Independent organization to review UCPD response to labor protest, arrest

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Amanda Ramirez/File

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Campus officials announced their plans to hire an independent and external organization to review UCPD’s actions during the Feb. 1 UC workers protest in a campuswide email sent Tuesday evening. 

The message, which was sent by Vice Chancellor of Administration Marc Fisher, said UCPD Chief Margo Bennett made the recommendation for an external organization to conduct a review and that Fisher himself has accepted the suggestion. According to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof, the only actions that will be examined are the blocking of traffic, the confrontation with the driver of a vehicle that went through traffic and the arrest of campus employee David Cole.

The review is meant to help officials understand how the events on the day of the protest unfolded and whether the actions of the UCPD officers were consistent with UCPD guidelines, Fisher said in the message. He also briefly mentioned a planned “broad conversation” involving a “cross-section of our campus community” to better communicate UC Berkeley’s community principles.

“We believe Berkeley can and should maintain a positive relationship between our police force and the community it serves,” Fisher said in the message. “Our goal is to be a campus where every student, faculty, and staff member feels safe, respected and welcome.”

Sakura Cannestra is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.