the mere act of making a statement defines the content of that statement to be the truth.
      If… but that’s not how trolling works.

      • libsrclowns


        808 Lib infested instructors hardly qualify as objective.

        • Guest

          It is kind of interesting though that the most educated people in this country (Ph.D.’s), are usually more liberal than Joe the Plumber.

          •  It’s kind of interesting how most of these so-called “educated” PhD’s go into academia because they are essentially unemployable in the outside world. Note that I’m referring to the race/ethnic grievance studies types, who are the most likely to support this Occupy Whatever nonsense, as opposed to people who actually obtained a useful education in math, science or engineering related courses of study.

      • Were those 800 instructors physically at the protest? I’m specifically referring to the idiots who deliberately sought out a confrontation with the cops, not the usual academic dumb bunnies who wish to preserve their “progressive” credibility by the usual silly symbolic acts.

        • Guest

          no, you were referring to “widespread controversy”, so 800 instructors is indeed included in that. also, about a thousand people showed up later that night in response to the events from the afternoon. they were PHYSICALLY there. and even then, whatever physical presence there is a small representation of the people who strongly opposed the police violence and fee hikes, privatization of the university, etc, because even if people don’t show up, they still believe in the cause. so the 1000 people who did show up were only a fraction of supporters, the ones who are overwhelmingly passionate and willing to lay their bodies down.

          • libsrclowns

            More people didn’t show up because they supported the po po.

          • NASDAQEnema

            Support is a verb. It means doing something.
            Sitting on your ass is not supporting cops or protestors.

          • Anon

            Not true, NASDAQEnema.You can support something by not protesting against it.For instance, right now I am supporting your right to be a complete moron.

  • Guest

    Ex-UCLA PD police chief reports, says UCPD was right, everyone else was wrong on Nov.9. Hardly qualifies as news.

    • nothing on the daily cal qualifies as news