Yudof appoints 12 members to task force investigating UC Davis pepper spraying

Jasna Hodzic/California Aggie/Courtesy
Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray on demonstrators protesting at UC Davis.

UC President Mark Yudof appointed 12 students, faculty, staff and alumni Monday to a task force charged with investigating the controversial pepper-spraying incident that occurred at UC Davis Nov. 18.

Most members of the task force have an affiliation with UC Davis and were nominated by campus organizations, the UC Office of the President announced in a statement Monday.

The task force led by Cruz Reynoso, a professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Law and former California Supreme Court Justice, will begin its work following the completion of a report of the pepper-spraying incident by the Kroll Consulting firm.

The firm — which has garnered criticism from the Council of University of California Faculty Associations for past ties to UC security systems and financial institutions — should complete its report by early January at the latest, according to the statement.

“My intent in forming this task force is to allow the UC Davis community to take a fair and uncompromising look at what happened on Nov. 18 …  and also to make any recommendations it deems appropriate in light of its independent review of the facts,” Yudof said in the statement.

The incident at UC Davis, in which campus police officers pepper-sprayed protesters who were sitting with linked arms on the campus quad, has drawn widespread criticism. Following the controversy, the campus chief of police and two officers were placed on administrative leave.

According to the statement, the task force will review the findings of the Kroll report and “based on available information, assign responsibility for the events of Nov. 18.”

Yudof named the following individuals to the task force, in addition to Reynoso:

  • Patrick Blacklock, Yolo County administrator and immediate past-chair, Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
  • Peter Blando, business services manager, Office of the Vice Provost—Information and Educational Technology, UC Davis, and past chair, UC Davis Staff Assembly (nominated by the UC Davis Staff Assembly).
  • Alan Brownstein, professor, School of Law, UC Davis (nominated by the Academic Senate).
  • Tatiana Bush, undergraduate student and former Associated Students senator (nominated by the Associated Students of UC Davis).
  • Daniel M. Dooley, senior vice president, external relations, UC Office of the President and designated systemwide administrator for whistleblower complaints; alumnus, UC Davis.
  • Penny Herbert, manager, Department of Clinical Operations, UC Davis, and staff advisor to the UC Board of Regents.
  • Kathryn Kolesar, chair, UC Davis Graduate Student Association (nominated by the Graduate Student Association).
  • William McKenna, law student, UC Davis (nominated by the Law Students Association).
  • Carolyn Penny, director in International Law Programs and principal and mediator, Common Ground Center for Cooperative Solutions, UC Davis Extension (nominated by the UC Davis Academic Federation).
  • Eric Rauchway, professor, Department of History, UC Davis (nominated by the Academic Senate).
  • Judy Sakaki, vice president, student affairs, UC Office of the President and former vice chancellor for student affairs, UC Davis.
  • Rebecca Sterling, undergraduate student and former Associated Students senator (nominated by the Associated Students of UC Davis).

J.D. Morris is the university news editor.