UC Davis chancellor responds to report on pepper spray incident

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On the heels of the release of a report condemning the handling of the November pepper-spraying incident at UC Davis, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi announced the first steps in responding to the report Friday.

The campus will commission an independent, top-to-bottom audit of campus police operations and will hold a forum on police accountability with an “internationally recognized expert.” This forum may lead to the establishment of a police review commission, similar to the Police Review Board at UC Berkeley, Katehi said in a message to the campus community.

“The Reynoso task force report illuminated clearly and sharply the need for major reform of campus police operations and better coordination, collaboration and communication within the UC Davis administration and with the broader university community,” Katehi said. “We are moving swiftly to address these issues and any others that need attention.”

Katehi also mentioned that the first meeting of a new Campus Community Council with students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members will be held this week. This formation of the council is among efforts the campus is taking to “improve administrative coordination, collaboration and communication,” Katehi said in the message.

She said that while the campus’ internal affairs investigation is “nearing completion,” officials are still waiting on a report by a special committee of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate and the results of an investigation into UC police practices by UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley and UC General Counsel Charles Robinson. She plans to meet with task force members including Cruz Reynoso, task force leader and former California Supreme Court justice, later this week.

Amruta Trivedi is the lead academics and administration reporter.